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.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bridal Registries

Bridal Registries are something brides and grooms still have and are doing it more fabulously then ever. At the start of a marriage, most couples have either not lived together and/or cannot afford much. They need all the help they can get, and this has not changed and probably will not change in coming years. It is also exciting for most couples to go to a couple of stores and pick out items that they will share and remember for the rest of their lives. We have created an updated list of tips for you and your fiancé to remember when registering for your possible gifts from your loved ones. 

1. How to Tell Your Guests About Your Registry Tastefully

Telling your guests about where to shop for your wedding presents can be a pretty awkward moment. Timing and how it is told are two important factors you should remember to announce tastefully where you will be registered. In today’s society, most couples create their own wedding website for guests to look at and be updated on the upcoming nuptials. When creating your website, create a link that shows where exactly you are registered. This way you are not directly telling them and they will still find out where and when to go. Pinterest is also a popular way to place your registry items on a website for your guests to search what you are hoping for. This is also a great method, because you can directly link each item to the website where they may purchase it. Your guests will really appreciate this because of the convenience of having it right there in front of them and they can purchase this item without leaving their house. Other ways we suggest is word of mouth and/or showing your registered stores on your bridal shower invitations. We do not recommend however to tell about your wedding registry in your initial wedding invitations. Today, this would be considered improper etiquette and we encourage you to wait a while to tell your guests in a different way. However, if you would like your guests to know right away, you could post your wedding website on your invitations to sneak around this.

2. After the Engagement, When Should You Register?

We recommend that you wait around one month or longer after you announce your engagement to register. This also depends on when you are planning on getting married. If you want a short engagement, we would recommend waiting about one month or so. If a year or more engagement is something you are wanting, than we recommend waiting a couple of months, so it does not feel like you are rushing your guests and you can also ask for more up-to-date items that might not have been in stores earlier that year.

3. Shop Ahead of Time

We recommend that you go to the stores you would like to register at before the appointment to not only save you time but headaches as well. By going before your appointment, make sure you like what they have and browse their items to have an idea on what you would like to register for. Registering can be very time consuming, so by having an idea of what you would want can help save you a lot of time. Also, we already know most men hate shopping (especially for items like glassware and decor), so by cutting the time down registering, will be something he will truly appreciate.

3. Make An Appointment

Believe it or not, registering for your wedding day can be very time consuming and might last more than one day at a single store. Calling ahead of time to make an appointment will ensure you personalized attention and will guarantee that you know everything there is to know about the store and the item you are registering for. Also, when you arrive there will be some paperwork to fill out in order to ensure your guests will know that it is you they are purchasing for.

4. Make Sure to Register With More Than One Store

This is mostly important because you will be saving your guests a lot of possible travel time and stress. We recommend that you register with 3-5 stores. By doing this you can make things easier for your guests because they will be able to at least access one store since they might not live near certain other stores. By registering with one department store as well, you can almost guarantee that your guests will have one that is not too far away from them. Registering at different stores such as boutiques, shops and department stores will also allow you to have a variety of different gifts that other stores might not have in stock. All around, it may be a headache to register at more than one store, but you and your guests will appreciate the variety to choose from.

You and your fiancé are just starting off life together, so having a registry is very important and is still very relevant in today’s society. Your friends and your family want to help you two out in any ways possible, and by having a registry, they can see exactly what the two of you want and need. Having a registry not only takes the stress away from you and your fiancé, but it also takes the stress away from your guests because they know they are spending money on something you truly want and need in order to start your wonderful and happy lives together. 

BBFN (Bridal Bliss For Now),

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pulling a Room Together: Enhancing Your Event With Linens!

The feeling of glitz, glamour, luxuriousness and elegance can all be brought to life with the use of linens on your wedding day.   From the wide selection of fabrics, colors, and patterns to choose from, there will be something that matches the tone you are trying to set.  There are many different ways linens can be used to enhance your venue in a whimsical and romantic way.  Here are some helpful tips of advice on what linens would be a perfect match and how to incorporate them on your wedding day. 

Finding Your Perfect Linen
1. Research: When searching for inspiration for your lavish linens, be sure to research everything from colors to the material. Every aspect is important and everything will determine the look and feel of your venue space. Always consider what you have envisioned and get advice from the experts and from your family and friends. Both will help you come up with what would be perfect for the atmosphere you are trying to portray. 

2. Color Considerations:Even though bright colors are trending this year, the use of ivories and whites for table clothes and chair covers are more popular than ever. Here are a few reasons as to why you should consider ivory or white for your linen choices.
· Plain and simple, white and ivory are the easiest to decorate with because it matches just about everything.  It is very good against splashes of colors from your table napkins and your centerpieces.
· White and Ivory also look absolutely breathtaking with up lighting because it will somewhat turn the color of your room without blending into the backdrop. Either of these two colors shimmers against the lighting.
· If you are looking to save money and you are lucky enough to have this, most venues can only provide white or ivory linens when it is a part of their wedding package.

Even though there are many different benefits to having white and ivory linens, the use of colored linens can also look just as magnificent. It may be a little more tough to mix and match and get the lighting right, but we have seen some exquisite venue spaces with colored linens before. Be creative and follow your heart on what you believe fits your personality and your vision.

