Friday, June 29, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

Yes, it has been exactly one month and 27 days since my last post, which is like, unheard of in blogworld. So, what have I been doing?

May 1st was Maggie's Bat Mitzvah at the Friar's Club, an old Hollywood institution that everyone's heard of but no one's really been to, probably because you usually have to be a member to get in. The 150 kids and their parents were not members, but everyone managed to have a good time anyways. Maybe a little too good of a time, since I had to break up not one but two candy-throwing fights during the evening, which I just didn't get. You've got several jars of candy at your disposal, and your first choice is to throw it? Kids today!

May 13th Me and the Boy went to Philadelphia for his brother Zach's graduation from Wharton. Really nice to see him and the rest of Zane's familly, and for once, I was in charge of planning nothing. Bus Driver's holiday, indeed. Made me miss the East Coast some more, though. But if you're going to go, Spring is always a great time.

May 27th was Danna and Adam's Big Jewish Wedding. 250 guests in the backyard of their Rabbi's gorgeous house in Sherman Oaks. Catered everything, covered swimming pool, the whole nine. A lot of work, but everyone had such a great time that it was totally worth it. Danna and Adam own Menchies, a frozen yogurt shop in Sherman Oaks, where you get to pour the yogurt and all the toppings yourself, so if you're ever around the corner of Laurel Canyon and Riverside, check it out. Every time I drop by there, they're slammed. One lesson to pass on to you, though - when you're doing your placecards, especially if you have that many guests,make sure to print out to extra lists - a list of your guests by table, AND a list of your guests by last name that also shows which table they are at. The cross-referencing will come in handy, trust me.

June 9th was my acupuncturist Sarah Schwab's wedding to her girlfriend Pamela, at Orcutt Ranch, a historical site in Canoga Park. I'm big fan of historical sites (I used to work at the National Trust for Historic Preservation about 2 presidential administrations ago), and this one is just beautiful - all the gardens and orchards are still being kept up, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an outdoor site. This was also the first time that I'd coordinated a commitment ceremony, which, lead to also the first time I'd ever heard a bride ask her guests, "Okay, raise your hands - which one of us looks better in the dress?" Lesson to pass on to you: If your site gives you a specific time to get out or be penalized, make sure that is passed on to your vendors, and there some sort of agreement that that penalty will be passed on to them if they're late. In this case it was,but the rental company picked up 45 minutes after they were supposed to, which threw everything else off and cost the girls another $150. Which the rental company agreed to pay for, but really, why have the hassle?

June 22nd, I helped Scott throw a party for a few of his highschool friends as a pre-reunion celebration (their 30th) at his house in Hancock park. He works in the entertainment industry, so he hired me to get all the supplies, hire the caterer and get the rentals, and set-up and monitor everything all evening. Everyone was so happy to see everyone again, and it was funny how they all pretty much looked like they did in highschool, according to their yearbooks. One of Scott's classmates was also the director of Shrek, so it was really cool meeting her. Hey, I'm as much of a fangirl as anyone.

June 23 was Sarah and Victor's wedding in San Pedro at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, with the reception at the Doubletree in San Pedro. The florist didn't make half of the flowers, the backdrop and the vases for the centerpieces disappeared, and 30 unrspvd guests showed up out of nowhere, throwing the kitchen into a frenzy, but with the help of my trusty assistant Maeline (who was quite willing to make some extra centerpieces using some toothpicks, filched flowers from the hotel and a pair of pliers, which is why I love her), and various other incredibly professional vendors, we managed to pull it all together. And, man, could those non-RSVP'ers party! I once told a reporter many eons ago that my idea of a good party was if the dance floor was always full and the punch-bowl was almost always empty,and this wedding proved that once again. There wasn't a punchbowl, but the line to the bar stretched all the way to the dancefloor all night, and that's good enough for me. But here's a lesson to pass on to you, and seriously, one of my rules: PLEASE make sure that you're given between 2-3 hours to set up for your reception. Between putting out the placecards (300 of them in this case), and putting out the centerpieces (25 of them, in two pieces), and decorating the (3-tier)cake, you're going to need the time. If you're the second or last wedding in a room at a hotel...well, first of all, try not to be, becaue invitably the wedding ahead of you's breakdown time is going to cut into your set-up time, but if it happens anyway, insist on getting help from the hotel, or that you have plenty of help from your family, friends, or wedding planner and her assistants to get everything done. An hour of set-up time will not do it, not even for a wedding of 100.

Right now, I'm coordinating the UCNH Chamber of Commerce's Business and Community Expo on July 10, featuring the best of what the community has to offer. Admission is free, so drop by if you get a chance. On July 7th, I'm helping another wedding planner friend with a wedding, and on the 13th I'm going down to celebrate my best friend's birthday. Running around like crazy, but if you have any questions about your wedding, just drop me a line!