Oliveaire - South Asian Events

Oliveaire provides the hospitality industry a channel to explore the ethnic event market influenced with culture and tradition. Clients are able to depend upon our knowledge and understanding of the unique needs of the customs, meal preferences, and accommodations generated by these events. Our team, with its ethnic background, has been our cornerstone in provding our clientele the best service in the wedding and special event market.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Picking the Perfect Wedding Date

Today we are over at Top Wedding Sites talking about how to pick your perfect wedding date. Come check it out!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hi lovely brides,

It's been a very busy start to the event season. Today I am sharing some photos from a beautiful wedding we were honored to be a part of on May 29, 2011. Oliveaire provided all of the floral, decor, lighting, linen, chivari chairs and planning for this amazing couple's wedding celebration. We hope you enjoy the photos as much as we do!

Check out this great post from our friends at Foodie Registry: Modern Wedding Registry Tips

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Enchanting Varmala

It is no surprise that South Asian weddings have the grandeur of a Royal Wedding, but these trendy weddings are meticulously designed, down to every last detail. The exchanging of the garlands is an intricate part of a Hindu ceremony. A marriage is not complete unless the bride accepts her husband into her life.

Photo courtesy of R.E.M.

A traditional Varmala (or Jaimala depending on the region you are from) is made of Marigolds. But since Indian weddings have stepped into the world of modern and couture trends, brides and grooms are looking to honor the ritual of exchanging the garlands, with a stylish lei of blooms.

Here are some concepts from our design studio, giving you some out of the box ideas to:

GO SMALL: The beauty and charm of mini spray roses vs. full bloom rose can add simplicity to the competing bridal sari and sherwani.

BLING IT: Add crystal studs to add sparkles to your blooms. Embellish the garland with an antique brooch that can be saved long after the ceremony as a memory of your acceptance of marriage.

LOVE the orchids: Mokara orchids are sophisticated and elegant. Orchid garlands can keep the tradition but bring the chic element to the ritual.

STYLE IT: Garlands don’t have to just be about connecting the flowers. Include patterns into garlands that can tie in the design theme of your wedding.

Can you FAKE it?? As a designer I am torn on answering this question. And I mean about using Faux flowers to create your garlands. I am partial to fresh flowers in most design situation. However, I have seen families order beautiful and superbly designed marriage garlands from India. The main advantage of these “fake garlands” is that you can preserve your garlands whether or not the blooms you want to use will allow you to do so. Whichever you decide, these garlands are rooted deep in culture and tradition, and they are beautiful.

Whatever your choice may be in selecting your garlands, know that you are not bound by color or blooms in creating your one of a kind designer garland.

Friday, May 6, 2011


The wedding ceremony was absolutely beautiful and the reception is going along fantastically. The MC has started to announce the people to make toasts. Oh no, what will he say? What will she bring up? How long is dad going to talk? These are some of the questions that may be going through your mind but can be handled with a little preliminary work. Toasts can be a very memorable part of the evening and you certainly don’t want it remembered as the time that the best man was too drunk or dad’s speech was 40 minutes long. Here are our tip tips, you can share with your toast-givers, to guarantee a successful toast:

Don’t make it about you
You have been asked by the bride and / or groom to give a speech about why the wedding is happening and what makes it so great. The number one key to a successful toast is to make it about the couple you are toasting. Don’t talk about you, rather keep it focused on the bride and groom.

Don’t get hammered before taking the microphone
This point seems quite obvious, but it is not. Wait until after your toast to visit the bar. Even if you are traditionally a fantastic speaker, slurring your words will certainly not impress the guests. Also, if one has had a bit too much to drink they may tend to ramble and repeat the same story, and they will not even know they are doing it.

Be clear and concisePrior to the big day decide upon three stories (Max!), and at least one good thing about both the bride and groom as individuals, and one of them as a couple, to incorporate into your toast or speech. The more these stories relate to each other the better.