3. Other Ways to Use Fabric Besides a Table Cover
Chair Covers: The use of fabric to cover a chair can turn a fabulous chair into a spectacular piece of art that flows with the scenery. Sure we have seen couples choose to use the venues chairs without a cover or order specialty chairs that match the décor, but the use of a cover and possibly a wrap around of another color, really pulls the whole room together.
Backdrop: A very unique way of incorporating fabrics into your wedding day is by using a backdrop made of all linen. Although this might be an expensive way to incorporate linens because of all the yards it will require, you could use this backdrop at both the ceremony and the reception. The below picture shows a backdrop that we did in the past that incorporates two different colors and if you look close enough you will see that it has elements of crystal curtains throughout.
Aisle: Flowing fabric aisles definitely gives off a romantic and flowing feel to a ceremony space. Although it may be tough to keep everyone off of it before you walk down the aisle, it will be well worth it. We have seen some beautiful aisles that are made of linen and are topped with flower pedals going all the way down to the alter or the Mandap. Below is a picture from one of the weddings we did the décor for that has a breathtaking fabric aisle with floral elements. 
Mandap and Stage: At Oliveaire we specialize in South Asian weddings. With the above picture, you can see a gorgeous fabric Mandap made out of all linens with a hint of floral elements. The stage is also covered with a beautiful soft white fabric. This luxurious way of decorating a Mandap looks absolutely romantic and the lighting brings out the beautiful pink color.

4. Steps You Should Take
1. Research information and size of tables, chairs and other measurements where you might be incorporating linens. This information includes if your venue space provides linens or areas close to you that can provide you the linens you want.
2. Find out Costs. Call around to many different places and compare costs on the amount of fabric you will need and their services to deliver and possibly set up.
3. Consider the costs and envision the best possible outcomes that stay within your budget.
4. Before ordering, make sure this fabric brings to life the look and feel you have been dreaming about.
5. Once you are sure, make an order with the company and make sure before your big day that they will be ready on time and that they have everything you ordered.

Linen simply adds pure elegance and pulls your dream décor all together.   When choosing your extraordinary linens, make sure to gain as much knowledge as possible, brainstorm and get advice from your close family and friends.  Having all of this information can only help and it will make choosing a lot easier and a lot more fun.  Follow your vision and nothing can go wrong!   

BBFN (Bridal Bliss For Now),

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Capturing the Moment: Tips on How to Choose the Right Videographer

Capturing every single moment of your big day will be something you will appreciate in the future.  Hiring a videographer will not only help you see what your day was like but they will also capture the moments that you had not noticed during your wedding day.  From taping everyone’s emotions during the special moments, to having loved ones express their joy and share their hopes and dreams for you as a couple, a videographer will create a video that you will treasure for the rest of your lives.  This video is a timeless item that you will be able to share with those who could not attend and most importantly to your children and to generations after.  This is your Cinderella story, so make sure to hire someone who shares the same vision and someone who is just as passionate about capturing the moments that you will never forget.  In order to find the right videographer for you, we have created a couple tips to have when choosing this person for your wedding day. 

Tip #1:  How to Search for a Videographer
            First things first, start as early as possible when searching for the right videographer for you.  Set up meetings and hire far in advance, because they usually are booked for months to even a year ahead.  For the actual searching process, we recommend that you turn to your friends and family for recommendations and advice.  These individuals know you the best and will know if they have a good match for you or not.  Other various ways to search are through internet research, looking through magazines or attending Bridal Expos.  Make sure to set up meetings with various videographers right away because you never know if you will have a match or not with the first or even second appointment. 

Tip #2: Experience is Key
            Knowledge and experience will be the most important factors to look at when meeting with a videographer.  You want someone who knows everything there is to know about the equipment, editing, your venue, and has created a video for weddings many times before.  If you want something absolutely breathtaking, professional and well edited, do not hire someone who is not experienced.  One more tip would be to look at their physical appearance.  If they take the time when it comes to their appearance, this might indicate that they take their time with creating videos and care what it will look like.  We have created a list of questions to ask during your initial meetings so you will be prepared to know if this person is a perfect match or not.
1.       May I see an example(s) of past videos you have done?
2.       After meeting us, what is your vision for creating this video?
3.       Do you have any creative recommendations?
4.       How many years do you have of experience?
5.       Can you tell me something about the equipment and how many cameras will you be using?
6.       Do you have someone else assisting you?
7.       Do you have back-up equipment and DVD’s?
8.       Have you ever been to our venue or not?  If not will you be visiting the venue in advance to gain ideas?

Tip #3: Style/Creativity and Artistry
            When you watch this video and look back on your day, do you want a straight forward boring video without any effects or creativity?  Or would you like to see various clips, stills, colors and have a possible theme to the video?  Well when paying as much as you are for a videographer, it is important to not only get a video that is worth that amount but to also have a video that’s fits your style and is something that is creatively put together and entertaining.  This is where experience is extremely important.   During your interview, the videographer should ask questions about your vision and who you are as a couple.  A great videographer will want to match how he captures and edits your video to fit your needs and wants while incorporating his own personal style.  We have put together a list of things to pay attention to when watching an example of a past video that he/she has created and be sure to ask multiple questions.
1.       Look for their emotional style and if it fits perfectly with yours. 
2.       Look at important filming elements such as lighting, angles, close-ups, and if it is a good quality image in high definition. 
3.       Also, look at important editing elements such as an incorporation of colors, black and white additions, stills, live video, titles, songs and if it flows all together.
4.       Ask if they can customize it to your exact wishes.  An example of this is adding short clips of your loved ones saying their best wishes and any advice they might have. 
5.       Will they have the option for multi-camera coverage?  And if so, will it cost you more?

Tip #4: Pricing and Packages Available
            The amount of money you are willing to spend on the videographer all depends on the quality of video you would like to receive.  As you can tell from all the various questions, there are a lot of important elements to consider when choosing your videographer.  Make sure to research, research and research different packages available and compare prices for what you will get for the amount of money you are willing to spend.  You want a package that describes exactly what you would like to see on your video and that you are also receiving a videographer that is completely professional with every aspect when he is creating his masterpiece.  One piece of advice we could give is always ask multiple questions and make sure you know exactly what you are getting.  Also, make sure to determine ahead of time how many hours you would like to be filmed so you can determine the amount of time in your contract.  Signing a contract is key when it comes to hiring a videographer in order to ensure you are getting exactly what was agreed upon for the price.  To most, this video is a vital part to capturing every detail of one of the best days in someone’s life, so make sure it is something in the end that you will be pleased with. 

