Archive for the ‘Wedding Planning’ Category

Wedding Centerpiece Ideas

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

I was just at an event and thought I would share with you some wedding centerpiece ideas. The artist, Michael Mantalos of Louloudi, is located in Santa Barbara, CA.

Wedding centerpiece ideas may include a single centerpiece on the table or you can do various flower arrangements on your buffet to highlight your theme.

Here are a couple of other pictures of wedding centerpiece ideas.  These flowers show a bit of contrast with the greens, creams and pinks and are two flower arrangements standing together.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

Elegant Wedding Invitations

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Having just gone through the wedding process, I thought I would touch upon selecting elegant wedding invitations including customized wedding invitations.  Also included in this article are some helpful hints when creating your wedding invitation guest list.

It is always nice to set the tone of your wedding regarding who the two of you are and what you two want your wedding to be with your wedding invitation. For us, we wanted to have an elegant, heart warming wedding but still keep it fun and whimsical.  One of the ways we did this was to work with a company that specializes with customized wedding invitations, A Papier.  I have worked with Alyson and her team previously and her company was on my list when I wanted to send elegant wedding invitations for my wedding.

For our customized wedding invitations, we started by selecting the print style and the paper.  For me, weight is everything when it comes to paper and I personally like a heavy-weighted wedding invitation. In addition, I selected letterpress printing because I believe this type of printing provides a sense of importance and adds to the look of elegant wedding invitations.

We decided in the beginning that our wedding colors were to be celadon and gold and we liked the multilayer look created by the three different types of papers used on our invite. The French satin ribbon that was applied by hand at each of the corners created a framed look to our invite and is another one of the benefits when selecting customized wedding invitations.

Finally, we created our own logo for our elegant wedding invitations. We took our initials and interlocked them with a heart!

When considering who you are inviting to your wedding, here are some helpful tips in creating your wedding invitation guest list:

Use a spreadsheet program, such as Excel from Windows, Numbers from Apple or the spreadsheet offered in Google Documents.  These programs will save time in the long run.  The list will be neat and clean and easy to read.

You can alphabetize the guest list and always modify it for future parties.  You can easily add columns such as guest count, meal choice or gift brought.  Plus, you can merge the file to create labels for any purpose, whether it is the actual invitation, place card or thank you note.

Not sure about the particular spelling of someone’s name?  Don’t hesitate to call and ask.  Trust me, it is better to call and ask than to have the guest call and inform you of your mistake.

I hope you gained some tips for your wedding list as well as picked up on a couple of ideas to create your own elegant wedding invitations.  When considering customized wedding invitations, note they will be more expensive but you have the freedom and creativity to make something unique and special for the two of you.

Looking for help in planning your own wedding? Click here for more information and a free wedding consultation.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, stylish, fun and economical for all!

Pics of Wedding Cakes from a Los Angeles Wedding Coordintor

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

In my previous article I provided some wedding cake ideas and tips.  Here are more pics of wedding cakes. Being a Los Angeles wedding coordinator enables me to work with some of the most talented cake designers in the city.

The above two cakes came from Fantasy Frostings.  Notice the flower pics of wedding cakes above.  Fantasy Frostings does intricate and detailed work and they make delicious cakes.  As a Los Angeles wedding coordinator, I depend upon my vendors to not only show up on time but to insure that the details of their work exceed my brides’ expectations.

The pics of wedding cakes below illustrate wedding cake ideas whereby the brides wanted to compliment their wedding decor colors.

Wedding cake ideas for the groom?  Check out this groom’s cake for a music lawyer who loves Wendy’s!

Looking for a Los Angeles wedding coordinator? Click here or give us a ring for a free consultation.  Are you a do-it-yourself bride? Then click here for your copy of Budget Bash.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, stylish, fun and economical for all!

Wedding Cake Ideas for Selecting a Wedding Cake in Los Angeles

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Nothing is more fun when planning your wedding then the cake tasting. Here are some wedding cake ideas and tips when looking for a wedding cake in Los Angeles.

First thing I always tell my clients when discussing wedding cake ideas is to consider what they like in terms of flavors as well as design.  It’s so easy to look at wedding cake designs on the net via the various wedding blogs and websites.  Plus, you can always pick up a wedding magazine or tune into the various entertainment channels to see the latest celebrity wedding to be inspired.