Don’t get side-tracked
Stick with the pre-planned work you have done on the toast. Stay with the three stories and comments about the bride and groom. Sometimes when you are recalling memories they will lead you to more memories, which can lead to another story, and all of the sudden you are rambling and taking far too long to make a memorable toast. Since the wedding reception room is filled with family, older relatives, and close childhood friends, your toast should be PG or PG-13 rated. Steer clear of any topics that may offend.

Start preparing early
Type or write down your thoughts on the speech. By writing it down it will help you remember it better, and assist you in honing it down, and then it is quite easy to edit if needed. Also by writing it down you can practice in front of the mirror, or a loved one, to get more comfortable in delivering the speech.

Use your Speech 101 skills
All of us at one time or another in high school or college took a speech class. Now is the time to recollect and use those skills. Keep the toast short (3 minutes is a good starting point), keep it simple and keep the audience entertained. Make the guests understand why you were chosen for this special moment. Mixing in some humor and keeping it about the bride and groom is sure to be a winner.

Keep it real
The more true to yourself, the more the audience will be on your side. Some of the best speeches are two to three sentences, sharing a heartfelt congratulations and genuine wishes for full of love, because they were delivered with sincerity that you can see if their face or even hear in the sound of their voice. As long as you are comfortable in honoring the bride and groom this works best.

Have fun
Have fun but not too much fun. You want to deliver your speech fluently and clearly. You want to show emotion and sincerity and that can sometimes be difficult if you are having too much fun. It is a tradition and honor to be selected for this task, and should be given your full attention and regard.

Know that the actual purpose of giving a toast is to wish the couple happiness and blissful life ahead. Make sure you keep this in mind when you say your toast. Give your perspective of why that is the case and then you can gracefully make your exit to the bar.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lighting Up Your Space

Have you seen some gorgeous event pictures recently? Take a closer look and you will probably notice that there is some type of lighting element as part of that event. New technology in the lighting field has opened the door to many possibilities for lighting that were simply not possible, or affordable, as recently has five years ago.

Today lighting your wedding reception means so much more than flipping a switch. You can put your touch in almost all lighting elements. “Lighting creates a mood” says event designer Preston Bailey, and when it is done well, lighting can make everything, including your wedding flowers, cake and guests look better. Now that you have seen the captivating pictures and have decided you want to incorporate lighting into your event, what do you do?

Find a company that specializes in lighting.
To obtain suggestions in your local area you can ask your event designer or wedding florist, many of them do their own lighting. If they do not, more than likely, they work with a lighting professional in the industry. You can also check with your contact at your reception venue, they will either offer options in-house or a recommended vendor list for lighting professionals they work with.

Learn lighting lingo
Here are some lighting terms that you will hear regularly:
Pin Spot - A focused beam of light that shines directly onto an object, like a centerpiece or wedding cake, as a highlight effect.
Color Wash - There are a few different types of light fixtures that can create a "wash," which is basically a blanket of colored light covering an entire area.
Gobos - Circular stencils that are put over a light to project a design or pattern. Popular gobo designs are monograms, dates, or any other wedding motifs.
LED - Short for light-emitting diodes, LED lights are currently popular for weddings because they use much less electricity (and don't get as hot) than regular, incandescent light bulbs. They are also available in a wireless feature so they are even more discreet.
Uplights – These are commonly LED lights that are placed around the perimeter of your venue to cast an illuminating glow around the room. Today’s technology allows for these to stay a static color all night or change as different activities occur in the room such as cake cutting, first dance and the late night dancing.

Assess Your Site
If you're planning an evening reception, make sure to visit your site at least once when it's dark outside. Look around the room and see where the fixed lighting is focused. Lights that illuminate the walls, windows, and ceiling can draw attention away from the center of the room -- and you want to keep everyone's eyes on the tables, dance floor, and each other. Ask if the site has dimmers for their overhead lights or if their florescent lighting can be turned off. Also, make sure there won't be any service doors kept open, which could flood the space with light and ruin the effect.