            A videographer can capture every important moment of your wedding day as it is happening.  From getting a close up of the bride and groom saying their vows to one another, to capturing the tears from the mother’s eyes when they say I do.  Seeing the emotions of yourself and your loved ones will really show you just how much you are loved and how truly important your union together is to those sharing this day with you.  This video is a precious keepsake, so make sure you are hiring a videographer that cares about this as much as you do. 

BBFN (Bridal Bliss for Now),

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Capturing the Moment: How to Choose a Photographer

Your wedding day is a day you will never forget.  From your dress and the cake to your guests and your very first dance as husband and wife, these memories will last a lifetime.  And even though you will never forget, having photographs will help you relive all the happy moments that you and all of your guests experienced on your special day.  And not only can you relive those memories through photographs, but you will be able to share this incredible day with guests who could not make it and most importantly with your future children and grandchildren.  In order to have these still memories, you will need to hire a professional photographer for your wedding day.  It is very difficult to choose a person that envisions what you envision, so here are some helpful tips in choosing the right photographer for you.

Start Searching as Soon as You Have Picked a Dat
Most professional photographers are booked months to even a year in advance.  Once you have set a date, one of the first things you should do is hire a photographer, especially if you want exquisite photographs.  Researching online, local phone books, bridal expos and getting recommendations from friends and family members can all lead you to finding your perfect photographer.  When researching these photographers, try to find their credentials and if they have been honored, awarded or have any certificates.  If they have not, their photographs or customer experiences have not been on a level that you are expecting.  After finding a couple of photographers you would like to consider, set up meetings with each one to see you who feel is the best choice for you.    

Do You Appreciate Their Style?
Do you dream of your photographs to be unique and daring or traditional and standard?  Your choice of photographer will most likely depend on if you have the same style preference or not.  During your first meeting, ask to see examples of his or her previous work and pay attention to the various elements you should consider.  Look for basics such as colors, clarify, exposure, and composition.  All of these elements will help you decide what exactly you are looking for and if this particular photographer is ideal for your wedding day.

      A Positive Relationship is Important
      Just like in your relationship with your fiancé, you will need to be able to have strong communication, an unbreakable trust, and feel very comfortable with your photographer.  As crazy as it sounds, having all of this will improve the quality of the pictures because of how you will feel while you are being photographed.  If you feel as though your photographer is a stranger, the photographs will not feel natural and you will not be able to express your true self.  Trust is also important because you want to feel secure that they will be there on time and will produce quality pictures that you can cherish forever.  Before you hire your photographer, it is very important to make sure they have media and equipment backup just incase of a technology malfunction.  If you get to know your photographer on a personal basis and they are easily accessible to you and your fiancé, you will be thrilled with the pictures you have always dreamed about. 

      When it comes to any element of your wedding, cost is something you are seriously stressed about, and hiring a photographer is no exception.  Depending on what you are looking for, prices of hiring a photographer can range from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars.  Quality, amount of photos, amount of hours hired and different styles, all go into determining the cost.  When researching different possible photographers, also research the packages they have available and what you will be getting for your money.  Most likely, purchasing a package deal will save you some money and you will receive various sizes and styles of pictures.  Cost is important to almost every engaged couple, so make sure to do your research and that you are getting a quality service worth the price.     

                Hopefully after reading all of these helpful tips, you are ready to research and find your perfect photographer for your lavish day.  Do not be afraid to ask family members and friends for recommendations because they could be the most helpful source.  Capturing the moments that took your breath away will be something you are so grateful for in the future.  Make sure the person behind the camera is a person you trust to make these still memories ones you will be proud to show your children one day.  


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Something Old, New, Borrowed & Blue

This old poem rumored from the Victorian era poem symbolizes five tokens. If a bride holds a piece of each symbol when she gets married, her marriage will be happy and filled with good fortune. We all know getting married is wonderful but the marriage part is a new and challenging adventure for the couple, and they can use any advantage they can get!

The “old” means something from the bride’s past and usually a token from the Bride’s family to continue a part of her family’s history. It could be the Bride’s Mother’s gown or veil she plans to wear on her own wedding day. It could also be her Grandmother’s pearl earrings that she inherited. A new twist to this is to include something you may have something of your Father’s or Grandfather’s. A pocket watch tucked in your sash or the love letter your Grandfather wrote your Grandmother tucked in the bible you are holding in your hand while walking down the aisle.

The “new” part means optimism and hope for the bride’s new life. New tokens or items are easy. It could be the new shoes on the bride’s feet, or new jewelry given to her by her parents or groom. A new twist to this is as simple as getting a new haircut or style that day, or getting married in the couple’s new home.

The “borrowed” tokens usually are from important people in the bride’s life who have had the good fortune of a good marriage, and would like to share that fortune with her. It can be Grandma’s engagement ring attached to her bouquet. A twist to this is a key from her parents’ first home attached to the bride’s bracelet, or to make her feel a part of your special day, something of your mother-in-law’s.  

The “blue” token symbolizes purity. A long time ago, wedding gowns were made of blue fabric, not white. Nowadays, brides use blue shoes, handkerchiefs, a garter, and sashes to name a few.  A twist to this is just simply using a blue ribbon to wrap the bouquet or wearing jewelry with blue gems. Blue sapphire earrings will definitely make a blue statement. Instead of heels, why not blue cowboy boots if you’re a country western bride.