When considering wedding cake designs think about the shape you would like, round, square, triangular, oval, the list goes on.  Or, you can always do a combo of shapes and sizes.  Do you want the cake to lie flat on the table or on a cake stand? (Most party rental stores carry cake stands or you can rent a cake stand from the bakery you purchase the cake from.)

Other wedding cake ideas to consider when selecting your cake is the color.  Do you want it to compliment your wedding decor or be something whimsical and act as an accent and contrast with the decor.  A couple of my brides had plain white cakes and then used the same types of flowers from their centerpieces to decorate their cakes.

Icing is another variable to consider for your wedding cake designs. Buttercream, cream cheese or fondant? Fondant is great because of the various shapes and intricate designs the baker can do with it.  A cream cheese frosting will work best for an indoor versus an outdoor wedding since it has a tendency to melt.  As long as it isn’t too hot and the cake is shaded from the sun, buttercream icing will work fine outdoors.

When looking for a wedding cake in Los Angeles, you have the cream of the crop bakers to consider.  Thanks to Kim Kardashian, Hansen’s Cakes is back on the map. I have used them previously and their cakes are delicious.  Other celebrity cake bakers are Fantasy Frostings (they did my wedding cake and I think they are the best!) and Cake Divas.

And for the groom who loves cake? How about a groom’s cake. Many brides like to honor their grooms with a specialty cake that makes a statement about the man they are marrying.  A wedding cake in Los Angeles that not only honors LA but also the groom is this LA Lakers groom’s cake.

Finally, when considering how many guests your cake should feed, in addition to your guest count keep in mind the following tips:

The number of food courses that will bee served at your event.  Sometimes with a multi-course meal, most people don’t have room for dessert or just want a bite of cake.

Is a dessert course already being served with the multi-course meal?

Finally, make sure to reserve your cake or at least get your name on the baker’s calendar well in advance of your wedding date to insure you have your first choice.

If you would like a free wedding consultation then click here.  Are you a DIY bride? Then click here for my wedding planning book that provides tips and secrets to planning a special event.

I hope some of these wedding cake ideas and tips will help you in your cake selection process.  If you happen to need a wedding cake in Los Angeles, or any city for that matter, keep in mind that you most likely will need a lead time of at least three months if not more.  Finally, don’t be afraid to be creative with your wedding cake designs.  The sky’s the limit when it comes to your day!

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, stylish, fun and economical for all!

A Santa Monica Wedding

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

I recently coordinated a Santa Monica wedding, in fact it was mine! Here are some wedding planning tips I thought I would share with you to help you if you are planning a beach wedding in Los Angeles.

First, consider the time of year you are getting married. If you plan on having a Santa Monica wedding outdoors, then it is best to look to the later part of the summer or early fall, August, September or early October.  Typically, May and June and sometimes even July can be cold and cloudy in the morning and late afternoon. Or as we Angelenos like to call it June Gloom.

Therefore, if you plan on having a beach wedding in Los Angeles, make sure to have a back up plan where you can move it indoors if need be due to weather.  We selected Hotel Casa del Mar because it offered the best of both worlds, a Santa Monica wedding easily accessible for family and guests and it also allowed us to have our beach wedding in Los Angeles!

Other wedding planning tips to think about when deciding on a location for a beach wedding in Los Angeles are:

  1. Do you need special event or photography permits or are there any noise restrictions? Luckily we held our wedding inside the hotel so we didn’t have to worry about the noise and got a permit to shoot our wedding photos at the Santa Monica pier and carousel.
  2. Make sure your guests have options if they don’t want to be outside in the sun if you decide on a Santa Monica wedding.  Provide shade or better yet, give your guests the best of both worlds with one part of  your wedding held outdoors and the other part of the wedding indoors.  For us, it just so happens that an unexpected storm blew in on our wedding day so we had to quickly change our plans and have both the ceremony and reception indoors.  The staff at Hotel Casa del Mar quickly adjusted to this situation and no one had to worry about the strong wind or rain that day.
  3. Not everyone is a friend of the sand.  Some guests are uncomfortable or cannot walk on the sand in their shoes or just don’t want to take their shoes off.  What is great about Hotel Casa del Mar is that the ballroom is on the ground level with a great view of the ocean and if you want, you can walk out to the beach or stay inside and still enjoy the spectacular view.  Therefore, you can have your beach wedding in Los Angeles and not have to worry about getting sand in your shoes!