Use Color
As well as the multiple colors in your wedding gown think outside your wedding palette when you use colored lights. Try to incorporate colors that you have incorporated in your centerpieces to keep consistency throughout the event. Your own wedding outfit, table linen and backdrops are other features to look to when thinking of colors choices for your event.

Choose the Right Lights
It is always important to keep in mind the layout of your reception venue. High ceilings versus low ceilings will dramatically change how the lighting will enhance the room. Pin spotting in a room with high ceilings can really accentuate your floral centerpieces and finally, gobos can be fun with monograms on the dance floor or patterns on the wall. Work with your lighting designer to figure out which type of lighting fits your budget.

No matter what lighting you chose know that lighting puts your other elements on steroids. If you spend $25,000 on flowers, and $10,000 on lighting done properly, it will look like you spent $75,000 on flowers. Again the sky is the limit on lighting and it is only going to get better with time.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Styling Your Mehndi

Today's Blog is brought to you by Senior Event Architect Mahvish Bhatty. She hass a wealth of experience planning South Asian Wedding events and is sharing some of her best tips with you today:

Mehndi is an event prior to the Wedding Ceremony and usually takes place a day before as a pre-party. Mehndi night is considered to be a fun night and filled with dance performances by family/friends and dancing the night away. This is the most vibrant and lively event which is part of the wedding weekend for most South Asian countries.

Styling your Mehndi should be the most exciting portion of your wedding planning. I have seen many couples go simple with Mehndi nights and some have gone all out to show the true culture and colors of the night. For starters, make sure to incorporate Mehndi colors into the event which are yellow, orange, light pink, all shades of green, and you can even throw purple to create a vibrant ambiance.

Music is the most important aspect for a Mehndi Night so keep a budget for a good DJ who will work with your friends and families for dance performances and also provide music for open floor dancing. If you do not have a budget for a DJ then you will need to assign an individual either family or friend to play the music through the sound system that you rent or the venue provides. However, going cheap on this aspect might not provide the full benefit of a Mehndi night.

Let’s talk about décor: I already mentioned some of the colors to incorporate. No, you don’t need to have full flower bouquets on each table as a center piece; you can save that for the actual wedding reception. But what you should do is get colored linens for the tables and ties for the chair covers. The colors listed above would be ideal for the Mehndi night or you can choose colors according to your clothing style. For center pieces you can use decorative lanterns that bring a traditional look or you can have a candle tree that holds votive candles that are in vibrant Mehndi colors. Center pieces can be kept simple but should reflect a traditional feel since Mehndi is a cultural event.

The stage however, should be done nicely. This will be the focal point for the bride & groom. Most décor vendors have a decorative wooden swing where the couple will sit during the Mehndi ceremony and watch their family and friends perform dances for them. I have also seen some couples get a colorful fabric Mandap which definitely sets the style for the Mehndi, which I would recommend, as it makes the room appear elegant and full of vibrant colors.

Lastly, to add finishing touches, rent lounge furniture with vibrantly colored pillows. You can arrange these furniture pieces around the dance floor so during the dance performances your guests can move away from their tables and sit closer to the dance floor. Add this as part of your design creates a fun ambiance that is full of energy.

Choosing the right design studio is of course the way to go, as they provide brilliant décor ideas and their team arrives on the day of your Mehndi to setup the room. These ideas will definitely style up your Mehndi and a night you will always remember!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Menu Planning

Nothing is more important than serving your guests delicious Indian food at an Indian wedding, and plenty of it. Wedding feast is a grand and extravagant affair. There are three things that guests take away from the event: floralscape, service and food. No South Asian wedding is complete without serving delicious samosa, paneer tikka, chicken makhani and yummy gulab jamun.

