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, 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.