The silver sixpence in your left shoe means money, honey. Financial security may not be the most important thing to hold a marriage together, but it is definitely important, now and more so in the past where women were not allowed to own property. New twists to this are a copper penny in your shoe or have the groom put one in his shoe too. The groom was the original wearer of such sixpence back in old Scotland. Better yet, purchase a keepsake sixpence for authenticity.

During these ultra-modern times, a bride and groom still yearn for the traditional because deep down, they believe in it, but go ahead and put your twist on it.

BBFN (Bridal Bliss for Now),

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Guide to Tipping

When it comes to your big day tipping your vendors and reception attendants is probably the last thing on your mind.  It is, however, a service industry standard practice.  Luckily there is a simple way to know how much to tip each person.  Before we get to the nitty-gritty of dollar and cents for tipping those who have helped in your special day, there are a few details to take care of.

First, please understand that a tip is never an obligation, unless it clearly states in your contract that a service charge is necessary.  Even though not all contracts will say that a service charge is expected, most vendors will expect a gratuity from you.  It is up to you as to whether or not you would like to tip them.  Remember that you are not tipping the owners of these businesses, just their employees who are actually doing the service such as delivering décor or a cake.  You can, however, tip the business owner if their service goes above and beyond your expectations.  If you do not want to offer a monetary thank you, simple thank you notes go a very long way as well.

Secondly, make sure that you have assigned someone to take care of handing out all of the tips for you.  This can be a maid of honor, best man, a close family member or friend who is not in the wedding party, or your wedding planner if you have one.  Although it may seem impossible to think of relinquishing control over such amounts of money and entrusting them to someone else, it is not a detail a bride or groom should be worrying about on their big day.  The wedding day should be as stress free as possible and you should be doing no running around to find the appropriate people you need to tip. 

Below you can find a brief breakdown of specific people to tip, how much to tip them, and when the person in charge should hand out the tips.

Wedding Planner
This is one of those case-by-case scenarios.  If your wedding planner was exceptional, then you will likely want to tip them.  Be aware that they do not expect anything from you in the form of a gratuity, but even a simple thank you note with professional pictures are always appreciated  If you do want to provide some form of gratuity, then it can be a nice gift or 15% of the fee they charged.  This tip can be done at the end of the reception by the bride and groom themselves or can be mailed after the honeymoon.

The Beauty Team (Hair and Make-up Artist)
When you are getting your hair and make-up done for any event or even just on a day-to-day basis, a tip is always expected.  Your wedding is no different.  In fact, giving a tip to them on your wedding day is even more important than any other time.  You should be tipping them 15-20% and if they have to take care of extras such a fixing someone’s hair or touching up the make-up, then be sure to throw in a little extra.  These tips should be taken care of at the end of your services. 

Delivery and Set-Up Staff
These tips go to anyone who is delivering anything for your wedding or to your suite for the big day.  They should only be about $5-$10 per person depending on how much they are delivering and how far they have to go to deliver.  You can give these tips to the catering manager or to your wedding planner before the event, so they can hand them out as the deliveries are made.

Those who pronounce you man and wife (The Wedding Officiant)
The wedding officiant is never expected to be tipped.  If he or she belongs to a church, synagogue, or temple, then it is customary to make a donation to that place of worship.  If you are a member, this may impact the amount you decide to donate.  If you are also paying to use their venue for the reception, feel free to tip a smaller amount since they are charging you to rent out the space.  If you are having a nondenominational officiant at a non-religious venue, then they will charge you for their services, so no tip is expected. As a general guideline, expect to make a donation of approximately $500 to the temple, church, or synagogue and you can give an optional tip of $50-$100 to a nondenominational officiant if you are exceptionally pleased with their services.  These tips and donations can be done before the wedding, or if the officiant is at your rehearsal dinner, then the person in charge of tips can pass it to them.

Wedding Shutterbugs and Movie Makers (Photographer/Videographer)
You are never expected to tip the photographer or videographer if they are the owner of the studio, but if they are not, then consider giving each person a tip of $50-$200 per vendor at the end of the reception. 

Wedding Reception Staff
The wedding reception staff will include your on-site coordinator, banquet manager, and head waiter.  These people usually have an approximate 2% service fee built in to the contract, but if they do not, then a tip is necessary.  The tip for each should be 15-20 % of the cost of labor for the food and beverage.  These tips are taken care of before the wedding if they are included in the contract; otherwise you need to wait until the end of the reception, so you have the final bill to figure out percentages.

Wedding Reception Attendants
This includes your bartenders, waiters, parking, bathroom, and coat-room attendants if you have them.  Deciding how much to tip them can usually be found in your contract.  You can always tip extra if you feel as though the service was exceptional.  If these costs are not included in your contract, be sure to call ahead and ask how many of each will be at the wedding, so you can figure out the tips beforehand.  Each bartender and waiter should get $20-$25.  Each bathroom, coatroom, and parking attendant should get between $1-$2 per guest or per car.  It is a good idea to pass out these tips before the actual wedding, so it will hopefully encourage them to provide you with outstanding service.

Reception Band or DJ
This is another situation where it is a case-by-case basis.  It all depends on the quality of the service they do and how closely they followed your suggested playlist.  It should be about $20-$25 per musician or $50-$150 for the DJ.  These tips should be given out by the person in charge or your tips at the end of the reception.

This is another situation where gratuity is often stipulated in the contract.  If it is not, then a tip is expected assuming they show up on time and do not get lost on their way.  The tip should be 15-20% percent of the total bill.  These tips can be given at the end of the night or after your last ride in them.  If you provided guest busses using a different company, make sure to put someone in charge of providing them with a tip or have the best man do it.

Never feel obligated to give a tip if the service was not what you expected.  The most important thing to remember about some of these optional tips is that sometimes a thank-you note or a personal gift mean a lot more than cash.  