The toughest part of planning the celebration feast is choosing which types of Indian cuisine to serve, offering regional variety on the menu for the multiple days of your “Big Fat Indian Wedding”. With increasing numbers of bi-cultural weddings, couples looking to find modern fusion Indian food, and their parents looking for the traditional it is no surprise that couples find themselves at multiple tastings and adding a few pounds to their waistlines. In the end you will find the meal you have selected will be enjoyed by young and old, modern and traditionalist.

Here are our tips when selecting your wedding reception meal:

These days the length of the cocktail reception can range from 11/2 to 2hrs. If you are facing a long reception it is a good idea to offer variety of selections to your guest. Hosting a chaat station such as Kachori Chaat or Mangoe Dal Chaat can keep your guests engaged. Butler passing of 2 vegetarian and 1 or 2 non-vegetarian items is also a good idea. Set up a buffet station or Tawa station to showcase items such as grilled paneer with peppers and onions, or Kaati Kabob rolled in tawa paratha.

The Main Course:
Most families will struggle when deciding the style of service they would like to select for dinner. Buffet can be a safe option, with limitless choices of entrée selection, whereas sit down service brings the formal celebration to the dining experience but does limit the selection.

If selecting buffet, offering 3 vegetarian selections, 2 non-vegetarian, 2 rice, mixed bread and 3 desserts is a stand option. If you are looking for a modern touch to the sit down service, create a multiple course selection. Offer soup as a first course and follow it with a hearty salad duet including an Indian appetizer, family style bowls of entrée can follow the main course and the grand finale to such a grand meal is to present a trio of mini Indian desserts.

Check with your venue if they will allow the caterer to prepare fresh tandoor naan or tandoor meats on site.

Just Desserts:
This is where you can let your creativity take over. Indians are not known for their desserts but there are combinations of desserts that can be finger licking good. How about chef frying fresh jalebis and serving it with rabadi? Or how does hot tawa of pineapple, badam and gajjar halwa sound with a scoop of lychee or orange ice-cream? Call it a Hot A La Mode. Do you want to set the place on fire? Then you must try gulab jamun Flambé, if you have never had it you are truly missing out.

No matter what your selection, selecting the caterer that can deliver innovative and quality product is a must. Food is one place that no sacrifice must be made. Guests are always happy with the basic but if you are going to WOW them, make sure to select some items that keep the true ethnic flair.

Bon Appétit

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Budgeting for a Baraat

Baraat has become one of the essential wedding rituals for South Asian Weddings. It’s very festive with great music, and most of all a horse and/or elephant are involved. As with every aspect of a wedding, there is a cost to holding this event. It is important to include the Baraat in your overall wedding budget.

To further enhance your knowledge with this cultural ritual, Baraat is a
bridegroom’s wedding procession in North India and Pakistan. In North Indian communities, it is customary for the bridegroom to travel to the wedding venue on a horse or horse carriage, accompanied by his family members.

The Baraat can become a large procession, with its own dhol player (drummer) with a mobile music cart for the songs. Most Baraat’s do not, or shall I say should not, exceed a one hour period.The groom and his horse are dressed nicely for the wedding occasion, and do not usually take part in the dancing and singing; that is left to the family & friends (often called the baraaties) accompanying the procession. In some families, the groom may or may not carry a sword. Everybody dances to the tunes of the song and music played by the dhol player accompanying them. The family and friends in the procession are rejoicing because an eligible bachelor in their family will finally start his new life, along with his life partner. Amongst all the celebration, the Baraat eventually reaches the marriage spot, where the family members of the bride, await them.

Photo provided by R.E.M. Photography

Now you must be thinking, “Renting a horse and dhol player, wow, this can get expensive.” Yes, holding a Baraat is not inexpensive, but if you budget the wedding right you can fit this into your wedding activities. The horse rental cost is approximate $375 and if you wish to rent a horse carriage then the price can be as high as $575. This includes the white horse in festive wear. Dhol players usually charge $300 for the hour long service. You will want to verify with the hotel, or venue of your ceremony, that you can have space for the Baraat, and let them know it will be a noisy affair. You will also want to look into any possible restrictions on having a horse or elephant at the property.