These are just a few wedding planning tips to consider when planning your beach wedding in Los Angeles. There is a lot more to cover when considering a Santa Monica wedding and will do so in the following weeks.  In the meantime, to find out how we can help you with your dream wedding, click here for more information.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra:  make it simple, stylish, fun and economical to all!

Chocolate Wedding Favors

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Who can resist chocolate wedding favors? At my wedding, my friend Sara, who just so happens to be a chocolate artisan, made these wonderful chocolate truffles.

Click here for Sara’s chocolate truffle recipe.

For these chocolate wedding favors, Sara drew my wedding logo onto the truffles and then packed the chocolate truffles inside the gift box.  She covered the truffles with gold tissue and then wrapped a gold and ivory colored ribbon around the box.  Finally, I had my wedding logo printed onto stickers which Sara used to seal the boxes.

Sara has been making these chocolate truffles for years and on the last page of the chocolate truffle recipe, she offers some tips to ensure your truffles come out as delicious as hers.

A helpful hint with chocolate wedding favors is to make sure to store them in a cool place.  Notify your wedding coordinator or banquet manager as to their location to ensure the chocolate truffles get placed at the guests’ seats. For other party favor ideas and helpful hints, click here to pick up a copy of Budget Bash and check out pages 43 to 45.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, stylish, fun and economical to all!

Flower Arrangements for Weddings

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Here are some pictures of some simple centerpieces when you are considering flower arrangements for weddings.

Flower arrangements for weddings don’t always need to be elaborate to be elegant.  For the first simple centerpiece, just gather some roses and a contrasting flower such as a Calla lily, strip the leaves below the the water line and arrange carefully in a glass container.

For the second simple centerpiece, just take Cymbidium orchids and submerge them in water.  Or for an evening affair, weight down the flowers in the water and float a candle on top.

These simple centerpieces can also be used for bridal showers or even a dinner party.  For more ideas and step-by-step directions to make your own simple centerpiece, just check out my book Budget Bash.  This easy-to-ready inexpensive party planning book is full of insider party planning secrets that you can use for your next event.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, stylish, fun and economical to all!

Rehearsal Dinner Ideas for a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

There are many facets to getting married and one of them is the wedding rehearsal dinner.  As a bride and groom, you want to have fun at this special occasion, spend time with family and close friends prior to getting married and naturally, make this dinner about the two of you.  Here are some rehearsal dinner ideas that you can incorporate into your wedding weekend.

First, like any party, you should try to theme the event and make sure to carry this theme throughout from the invitation to the party.  For us, we love to take jump shots from around the world.  We have us jumping from the beaches of Florida, to the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Half Dome in Yosemite.  Thus for us, it was natural to theme our wedding rehearsal dinner Jumpin’ for Joy.

Look to yourselves as a couple and think of the fun aspects about the two of you. Are you both skiers, computer or music geeks, sports fans, beach bums?  What as a couple are you two known to be by your friends and family and literally bring that to the party. Use these personality traits as part of your decor whether it is displayed in your dinner menu, the party favor or even the table centerpiece.

Also, consider the venue as a part of your theme.  One wedding rehearsal dinner I coordinated was at the beach and we had a BBQ.  The invitations, centerpieces and party favors all included some aspect of the sand and sea.  There are many websites that you can turn to such as your local city’s dinning guide, Great Places or Rehearsal Dinner Guide to research party venues.

When booking your venue, a few aspects to keep in mind are the time of year because of weather issues, number of guests you are hosting, location in proximity to the wedding and whether or not you will be in a private dinning room.  For other tips when scouting a venue for an event, turn to pages 19 to 22 in my book Budget Bash.

A few rehearsal dinner ideas to save money are to make your own invitation, centerpiece or dinner menu.  Also, if the dinner is outdoors, hang some inexpensive lighting or lanterns to add atmospheric lighting to the venue.  We used different photographs of us jumping and made our own invitations and menus and then played off the French theme of the restaurant and created our own French styled-centerpieces.

