Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bridal Sample Sale, and, uh, My Wedding Workshop

So,Monique Lhuiller is having a Sample Sale, next Wednesday and Thursday, (I know, convenient, huh?) December 5 & 6 from 10am-6pm. From Bargain L.A. - " Save 40%-90% on end of season sample bridal gowns. 708 N. La Cienega Blvd. (in back) Los Angeles 90069. 323.655.1088. They accept Cash, checks with i.d, and credit cards. Have fun!

Also, my wedding workshop is this Sunday, so drop by and ask me all the wedding planning questions you want for the low, low price of $20 person. RSVP by emailing me at, or 310-801-3602.

Monday, November 26, 2007

In excelcies deo

So I'm in barnes and noble at The Grove and they're playing '"angels we have heard on high" or whatever it's called, and it occurs to me - that would make a great song to walk down the aisle to. Very majestic and "Thank God we're all here for this day" and all....could just be me.
Sent from my iPhone

Wedding Bee Contest - $100 worth of wedding stationery

Wedding Bee has partnered up with The Paper Cafe to give away $100 worth of their products, which includes Save the Dates, Invitations, and personalized stationery. Go to Wedding Bee's contest page to sign up. It's a grest site, too, and features blogs from future brides around the country,plus classifieds and comment boards, so you should check it out, anyway.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I can't believe I forgot about this series

"Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Weddings." If you've ever read these, they're both informative and hilarious, with such tips as making a wedding dress out of a tablecloth (just in case there isn't a Macy's or Bloomingdale's nearby), raising money for your wedding by holding a car wash outside your ceremony or reception...during the ceremony and reception, and trying to get your future-in-laws to like you by doing their tax returns. But like all the books in this series, the tips are about 20% outrageous (raffle off a trip in the limo?) and 80% extremely useful - like using correction fluid to cover a stain on your dress and avoiding hot water under any circumstances to clean it. I just bought a used copy for a penny, and there's a couple of more copies still listed for that price on Amazon, as well. Plus shipping, that only $4.00, which is well worth it, even if it's just for a laugh.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Building the perfect centerpiece

It's still a work in progress but Olivia's centerpieces are coming along. Sky flowers is going to add more hydrangeas,more of the little purple flowers, and we're good to go. I'll post the final product over the weekend. So far it looks great against a silk chocolate brown tablecloth, which White Night Design was nice enough to lend me for today.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Eureka! Pre-Owned Wedding!

I was just trolling wedidng planning blogs looking for inspiration and I ran across A $10,000 Wedding. The owner isn't actually engaged, but she's ready for when she is, and trust me, it's never too early to start nailing down the bargains. Any way, she found, which sells used designer dresses starting at $300. Vera Wang, Maggie Sotero, Monique Lhuiller, you name it.

As far as being able to have a wedding for $10,00? Well,my wedding was about that. But we only had 35 guests. And we only had five simple centerpieces of red roses, plus my wedding boquet and the bridesmaid bouquets, which I got at this flower shop that was literally down the street from our apartment . And I rented my wedding dress. So, yeah, I guess it's possible. If I had to do it all over again, I would have bought a dress. I am acutally the kind of girl would clean my house in it, or just hang out on the couch and drink beer. And now I know where to buy another one some day. Whoo!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Congratulations Ani and Eric!

Ani and Eric were married yesterday at St. Peter's Armenian Apostolic Church in Van Nuys, with a reception at Bistro Garden in Studio City. The gorgeous flowers were done by Designs by Christine in Tujunga,818-352-3533), linens by White Night Design (who actually lent me a couple of linens for another client's centerpiece sample, which was pretty cool), video and photography by Arka Photography, who were just so much fun, and brought like, five people, so they wre everywhere, recording everything.

And as you can see, this was my first wedding trying out the camera on my iphone:

Andy from DJ Groove (,818-437-3177)kept the dance floor rocking with classic Armenian and American pop and rock songs - I didn't understand two-thirds of what was playing, but you can't argue with a dance floor, you know?
Why is this table empty? Because everyone's dancing!!