As mentioned earlier, Baraat is a very fun and festive moment for the Groom’s Family. Whether you are from North India, South India, or Pakistan, I have seen many families hosting a Baraat for their son, to enhance the wedding activities a notch.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who sits where?

It’s one of the most daunting tasks when approaching your wedding celebrations, putting together the seating charts. After you have figured out which guests will be seated at which table you need to figure out how you will communicate that information to your guests on the big day. There are Place Cards, Escort Cards, Scrolls and more. You may be wondering what all the lingo means, here are some pointers:

Place Card:
A place card indicates exactly where a guest should be seated, including which table, and which seat at the table. This card is placed at the guest’s seat. You may use a Place Card in conjunction with an…

Escort Card:
An escort card tells a guest which table he or she is to be seated at. Most often you will find one card per couple on a table during the cocktail hour.

Instead of giving each guest a “card” you may choose to keep all of the guest seating information in one place. This is often beautifully done on a scroll. Besides giving guests a place to check back if they loose their escort card a scroll can be a beautiful keepsake for the bridal couple. It may be more difficult to make last minute changes to seating if you chose to use a scroll, so keep that in mind when allocating your time to assign seating.

Thinking about scraping all of them? DON’T! I promise you, you will have some tables half empty, and 18 of your colleagues trying to squeeze into one so they can sit together. If you are not up for assigning each seat, take some time and at least assign each guest to a table.

Do yourself a favor and do your seating chart in Microsoft Excel. Provide your coordinator (or a trusty friend) with two copies of the list, one sorted in alphabetical order by last name and another sorted by table number. This will allow your coordinator to help guests find their table number if they can’t find their name on a card or the scroll. It will also allow the coordinator to know where open seats are quickly if the guest’s RSVP did not reach you in time to assign their table.

When it comes time to assign tables think about where the speakers are going to be set-up, which tables will be closest to service doors (and thus server chatter and some kitchen noise) and which family members and other VIPs you want seated closest to you and your bridal party. Enlist the help of both families if you are having trouble placing people, especially those you might not know as well.

Take a deep breathe, when you get to this step you are in the home stretch!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Buff and Beautiful

Every bride has a vision of what they will look like on their wedding day. In most of our daydreams we are a little thinner, have hair worthy of a shampoo commercial and clear, glowing, skin. If only we could daydream that into life.

After doing some research on how to get the most bang for our buck in wedding prep, here are some helpful tips:

Hydrate! Water intake is important for our body to function well, and it keeps our skin looking young and supple. You’ll also stay young by…

Getting your zzzs. I know, it’s easier said than done, but try to schedule some rest for yourself. You’re make-up artist won’t have to worry about bags under your eyes, and you’ll have energy to…

Exercise your stress out, go for a jog or take a kick-boxing class to work out your wedding related anxiety. Be sure to…

Balance your workout. There is too much of a good thing, so don’t just jump on a treadmill and call it a day. You will see your best results if you incorporate weight/resistance training. You don’t have to bulk up, but aren’t we all hoping for toned arms ala Jennifer Aniston?! Also try to make time for yoga to de-stress and keep those muscles looking long and lean. Speaking of balance…

Balance your diet. Eating a balanced diet can help keep your hormones and emotions in check, which is important leading up to such a big event. Beware of caffeine and sugar, they are not your friend in this time. But it is important for you to…

Find a friend! Working out and eating healthy is much easier if you have someone else in your corner. I bet your mom, sister or one of your friends is also hoping to shape up for your wedding. Set time each week to exercise together, and check-in regularly on your progress

The days and weeks leading up to your wedding are sure to be full of fun, but also stress and anxiety. Take time for yourself and you will look AND feel better for your big day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wedding Transportation

You’ve been engaged for some time now and the planning of the event is coming along beautifully. Bridal outfits have been handled, venue has been chosen, floral and décor elements are starting to take shape and the tasting has been scheduled. What could you have possibly forgotten? Don’t worry it is the most overlooked and / or assumed item; your wedding transportation. After all, to enjoy your wedding ceremony and or reception, you have to get there.

