Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!

So, Saturday, I had a birthday party with a few friends and a couple of ex-clients. I was a little terrified because someone wanted to see what a party thrown by their wedding planner looked like, so no pressure, right? Plus our front lawn was completely burned out (NOT my fault, but I've been told that it will get re-sodded in April) and that's where the party was going to be. Our living room isn't big enough, sadly, nor does it have the right amount of seating space. I could go into the whole, well we had to get a particular couch and face it a particular way because the plugs are on a certain side of the wall and we can't get one of those wrap around couches because of where the windows are, but, oh, look, you're asleep already!

Diane Nozik, who is also an ex-client of mine, now works for a wine-tasting company, and she came down and did a wine tasting for all my guests. Good wines. A little too good, actually, because I'm still hung over. Completely awesome riesling, which I bought a couple of bottles of to send to business folks. I can guarantee the whites, and the merlot was good. Her website is She and her husband are also the couple on my car and on my homepage.

So, anyway, back to the party. My husband offered to cook, and he really wanted to make sushi, and who's going to turn down homemade sushi? So, the menu was salmon-based sushi and sashimi, burgers, chips and spinach dip (my favorite), lots of wine, and margaritas, made by my friend's husband (he uses a mix, too, but he makes it better than I ever could). Cake was from Holly's Cakes and Pastries, which, along with being really affordable at $2 a slice, is seriously the best cake in the world. For decorations, I used lots of candles and threw some tiki torches up on the lawn. Using $30 Monster cables I plugged my ipod into our massive television (you can also use them for stereo systems, but the TV was handier - just plug and play) and turned the volume up. And here's the secret: We had some curtains from ikea up in the living room - white with a green floral pattern - that didn't match anything. But they're huge. I had bought some throwaway table covers for the party, but as I was taking down the curtains and replacing them with some white ones that we had, I got to thinking - why not use the curtains as tablecloth covers? They're certainly big enough, and it's a nicer pattern than white plastic. My friend Dee Dee, taking the pattern in consideration, called it "Pulling a Von Trapp". Sometimes you have to use whatever resources are available, baby.

Oh, and of course I have to give a shout-out to Adesso Albums - I wanted to do a Polaroid album for the party and ordered it directly from the company. When they found out that it wouldn't get there until Monday, they tried to ship it to me 3 different ways so it would get to me by the day of the party, and kept me updated the whole way. Now THAT'S customer service! They had these albums at the last wedding I did and used them as guest sign-in books. Sort of an interactive way for your guests to participate.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Back at the Oviatt

This weekend's wedding was a testament to the power of the hour and a half cocktail hour. The line to the bar was always long, and the dance floor was always full, and that's definitely one of my criteria for a successful wedding. The bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome, laughter was heard throughout, and the only thing that kept it from being a perfect evening was the lack of a microphone. Another thing to put on the list. Good thing my voice projects.
The Oviatt is always weird for me, because my mom used to work in two of the buildings that overlook the patio. Back in the dark ages, when I was in first and second grade. Little did I know...

This week is catching up on wedding work that had to be put aside last week, and prepping for my birthday party this weekend. Not sure how many people are going to show up, but one of my ex-brides can't make it because she's working crew for Motley Crue somewhere in, what did she say, Connecticut? Another one is in Hong Kong helping to build Hong Kong Disneyland. This is a great job, just for the stories alone.

So, tip of the week: If you're hiring a friend to do, well, anything, for you, make sure he has all the proper equipment, like a mike. Another one of those things, like trashcans and can openers, that you always take for granted. Nobody's fault, but it's good to get - and give - a heads up.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Meanwhile. . .

I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted! Let's see: I went to the Mac seminar on planning weddings, and it was packed. It was a really great presentation that they put on - DJ'ing with ipod, printing out invites and other wedding stuff, putting video on websites. I'm not really describing it right, but it was very good. I told them, no URGED them, to do them more regularly, because it was standing-room only in there.

Otherwise, I have a wedding at the Oviatt Penthouse this weekend. I did a wedding there last year, and it looks like I might do another one next year. Me and the Oviatt. We're tight. Oh, and I'm my local Starbucks "Customer of the Week"! Free Starbucks all week. Pretty Cool.

So, yeah, not much to write about...
I did get a question that I'm going to use for next month's advice column about how to split wedding costs between parents. Touchy, very touchy.

I'll post again after the wedding tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Wow, I wish I could go to this.

Okay, I just got a powerbook G4 a few weeks ago, and I am in LOVE with it. That and my ipod have totally turned me into a Mac person. One of the great things about it is that I can go into any apple store and get free technical help at their genius bar, or take a free class on their software and stuff like that, PLUS get online because the whole store is wired. Love it. But I have a point - that being that on Sunday, August 14th, at 3pm, the Apple Store at The Grove is holding a free seminar entitled, "Getting Married with the Mac - Not to it". Three recently married guys will walk you through the many ways you can use mac products to do your wedding planning - invitations, calendars and timelines, even DJing your reception with an ipod. Click here for more info - Totally wish I could go, but I'm meeting a bunch of brides and answering questions in Burbank (more info in previous post). Oh, if only one could be two places at once!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Meet the Wedding Planner!

On Sunday, August 14, I'm going to be at the Gordon Biersch Restaurant, 145 South San Fernando Blvd.,Burbank,CA. 2pm. I'm just sitting around, taking questions from future brides about wedding planning. Come meet me! And them! I believe there will be food of some sort...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Get on board the email newsletter train!

Oh, and if you'd like to receive my monthly newsletter, which will,for one thing,let you know when the new advice column is up, email me at

And a small planning tip for the day: If your celebration has to finish by a certain time, make the ending a smooth one. I've found that a great way to end the day is with the Bride and Groom giving a "Thank you for Coming" toast or speech and then leaving immediately afterwards. This should be done 30-45 minutes before everyone needs to be out. Once the guests of honor have left, the room will clear soon afterwards.