Another great thing about the iphone is that I was able to take a couple of pictures and then bring them out to Ani and Eric while they were waiting in the limo to make their grand entrance. This made the bride very happy. And we like happy brides. Also, much thanks goes out to my able-bodied assistant Maeline, if for nothing more than her exellent table number string-tying skills.

Friday, November 16, 2007

How to Build a $25,000 wedding

...or die trying.

I have a Platinum (full-service) client, Olivia, who only wants to spend $25,000 for her wedding next August. for 150 guests This will actually be her second wedding, since they're also having a ceremony in Europe in June. No, I don't get to go to that one. Yes, I am kind of bummed about that.
So far:

We started off where everyone starts - Where to have it? Olivia wanted to have the ceremony outside, in a pictaresque location. I'd just done a wedding in August at Villa del Sol d'oro in Sierra Madre, this gorgeous Italian Villa, so that was my first recommendation. We went with her mom to check it out, but they also wanted to look at some place that had it's own catering. We went to the Altadena Town and Country Club next. They have a great menu starting at $69.95 per person, both indoor and outdoor ceremony sites, reception room rental starting at $3,000. Oliva reserved a date for next August.
I also suggested that if she wanted to save money on a dress, she could have it made - I know a great seamstress, Debbie LaFranchi at Debbie's Creative Costumes who could make her dress for somewhere between $500-1000. But Olivia had already found and bought a dress she loved that was way more expensive, but she LOVES it, like, her eyes light up when she talks about it, even. Since it's being spread out over a couple of weddings, and one of relatives is helping her pay for it, she doesn't want to add it to the total, though.
Total spent so far:
Coordination Fee: $3000 + Altadena Country Club:$16,217.50 = $19,217.50
...I know, just like that, right? The reception usually takes about 50% of your budget, so she's a little behind right now. Note that the total doesn't include decorations or alchol (which , which will be added later.

Time to find a photographer. When you're planning your wedding, always start with the most expensive line items first, like your venue and your caterer. Once you've got those nailed down, you now know how much you have left to spend on everything else. Olivia also has an advantage because she's starting out so early, so she can pick and choose a little bit more freely. If you don't have a year, I suggest going to Here Comes the Guide and being VERY specific about what will fit into your budget, pick your first five vendor choices in each category, and go from there.

Anway, photographers. I first introduced Olivia to Jen and Nate from B and G Photography, and she loved their pictures. I love their pictures, too (seriously, look at the pictures), and they are wonderful to work with, and they're pretty much my first recommendation for anyone looking for a photographer. They start at around $3,500, and that includes an engagement photography session beforehand, a photo print package, plus you're paying for two photographers, so it's a pretty good deal. Olivia's fiancee was hoping to spend a little less money, especially in liew of that the reception is costing, so I looked in my archive and found Enchanted Portraiture, which has a package where they hand you a disc with all your pictures on it for about $2500. It's very basic, but Curtis Bloom does wonderful work as well. Both photographers will have materials at my wedding planning workshop on December 2nd, so come on by.

Olvia's uncle is also part-owner of a banquet hall that's being built in Glendale, and is supposed to be ready at the end of the year. He offered a deal of $75 a person for the food, no venue rental fee, so she decided to go with that place instead.

Spent so far:
Coordination fee: $3000
Reception Hall: $11,250
Photography: $2500
Total: $16,750

Next time, we'll see how November is shaping up for her, and I'll talk about the wedding I have coming up this weekend.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Wedding Planning Workshop LIVES!

And it's happening Sunday December 2nd at 2pm. Pretty much two hours of answering brides' questions, and handing out advice. This is the cheapest having a wedding planner is going to get - $20 - PLUS I'm giving everyone a sheet of discounts and coupons from some of my favorite local vendors. And there will be refreshments, of course. Go to to buy tickets.