While the most popular vehicle is definitely the limousine other options include antique and vintage cars, horse drawn carriages, trolleys and even large buses. Most transportation companies recommend booking your transportation needs approximately 8 months in advance with most companies being sold out on Saturday’s during the peak wedding season.

Photo courtesy of theknot.com

When booking your wedding transportation, consider the following 10 items:

1 - What type and how many vehicles will you require for your event? Determine how many vehicles you will need based upon how many people will be required to utilize the transportation and decide if you would like them all to travel together, or in separate groups. Also keep in mind any additional space that you as a bride might need based upon your bridal outfit, headpieces or bridesmaid dresses. These often times will require additional space such as extra-wide doors which most transportation companies can accommodate.

2 - What times will I need the transportation? Will you require the transportation for only a few hours or for all day and / or night? Ask when your allotted time begins and when overtime charges start and what those charges will be. Also check to see if there is an additional charge for added mileage.

3 - What happens if my transportation breaks down? Ask for details about the vehicles available and inquire about insurance, licenses and service schedules. If something happens to the transportation the company should have ample and reliable back up’s available.

Photo courtesy of theknot.com

4 - Do you have any preferred rates? Many times transportation companies will have preferred rates for multiple car bookings, while others offer discounts for off-day weddings like Fridays, Sundays or weekdays. Find out when you payment is required and what kinds of payment are accepted.

5 - What if I am running late and need the transportation longer than I contracted? Always book your wedding transportation vehicles for 1 to 2 hours longer than necessary. Many companies will be handling multiple events each day and a rental extension at the last minute may be impossible based upon their schedule.

6 - Will I be required to sign a contract? Not only will you be required to sign a contract but make sure to read the fine print of the contract carefully. Does it clearly indicate all pick up times, delivery times and payment schedules?

Photo courtesy of theknot.com

7 - What happens if I have to cancel some or all of the transportation? Once again verify and read your contract very carefully. All reputable companies will clearly define their cancellation policies and / or penalties.

8 - Do I need to tip the driver? Always ask the company if the total cost includes a gratuity for the driver as this policy ranges depending upon the company that you chose. Also inquire how the driver will be attired. Since it is a wedding the driver should be in a black suit or even a tuxedo. The last thing you want is to be picked up by a driver in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt unless that is what you want.

9 - What do I do when I find the right company? What you find the right company and package; sign the contract, pay the required deposit and get a receipt.

10 - What do I do after I sign the contract? Once the contract is signed you can concentrate on the other details of your special day. Do call and confirm your transportation details at least two weeks prior to your big day.

Photo courtesy of theknot.com

Your wedding transportation is a small detail, but an essential one. By addressing your needs early in your planning, you make sure the road to romance stays smooth and clear.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It Takes a Village

Anyone who has been part of a wedding knows that it takes a village. Not just the village of family of friends, but the team of vendors who will work together to make your wedding dream a reality.

The average wedding has anywhere from 5 – 15 different vendors providing services from food to photography to beauty services.

Here are my top 5 tips for working with vendors:

1. Get it in writing. You should have a contractual agreement with each vendor, and the contract should detail their services and any of your special requests.

2. Assign someone to be a liaison with each vendor for the day of the wedding. As the bride you should not have to worry about final payments, etc.

3. Communicate your wants and needs, before the big day. Be sure that each person or team you have hired is clear on your expectations of the day. Trust me, reputable vendors want to make your day special as much as you want them to perform at their best.

4. Ask for recommendations. Ask family and friends about their experiences, and vendors that they have been happy with in the past. Once you have found a vendor you trust, ask them who they work with as well.

5. Ask the “What If?” questions. What if… my party runs late, you’re sick the day of my wedding, someone breaks a vase, our date changes, etc.

