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, May 23, 2013

The Reality to Planning Your Wedding

I love watching “Say Yes to the Dress” as much as the next girl. WE tv can distract me for a few hours at a time as I watch couples navigate all of the decisions that go into wedding planning. However, as someone who works in the wedding industry I am watching from a different point of view than a bride-to-be or single girl daydreaming about her big day.

Reality TV does a great job of inspiring brides. The best, brightest and most cutting edge trends are highlighted for all to enjoy. Wedding related television shows have guided brides in their gown style, inspired décor and bridal party attire color selections and no doubt helped to create some fantastic celebrations.
However, I fear that reality TV has also given brides some unrealistic expectations when it comes to their big day. Many of these shows do not disclose costs, or at least the full cost of their wedding. For example, it is common to see a bride with a $3,000 budget for a wedding gown on television. Given that the gown is often budgeted at 5% of the total wedding cost, we can guess that this gown is part of a $60,000 wedding. The average wedding cost in the United States is $24,000, which creates an average gown budget of $1,200, quite a difference.

There are also costs that are unseen to the untrained eye. In addition to the base cost of any wedding related item you need to leave room in your budget to account for tax (often close to 10%), labor, shipping and/or delivery and service charges (most commonly found with your caterer or venue).  These fees can range anywhere from 18% to 24% of your total bill. This will grow proportionally with your overall wedding budget.
Finally, for better or worse, there needs to be accommodation for the cost of living in different locations. The price of labor will likely be higher in a large metropolitan city (i.e. ChicagoNew York) than it is in a smaller city. If you have your heart set on a product only available in a larger city you may end up paying more in shipping fees to get it to you. This information is not meant to scare you, rather provide you information to set realistic expectations.

Floral designers, bridal gown consultants, and wedding planners truly do love when an inspired bride comes in. It is lovely to work with a couple who know what they are looking for on their wedding day. So, watch all the reality tv you would like to, and keep notes on your favorite ideas. When it comes time to start your planning, be up front and realistic with your budget. Hire professionals you trust, and work with them to create the day that you have been dreaming of.

BBFN (Bridal Bliss For Now),


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Deciding on your Wedding Dress

Before you even begin shopping for your bridal gown I am sure you already know what type of dress you want. Most brides have an image in their mind about how they want to look on their wedding day. There’s a certain feel that every bride wants to portray.

This can all change when you go to try on gowns, and fall in love with more than one. Of course the dresses will be completely opposite styles, and now you are torn. Why not do both? As a planner, I have been seeing this more and more. During the ceremony brides will wear the most elegant, classic, traditional gown, but then during the reception they do a wardrobe change and come out in a dress that really shows their unique personality.

Two-in-One Wedding Dress

After wearing your amazing, traditional, dress during the ceremony, you may find it is not functional for the night of dancing, mingling and fun you have ahead. Go for comfort! Lets be honest, your perfect dress is amazing but it can be heavy and stiff, and you may be concerned about the delicate details. As a bride you may also be looking for a WOW factor. Arriving to your reception in a different gown is a great way to capture your guests’ attention when you walk in as MR. and MRS!

To be realistic, not all of us have the budget to have both. Every wedding detail costs something and I know you want to stay as close to your budget as possible. If you can’t afford a second gown, why not look into convertible dresses? There are so many beautiful dresses that can be worn during you’re traditional ceremony, but during the reception the heavy train can be removed! How perfect is that? Two in one! You can also change up the look of your gown by adding or removing sleeves or straps, splashing a little bit of color with a ribbon or other detailing, or by changing into fabulous shoes. This will definitely create a more fun, ready to celebrate look!

So, you love your dress, but are still looking to create a spectacular grand entrance with a new twist? Change up your jewelry. Add some more bling, bigger bracelets, bigger earrings! Or literally let your hair loose! If you have an up do, how about changing it up and wearing some loose curls? You can also change your make-up look. See if your make-up artist can change up your eyes and lips to have more of a night time look. Ask your hair and make-up stylists for different tips and different looks that can be done to create a more dramatic feel!  

One gown or two? DO BOTH! INDULGE! This is your day!
Too pricey? You can still create two remarkable looks at a lower cost! Use your imagination and create something that is uniquely you!

BBFN (Bridal Bliss For Now), 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

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),

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Design Tips from an Expert

It is hard to be invited to a friend or family members wedding as a designer, I am always working on the weekend. On a rare occasion few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a wedding as a guest. It’s a different world when you get to be a guest, enjoying a Raspberry Lime martini and tenderloin on a crostini, with a dollop of crème fraise.

I heard a chime signaling me up into the ballroom, and as I entered I was……… not sure what I was.

There were beautiful flowers, the lighting was just perfect and linens had set the stage for an elegant dining experience. But, the candles surrounding the centerpieces and floating in the tall cylinder were not lit. At that moment I saw the bridesmaids and the Banquet Captain approach each table to light the candles. Unfortunately not all of the wicks were to ready to be lit, so the whole process was a bit challenging. 

This experience got me thinking about the pampering each of our Event Designers and Creative Director at Oliveaire strives to provide for our brides and grooms. We work to make each wedding a perfect day for our clients, and how this is truly an “Oliveaire experience”.  But enough about that. 

I want to share some tips for the brides who are interviewing florists, or already working with a florist, to prevent some of the issues that may potentially arise on the day of your wedding:

  1. If you have candles that are part of your centerpiece, and they are being provided by the florist, ask them who will be responsible for lighting them, and when they will be lit. You want to make sure that they are lit in your room photo shots, but are not lit so early that they burn halfway down by the time your guests enter the room.
  2. The glass container that these stunning floral centerpieces reside in, are they yours to keep, or for guests to take home? Most of the time, unless written in the contract, glass containers are a rental item, and they are picked up at the end of the night.
  3. Will the florist come back at the end of the wedding night to pick up all the glassware?  Your venue may dictate this policy.  They may want all vendors to clear out all items and inventory by certain time.
  4. Will the boutonnière include two pins, and will there be extra pins sent? Also, will they be individually labeled with the bridal party members’ names on it?  This will avoid any confusion as to whom the flowers belong too.
  5. Is a sample floral centerpiece included?  This will give you the opportunity to admire your vision, as well as make any changes to your floral design in advance.

All you brides to be, your day will be breathtaking.  At the end of the day you will have transitioned from Miss to Mrs.

BBFN (Bridal Bliss for Now),