BBFN (Bridal Bliss for Now),

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fusion Weddings

This blog is for you ladies who have fallen in love with someone that isn’t of your culture or religion. It’s to the women who have fought for the loves of their lives, and are ready to celebrate finding something that will last forever. Love is undefined, and it is hard to find, so when you find a man that can’t seem to take that smile off your face, it’s someone you deserve to be with forever. 

And after getting that ring on your finger, you must wonder – how will this blending of two cultures all come together?

Well, I’m here to tell you that it can and it will. With a little help and advice you can make your dream wedding come true even as complicated as it might become!
Source: MaharaniWeddings.com

First thing is first, don’t stress out! Putting together details for your wedding day will come together. But first it’s a priority to discuss with both of your parents what is to come. Have a plan ready for them. Let them know of how you saw it all come together. Either you have two separate weddings on two separate days, or have it all happen on one single day (trust me it’s possible)!

As wedding planners, we see and experience it all. A way to save some money is to have both ceremonies on the same day. If it is a South Asian Event, usually the South Asian Ceremony will take place in the morning. With the time crunch, and getting all of your guests to enjoy the day of the Wedding, try having the Second Ceremony right before cocktail hour.  This way it can flow right into the Reception, you’ll have changed you attire. Keep the second ceremony short and sweet!

There are a bunch of options that you can play around with. You can have the first Non-Denominational Ceremony in the morning, with the second ceremony to follow at the next venue that would again flow right back into the Even to having two separate weddings entirely – whether it is in the same state, or two entirely different states.

Source: MaharaniWeddings.com

From one of our own very experienced Planners, Zeena Roy, who has planned so many Fusion Weddings in her 16 year career,  her advice to brides who are planning such a wedding is this: “I would say find a way to incorporate the non-Indian aspect of the ceremony.  For e.g. maybe have a non-denominational officiant come and incorporate ring exchange or announcing you as husband and wife.  It doesn't have to be long.  For sure have a wedding program that translates and describes the ceremony so that guests can follow during the ceremony.  Non-Indian wedding guests are thrilled to be part of your special day,  They  will want to understand the culture and cuisine.  Introduce couple of non-Indian dishes such as bruschetta or stuffed mushroom and maybe a pasta for dinner.”

Source: MaharaniWeddings.com

“After all it is about two cultures, traditions and cuisine coming together. “ Zeena Roy

BBFN (Bridal Bliss for Now),

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Blend of Your Personal Tastes and Personalities: Creating a Signature Cocktail

Weddings are full of many details that are all chosen from your personal tastes and preferences.  From the dress and the flowers to the food and the venue space, you are in charge of making your dream wedding reflect just who you and your fiancé are.  Well this is just the same when it comes to a trending detail: The Signature Cocktail.  The signature cocktail has been trending for many years, but is becoming even more popular in 2012.  We have a couple tips for you to consider when it comes to choosing your very own signature cocktail.

Appearance is everything.  First of all, make sure your very own signature drink matches your wedding color scheme.  You do not want a red cocktail in a venue that is decorated in green fabrics.  You want your cocktail to look fabulous and delicious so everyone will want to try the drink that shows off your personal tastes and personality.  Also, you could add a personal touch such as your favorite flower on top or a small umbrella that could possibly have a logo with your names and wedding date on it.  The skies the limit with personal touches, make it your very own.
Follow Your Theme
Follow, follow, follow your theme of your wedding when choosing your signature cocktail.  For example, if you are having a country wedding, you might want to go with a Long Island, a Twisted Lemonade or a Harvester cocktail.  Making sure all of your details directly link together will really help pull your wedding together in an amazing and beautiful way. 
Consider The Season
During the winter months, do you see yourself or experience yourself drinking a Margarita or a Pina Colada?  Or during the summer months, do you crave to drink a warm Baileys cocktail?  We would like to think your answers would be no.  Making sure your cocktail associates with the season your wedding date is set in is very important.  We have researched and found a great cocktail to consider for your wedding no matter what season it is in.
Spring: Cherry Blossom Tini
Summer: Twisted Lemonade or a Lemon Drop Martini
Autumn: Harvester or a Manhattan
Winter: Pomegranate Champaign Cocktail

Adding a personal signature cocktail to your menu is fun and unique.  It shows your and your fiancés personalities and your taste in a creative way.  Create something delicious that you and your guests can enjoy together, and if it is an exact blend of the two of you, you can go no wrong. 

BBFN (Bridal Bliss For Now),

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Keeping Decision Makers Happy

Being a bride is a balancing act in many ways. One of the toughest jobs you have is to keep all of the decision makers involved in your wedding happy. You have to establish priorities as a couple, and decide on what means the most to you. Then…

You need to figure out who else will be contributing to your wedding budget, and what spoken or unspoken expectations come with that financial contribution. Even if there are not immediately spoken expectations, they are there. Your father may be making a small contribution and seem laid back (but he assumes you want him to walk you down the aisle), your grandmother may want to pay for your gown (as long as it’s not strapless), mother may tell you that she trusts you to select a menu (as long as it doesn’t include fish), and his mother may make a passing comment that she knows a photographer (but what she is not saying is that she fully expects you to use said photographer).

Photo Credit: S.A Kamath Photography

Here are a few tips to help you navigate these tricky waters:
  • Start the conversation early – the earlier you start to talk about each person’s vision for your wedding, the better. This gives you the most amount of time to find common ground.
  • It is your day, be careful how often you assert that – everyone wants you to be happy with your wedding day. The memories will be most vivid for the two of you. BUT, you will surely earn the title of Bridezilla if you overuse that statement.
  • Be prepared to make concessions – as you and your fiancé decide what is most important to you, also start to think about areas that you are willing to bend to keep people happy.
  • Listen to others’ wishes – while you may be exhausted of listening to others opinions, you never know when someone will offer up a suggestion that you truly are excited about.
Photo Credit: CBArt Photography

The old cliché is true, you can’t keep all of the people happy, all of the time. It is definitely in your best interest to figure out which people are most important for you to compromise with. Just don't forget, it's your big day. Stay strong, and do what makes you happy, your family will see it too. 