Remember, you and your vendors both want your wedding day to be a stunning success, so work together as a team and you are sure to be pleased.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Top 5 Wedding Budget Crashers

We posted this last year, and thought it was worth repeating:

It’s that time of the year, and calculators are busy cranking up numbers. No it’s not tax time yet, but it IS time to set your wedding budget. There are plenty of wedding resource websites and magazines that give couples a cookie cutter budget format to guide them on how their wedding budget will be spent. I personally feel that budgets are subjective. What is important to one bride may not be important to the other. So as a bridal couple, you should prepare a list of items that are of absolute importance to you, and another list of those that are not. For e.g. a high end photographer with a photo journalistic style of capturing your wedding day is a must but a videographer may not be as important. I have worked with couples that have put a higher emphasis on the food then on the flowers, or on securing a specialty venue and not the caterer.

As to any budget that is set, whether buying a car, home or vacation there are always those unexpected costs that can put a dinger on your spending limit. So consider the following when setting up your budget Excel spreadsheet:

#1 Venues that charge a service charge: Clarify if the service charge will be taxable. It won’t devastate your budget, but it may impact you by few hundred dollars.

#2 Gown Alterations: You may have just spent thousands of dollars on that perfect gown, that will make you the trendy sophisticated bride that you are, but to get the right fit you may need to spend some time with a seamstress. Alterations may not be included in the price of the gown.

#3 Stamps: AAHHHH Stamps. The current price for your mail to travel in style is $.44 cents. Not only will you need the stamps for the Reply cards but also if you are sending out “Save the Date” cards. In addition I have yet to have an invitation that fell in the weight category of first class mail. I have clients that have paid as much as $5 in stamps per invitation, to mail their invitations to 300 of their closest friends.

#4 Make Up and Hair Trial: To make sure you have stylish hair style and photogenic make up, Brides will need to spend time with a Make up Artist and Hair Stylist before the big day. A consultation to create the glowing look on your special day is extremely important. There should be no surprises on the day of the wedding. In doing so, keep in mind that these trials do cost money. You can expect to pay as little as $50, to as high as $250, just to finalize the style and glamour of your beautiful day.

#5 Night Pick-up: Depending on the time your event finishes, and the ability of the venue to let the flowers/décor/specialty linens stay in the reception room you may incur additional charge. This is a must have conversation with your venue. If the venue requires that your floral/décor/linen company pick up the items at the end of the reception time these vendors may charge you for a night pick-up. The cost can be $125 to $900 depending on the work that will be involved. Having too much fun dancing and want to keep going? Don’t keep them waiting to start tear down or you may be stuck with overtime fees as well.

Let us know about costs that you have had that you didn’t account for.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


A Mandap is sacred tent used in Hindu wedding ceremonies. Mandaps come in a wide variety of sizes and designs ranging from traditional to contemporary and can be custom-created to suit style, taste, décor, theme, and budget. Finding your dream Mandap is easily possible by exploring all of your options. The best way to start is to talk to several different companies and visit their showrooms to see if you like their work. Many companies have online portfolios that can be found through the help of a search engine. Talk to the decorators and tell them what you have in mind. If you are unsure, they will be able to help you make the right decision, one that will suit your taste and budget. A good decorator will work with you to find the right type of product to match your theme and wedding décor.

For many modern couples the Mandap is a fashion statement in itself, and a very integral part of the wedding decorations. However, traditionally, the Mandap is the focal point of the Hindu wedding, where the ceremony is conducted around the sacred fire. The four pillars of the structure represent the Vedas and each stand for Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. They also represent the four parents of the couple. Mandaps have greatly evolved over the years, and are nowadays also used by Muslims and Sikhs. A Mandap is the focal point of the wedding, and creates a sacred and decorative atmosphere for the couple to exchange their vows. Whether the Mandap holds religious or artistic significance for you, it will serve as the central spotlight during your wedding.