And don’t forget on your rehearsal dinner invites to let your guests know about parking availability, whether or not to bring a sweater and time and date.  It is amazing how often people make mistakes and confuse the day and time with the wedding versus the wedding rehearsal dinner.

Hope you picked up a few tips for your wedding festivities.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra:  make it simple, stylish, fun and economical to all!

Chair Sashes and Wedding Chair Decor

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

An important part of any sit-down party is the chair your guests will be spending most of the event in.  One way to spruce up the chair is with chair sashes.  Here are some ideas for wedding chair decor that can also be used for any special dinner party you might host.

Want an inexpensive yet elegant touch to your table decor? Chair sashes add a lovely accent to a dinner table and don’t cost too much to rent.  You can tie the sash horizontally with a bow or knot,  or as I did, tie the sash vertically to change up the look on the chair.

Another wedding chair decor idea is to make Just Married signs and place them on the back of the bride and groom chairs.  For our wedding, we took two photos, superimposed Just Married on them and then enlarged and mounted the photos on foam core and placed the signs over the chair sashes.

You can also just write Just and Married on two individual signs and place them on the back of the chairs.  Another wedding chair decor idea is to have your florist create flowered pom poms and hang those from the back of the chair.  In fact, to save some money with your wedding flowers, you can first use the chair adornment on the aisle chairs during the ceremony and then recycle them at the reception.

Chair sashes come in a variety of colors and fabric textures.  You can also mix and match the chair covers with the chair ties as well.  For a corporate dinner event, we used ivory linens and chair covers and then burgundy napkins and chair ties.

Another use for chair ties is weave them through the top back of the chair and then criss-cross them on along the back and down the chair to where the seat cushion is.  This look takes a bit of time so be sure to build that into your timeline.  In fact, unless you have practiced or have tied chairs at previous events, you should estimate at least a minute a chair for a basic knot or bow.

Finally, one last wedding chair decor idea is to order extra large square shaped chair covers and then knot them in the back.  We did this for a birthday party and it added a new dimension to the room.

I hope you found these wedding chair decor ideas useful and can incorporate one of them at your wedding or next special event.  Chair ties are an easy, quick and inexpensive decor idea that will add beauty to any room or dinner party.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra:  make it simple, stylish, fun and economical to all!

Cheap Wedding Veils Made to Look Expensive

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Weddings become very expensive in a matter of minutes so what I thought I would do is share with you how to make cheap wedding veils look expensive.  In my quest for an ivory wedding veil, I was amazed when I started shopping as to how expensive this one item can cost and thus was determined not to go overboard yet still make sure the veil was elegant and beautiful.

When I started looking for an ivory wedding veil, I was determined to match the picture I found in a magazine of my wedding dress, and I wanted to make sure that it t didn’t take away from the majestic long mermaid dress I was going to wear.  However, when I started to shop I nearly dropped!  The wedding dress shops wanted $175 to $250 for a plain simple veil plus it would take six to eight weeks to get the veil.  Where were the cheap wedding veils I asked?!

So, like everything else these days, I went to the internet and typed in cheap wedding veils and found quite a few stores listed in downtown Los Angeles.  They were all located within the same square block making it easy to park and start hunting.  It didn’t take long to find my ivory wedding veil.  I found it at at store called Royal Accessories located on East 9th street, downtown L.A.  They had a large selection, were very friendly and helpful and best of all took credit cards!

I found the exact tulle veil I wanted and then took it to the seamstress that was shortening my dress.  Since she was cutting off the bottom, I asked her to take off some of the lace appliques that were stitched onto that part of my dress and sew them onto the veil.  What started out as a $15 ivory wedding veil (plus $25 for the seamstress) turned into an expensive looking wedding veil that comparatively could have cost hundreds of dollars!

Other helpful hints to make cheap wedding veils look expensive is again to start off with a plain tulle or lace veil and add crystals to the veil.  Or you can find a decorative hair piece and add some lace or tulle to that as well.  My mother actually had a white flower hair comb and all she did was add an extra couple of white silk flowers to it as well as a few crystals and it turned out beautifully.  Better yet, I still wear it to this day!

Finally, looking for a real bargain? Ask around to borrow your veil.  That is how my quest for my wedding veil started.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, stylish, fun and economical to all!