BBFN (Bridal Bliss for Now),

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Uniquely Yours: 2012 Wedding/Engagement Ring Trends

When the love of your life finally proposes, asks your hand in marriage and opens the most important box in a women’s life, what do you imagine and hope to see?  Well whether you desire a traditional or modern ring, 2012 wedding band trends have each style with a unique twist. 
            What’s Your Favorite Color?: Incorporating colored gems alongside a diamond has become a very popular trend that brides are desiring on their engagement and wedding rings.  Muted peaches, pinks and pale blues have been the most trending colors by future brides and have been the most purchased by future grooms.  This piece of jewelry should represent who you are and is a lifetime timeless piece, so make sure the color your fiancé chooses is one you will love forever.  Whatever you desire though, any color can add a unique twist to an incredible diamond ring.

            From the Heart: A way for a bride to have a constant reminder of just how her fiancé feels for her is for a message to be engraved inside the wedding band.  An engraving on a ring has become an even more popular trend in 2012.  Writing a personalized message, an inside joke or maybe even a short statement can be a very unique and romantic way to express your love for one another.

            Black Diamonds: Different & Desirable:   Sophisticated, glamorous and non-traditional all describe a black diamond engagement ring.  Black diamonds have been trending this year and are a great and classy alternative to a white diamond ring.  So if you want something different and timeless, a black diamond might be the perfect stone for your perfect engagement ring. 

            Don’t Forget the Men!:  Traditionally, men have been the ones to give an engagement ring but not receive one.  Although this is trending slowly, we are seeing more and more men wearing an engagement ring or a “man-engagement” ring as well.  Women are starting to desire that their fiancé wear this symbol of love, commitment and a future life with them, and most men are accepting to wear it.  Women have always received this symbol for centuries now, so why can’t we give the men this symbol as well? 
            A fun fact for those that do not know this, there is a reason why we place the wedding ring on the fourth left finger.  The wedding ring is worn here because there is a vein in this finger called the vena amoris that directly connects to the heart.  So since we are placing the symbol of a never ending love and bond on this finger, we want to make sure it is something that represents each of you and the love you have for one another.  Adding personalized touches like a color, the black diamond or a personalized engraving is exactly what will make your ring uniquely yours.  


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Costs of Your Dream Wedding

Establishing a budget for your wedding is something that you must do, and it should happen early in your planning process. It may mean a few uncomfortable conversations with your parents, but it’s best to know where you stand. There are a number of websites out there that will assist you in creating a wedding budget. This should be the starting point of your budget, feel free to reallocate dollars to those things you care most about. For some it will be décor, others will want to place emphasis on the menu and some will want to buy a designer gown, no matter what sacrifices have to be made. Remember lovely brides, for every expense you justify going “just a little over budget” you either need to reallocate those dollars, or add to your bottom line. This can add up quickly.

As an example we decided to look at a few online calculators and provide you some concrete examples of how pieces of a $25,000 budget (with 150 guests) can be allocated.

Bridal gown: Online calculators allocated an average of $1,500 to the complete cost of a bridal gown. We are going to automatically deduct $200 for alterations and foundation garments (this is a conservative estimate), This leaves us $1,300 to spend on the gown of your dreams.
  • With $1,300 you can afford almost any gown at an establishment like David’s Bridal (including Vera Wang’s new line)
  • In Bridal Gown Boutiques you will also find you can afford a gown by many of the designers you see in magazines, including Alfred Angelo, DaVinci, Watters and more.
  • If you are looking for something from a high-end designer, and are an “average” size in a wedding gown (Size 6 – 10 regularly), be sure to check out local trunk shows and sample sales. You may find your budget stretches a bit more there.

Invitations: Online calculators allocated an average of $750 for invitations, and all stationary needs. This is inclusive of invitations, postage, programs and any other “paper” needs.
  • With 150 guests I am going to estimate that you will need 100 invitations (some will be going to couples/families
  • The average wedding invitations costs $.61 to mail, so we immediately need to allocate $61 in postage
  • We will allocate $1/Thank You card, plus $.44 in postage per card for a total of $144 on Thank You Cards
  • That leaves $545 for all other stationary needs. Let’s allocate $4 per invitation and have $145 left for all misc. stationary
  • For $4 we found a wide range of options on Etsy.com, moderate selections (including some pocket folds) through Carlson Crafts, or you may be able to work with a local shop to create a custom DIY (Do-It-Yourself) invitation

Floral & Décor: Online calculators allocated an average of $1,800 for flowers and decoration.
  • We had to make a few more assumptions in this budget, so we are budgeting for 4 attendants on each side and a sit down dinner reception that will require centerpieces.
  • There will be delivery and set-up fees so we are estimating that initial cost at $200
  • The average bridal bouquet is $175. This could be a large bouquet of wild seasonal flowers, an appropriately sized hand tied bouquet of roses, tulips, daisies, or an eloquent arrangement of orchids or calla lilies.
  • You should estimate $60 - $70 per female attendant for her bouquet. This is typically a smaller version of the brides bouquet, but may it may not be. It may be flowers in a similar color family, or just a single orchid stem.
  •  The ceremony will most likely need one or two large arrangements, and that total cost can be estimated at $300. These will be modest arrangements (think Daisies, carnations, and some green and babies breathe between the flowers of your choice)
  • Assuming 15 dining tables at the reception this leaves approximately $55/centerpiece. For $55 you should anticipate a small floral arrangement, or possible a duo or trio of vases with submerged flowers and candles around it. Your florist should be able to work with this budget to incorporate your colors and flowers of choice.