Traditional Mandap designs include colored paintwork, mirror work and the use of fabrics. Contemporary designs combine western elements and designs. Popular designs include the round top, chandeliers, wooden carved Mandaps, roman pillars, iron domes, fresh flowers, and the use of ornate drapes. A Mandap should be as unique as the couple it is for. It should reflect their individuality and allow them to express themselves. Mandaps are accented with plants, flowers, candles, backdrops, lighting, statues, water fountains, and several other accessories. A good wedding decorator will go out of their way in order to ensure that the Mandap not only suits the couple, but coordinates all the accessories with the wedding theme and colors.

A typical price range for Mandaps is between $1,000 and $3,000. Any additional decorations and set-ups will accrue additional charges. The company should provide you with a sales contract that will state you requirements, and your exact price, including the amount of your initial deposit. The Mandap decorators will also have to visit your venue in order to ensure that the Mandap you have selected is the right size for the area. Variations will depend on whether or not the Mandap will be on a stage or not, and also the size of the room itself. A Mandap that is too big in a small room will yield incorrect proportions and be overpowering.

Mandaps require at least two hours to set-up. Additional decorations and flowers will need longer. Above all, finding the perfect Mandap should be creative and enjoyable, not only for you but should also involve the help of your fiancé, and friends and family members. Combined with the knowledge of the decorator, advice from friends and family, and your own imagination, you can have your dream Mandap, a memorable place for you to begin your new life as a couple.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Top Wedding Sites

Hi everyone,

We're over at Top Wedding Sites today, we hope you'll check out our blog on changing your look throughout your wedding day.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Will you choose a Florist or a Designer?

Flowers and décor can be the next highest ticket item for a wedding. Aside from floral centerpieces, if one wants to truly create a stunning wedding, there are selection such as lines, lighting, chairs, lounge furniture, bellowing fabrics, illumination box etc etc. If the budget allows you to “Pimp Up” your big day, the most common question is should I choose a Florist or an Event Designer??

These can be neighborhood shops that have been part of the community for years. They cater to “foot traffic” and create arrangements that cater more towards the personal flowers. Some florists have taken on the additional business of weddings. However, they can be limited in their resources and inventory. They may tend to be less “hands-on”. They will not be a one stop shop if you want to add linen, lighting, etc. to your event. You will work individually with different vendors and connect the dots so to speak.

Price: Value to Middle

Event Designers
An Event Designer will create an overall design concept and ensure that the visual details are cohesive with the color story and floral palette. A Creative Director will select products from many resources and are not limited to inventory, color or design. They will spend time with each client to in creating a unique wedding day. It will reflect the couple’s personal style, and brand the event with layering of visual astonishment. A design studio can offer a complete look for your event including linens, furnishing, fabrics, up lighting, covered dance floor, custom products etc.

An Event Designer will have more flexibility on time. Service and Products will be the highest priority. They will have a trained crew to produce the event as it has been envisioned. Even if the company had partnered up to provide certain elements of the event, it is the Creative Director that will connect all the dots for a stunning wedding.

Price: Middle to High

As I always tell my newly engaged brides, inform yourself on the limitations of your wedding team. This will allow you to create a cohesive picture of your big day. The more you are vested with your vendors and they are vested with you, there won’t be any surprises as you walk down the aisle.

BBFN (Bridal Bliss For Now),

Friday, January 14, 2011

2010: A Year in Photos

2010 was a wonderful year for weddings and other events at Oliveaire. There really is no better way to recap a year of work than photos. We hope you enjoy these as much as we enjoy seeing thme again.

The beautiful grand ballroom foyer at Hyatt Regency O'Hare

Wonderful natural light at Doubletree Downers Grove's Esplanade Lakes

Thanks to Delora and John for allowing us to be part of their day at the Westin Chicago North Shore

A beautiful day at Signature Events at Seven Bridges

Natural elements showcase the space at Pinstripes

Awe-inspiring mandap by the Oliveaire design team

Elegant lounge at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center

We are looking forward to 2011 events and a whole new year of pictures and memories.

Happy New Year!