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, 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),