Be sure to review the entirety of your budge before you start spending, and as always, take your time and enjoy the process!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Going Green by Going Local

  In the year 2012, brides everywhere have been going green in multiple different aspects of their wedding.  Eco-friendly weddings are the most trending theme this year and brides, planners and designers are coming up with creative ways to stay true to the environment on this special day.  One of the most important details that your guests will most appreciate, is what is being served for the reception meal.  When researching about these “green” themed weddings, we noticed that these bride’s were turning to sustainable and local sourcing to cater their meals.  Not only are they two ways that are great for the environment, but chef’s everywhere have been coming up with tasty and creative recipes that you and your guests are sure to be pleased with. 

Local and Sustainable Sourcing: What is it?
            By using local sourcing, you are going to caterers and businesses in your community and buying their supplies and services in order to serve your guests at your wedding.  Not only are you helping the environment, but you are also benefiting your community’s economy.  If the environment is very important to you, buying locally supports it because it protects the air and water, it minimizes energy consumption and it enriches the soil.  There are many benefits to using local sourcing when creating the meal that will be passed out to all of your guests.  Now on to the other type of sourcing: Sustainable Sourcing.  Sustainable food is mostly similar to local sourcing, but with a few differences and a few more benefits to your guests and the environment.  Sustainable sourcing means you are receiving food that is healthy and does not harm the environment at all because it is completely pesticide and chemical free and guarantees that hormones were not used during the growing process.  Local foods can be grown this way, but it is very rare to find a place close to home where chemicals were not used.         

The Positives to Using These Sources
            Obviously, helping the environment is the most important reason to use local and sustainable sourcing when catering your meal.  It helps all aspects of the environment including the air, water, soil and how the animals are being raised.  The economy has also been a struggle for most these last few years, so by reaching out to local businesses, you are helping not only their financial situation but the economy of your very own community.  Another positive to local sourcing is that you are staying local.  You will not need to travel far for a tasting or pay shipping and storage costs because it will be available to you very easily.  Not only does this save you time, but it also saves you gas and the environment from gas pollution in the air.  One important selfish but smart reason for using either of these sources is that it can save you a lot of money.  It is less expensive than most foods and you will not have to worry about shipping or storage fees because everything is grown near you and will be nice and fresh by the date of your wedding day.  With so many positives to choose from, how can you not choose a way that not only can benefit you and your guests but the important environment and community around you?

With Many Positives Comes a Few Negatives to Consider
            Even though the positives outweigh the negatives, there are a few things for you to consider and research before making a final decision.  Depending on where you live and where your wedding will take place, it could take some effort to find the right food source that can give you exactly what you are wishing for.  Research is key when it comes to finding your perfect source that also shares the same knowledge and respect for the environment as you do.  One last negative could be creating menu options that make sure that you and your guests will be satisfied.  If you are working with a caterer, this might make things a little easier, especially if this caterer specializes in eco-friendly meals.

Local and Sustainable Menu Options That Could Surprise You      
            With today’s creative chefs, there are many different choices you can have when it comes to menu options and using local and/or sustainable sourcing.  Your cake for instance can actually be created with these sourcing options.  If you are thinking about a country theme for example, pies might be the perfect choice for you.  By using a local market or farm, you can either purchase or make these pies yourself for the perfect dessert for this theme.  Other environmentally friendly options could be a fruit cake, carrot cake or even cupcakes.  Wine is another surprise delicacy that can also help reduce a negative impact on the environment.  Now for the main course, we recommend choosing chicken, fish and even vegetarian dishes to serve to your guests.             
By choosing these healthy and eco-friendly options, you are not only serving your guests something they will appreciate but it will be a fresh and creative option they most likely have never seen before. Americans are starting to change the way they eat and live, so why not correlate this to what you serve your guests on your wedding day.  


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why Hire a Planner?

You may have always dreamed about what your wedding may be, or perhaps it feels like your engagement ring must have magic powers, making your wedding the only thing on your mind. As your daydream becomes more vivid, filled with crystal and floral details you likely are NOT thinking about how this dream becomes reality. After assigning a budget, and hiring all of the vendors comes the real work, coordinating all of the details and executing them. Somewhere along the road though you will stop and wonder “When did planning this wedding become so stressful?” Simple, as your dream becomes reality, you want everything to be perfect and it is hard to put your trust in others to make that happen.

Often times the tension leading up to the big day is so enormous that brides cannot wait for their wedding day to be over! Brides miss out on the opportunity to spend cherished time with friends and family, take in the magic of the day, savor each moment as they promise their lives to their new husbands and simply enjoy themselves.

Much of this stress is alleviated by hiring a professional to handle the execution of your wedding. Planners often have a variety of planning packages to accommodate your wishes. They can stand by your side from the beginning advising on vendor selections, or come in during the few months leading up to the wedding to coordinate all of your details. You do not want to burden your close friends or family members with these responsibilities. You want them to have fun too!

Here are just a few responsibilities a planner should take off of your place:
  1. Load in / Load out – your planner will confirm that vendors are arriving on time and providing the services you paid them for.
  2. Point of contact – you wont have twenty different people coming up to you, you will only have one! Your planner.
  3. Less Clutter – Planners are organized and will keep all of the information, from you and all of your vendors organized.
  4. Communication – Planners will tell people (your wondering new mother-in-law, the groomsmen who just needs one more drink) where they need to be, and what they need to do in a professional manner. You won’t want to be stern to get them lined up for your entrance, but planners have a way of making this happen.
  5. Acting as a sheild – Parents tend to be extra sensitive during your big day. The napkin layout might upset your mom, the clothes the DJ is wearing might offend your dad. At the end of the day, you don’t have to hear about it, your planner will listen to your family, talk to your vendors, and make sure you don’t hear a word about it.

Let your day be filled with love, laughter, happy tears and memories to last a lifetime!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Is Mini the NEW Big Trend?

           No one can argue that food is one of the most important parts at a wedding.  It is something that can set your wedding apart from others.  The big trend in 2012 is to have mini foods in all parts of the big day.  Whether it is during the cocktail hour, the reception, or the after hours, brides everywhere have been incorporating mini foods in a fun and creative way.  From mini pies and sliders to dessert shooters and mini cocktails, mini foods have been trending and we believe is a cute idea that is easy for your guests to eat and pretty easy on the budget.

            Examples of mini foods that have been used at previous weddings can go on and on.  Depending on the vibe you were desiring for your wedding, there are many great and unique choices out there for any type of event.  During the cocktail hour choices range from little salt-rimmed margaritas and mini coca cola bottles to blueberry martini jello shots and mini crab cakes.  For the reception dinner, couples can choose to have mini steaks to mini meatballs with a small spaghetti portion on top.  The cake can also be miniaturized by serving mini cupcakes or small individual cakes for each guest.  And for those who are having late night wedding receptions and want to serve after hours snacks, the variety does not have an end.  Mini tacos, sliders, bite-sized grilled cheese sandwiches, and espresso shots topped with mini doughnuts are just to name a few.  Basically, if you dream it, it can be miniaturized. 

            Saving money never hurts right?  Well whether you serve mini delights in a buffet setup or have it served butler style on trays, mini foods are a very creative and less expensive way to feed you and your guests. They also allow a maximum assortment of different foods and flavors into your menu that can satisfy anyone’s appetite.  Mini foods also can easily incorporate cultural foods and traditions into the special day.  Whatever the reason and the use of these tiny treats, this unique style of food can be a focal point and conversation starter at any wedding event.     

BBFN ( Bridal Bliss For Now),

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hot Tips on Keeping You and Your Guests Cool in the Heat

The outdoors, the sunshine, the clear skies and the warm temperatures, all make summer the most popular season to have a wedding.  Outdoor wedding venues can be absolutely breathtaking, but what we do not always realize is that Mother Nature can be a bit unpredictable.  Temperatures can rise and alter the atmosphere of a wedding.  We have found many hot tips to keep you and your guests cool on your wedding day.  By considering and preparing for this potential weather hazard, you and your guests can be cool and comfortable in the scorching heat. 

Tip 1: Clothing
            Like I said before, Mother Nature can be very unpredictable.  If your wedding date is set in the summer, or your location is set in a tropical place where the weather is known for its heat, prepare yourself with your clothing.  Some popular fabrics that we found that is worn in the summer by men and women are Batiste and Charmeuse.  Batiste is a lightweight, soft and transparent fabric, and Charmeuse is a lightweight, semi-lustrous, soft fabric that is satin-like to the touch.  You do not want a heavy fabric when it is 80-90 degrees outside, it will only make things hotter.  Stick with lightweight fabrics and also warn your guests about the potential weather so they can choose appropriate clothing as well.

Tip 2: Venue
            When choosing an outdoor venue, make sure to consider a couple things before you make the final decision.  In case of heat, most importantly make sure there is a place for you and your guests to cool off in.  This is a must to consider if you have guests who are sensitive to the heat.  Also, make sure there is a room for the bridal party to go to before the ceremony to get ready and relax before it starts.  An important thing to also remember is that there should be some shade on a portion of your seats for your elderly guests to sit during the ceremony.  Another tip about your potential venue for you summer brides, is venues near a form of water such as a lake or ocean give a slight breeze that could help the temperature that day (This also makes for beautiful pictures). 

Tip 3: Food and Beverages
            Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate some more on a hot summer day.  Make sure you and your guests are provided water, iced tea, lemonade and other non-alcoholic drinks during the ceremony and reception.  This is extremely important especially when alcoholic drinks are being served as well.  A creative way to incorporate these drinks is by using mason jars and putting them on a decorated table where your guests can easily access them at any time.  Food is also an important factor when it comes to heat during a summer wedding.  No one will want to be served hot appetizers on a hot day.  A cute way to incorporate “cool” foods into your wedding day is by using another popular trend this year, Food Trucks.  Food Trucks can be used in multiple different ways.  An ice cream truck is one of the most chosen during summer weddings and can provide your guest’s favorite cold treats such as ice cream and popsicles 

Tip 4: Timing
            If you really want to be sure the heat will not be a negative factor during your special day, scheduling can be key. Setting or adjusting your time of the ceremony to be later at night or making sure the ceremony is shorter than normal, can really help avoid your guests being overheated and uncomfortable.

            Tip 5: Nifty Things that Can Keep You Cool
                        There are many unique and interesting ways to keep the heat under control.  Using large fans and misting stations can really help your guests escape the temperature for a few moments at a time.  Another option is to pass out “Be Kool”.  “Be Kool” is a soft gel sheet for your guests that brings down body temperatures and lasts about four hours.  Guests can place these on the back of their necks so it can be somewhat discrete and will help cool them off.   Also, a new popular trend for summer weddings is to make your program into a fan.  This way they can see the schedule of the event in a unique and useful way.  Parasols are also another trend in the summer months for weddings.  These parasols can come in many shapes and colors that can match any color and theme of any wedding.  By using any of these techniques, it can turn a 90 degree day into a much cooler one that all your guests will appreciate.

Program Hand-fans can be ordered from: http://www.hand-fan-factory.com
When you look back on your special day, you want to remember happy and fun memories with your friends and family, and not look back to guests who were grumpy and exhausted from the heat.  By being creative and over prepared, you can create a summer wedding that is an unforgettable moment, with unforgettable people, in an unforgettable setting.