Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Favorite Songs from 2008

First of all, the link for the Recession Bride's Workshop on January 18th is up. Sign up early and often.

Second of all, I am a total music freak. I usually make a monthly playlist, and then combine that into a best of the year playlist. This year, I payed particular attention to how many times I've actually played each song, according to itunes. The itunes imix box (with the songs they let me publish, but check out the others) is below the list. So, here we go:

1. Lost! Coldplay
"Just because I'm losing, doesn't mean I'm lost/Just because I'm hurting, doesn't mean I'm hurt." So, back off, already.

2. Not Now But Soon, Imogean Heap
"We're heading for the best days of our lives/if we can just get through this one." Just hang in there until the scenery changes.

3. Angela, Melissa Higgins
Earlier this year,I had a contract event gig at Wilshire Conferences, during which I sat, LITERALLY, two feet away from my boss, who started his day with Morning Sounds Eclectic on NPR. This is one of the songs that was on their regular playlist in February/March. Folk guitar and sing it loud and proud.

4. Troubled Times, Dar Williams
Environmentally friendly teen love. Gotta love it.

5. I'm Yours, Jason Mraz
It's my happy song of the year, and the one tune I NEVER skip over. And I've tried, too. I just can never do it. I defy you to not find yourself smiling like an idiot after you listen to it.

6. 99 problems, Jay-Z
This was the year I actually started to paying attention to Jay-Z, probably because he's a favorite of a certain President-Elect of ours. Jay-Z knows how to put things in perspective, you know?

7. Swing Gently, Leona Naess
I just heard this song a few weeks ago on Private Practice, and it's already on my most played-list. Sometimes I think the only reason I still watch that show and Grey's Anatomy is because the music is still great, even if Pete slept with Violet and Izzie slept with a ghost. Priorities, people.

8. Broken, Lifehouse
The most depressing song on my list, but very pretty, in a "you're dying and I'm just trying to take it day by day" kind of way.

9. Here (In Your Arms), HelloGoodbye
Another happy, feel good song. Very dangerous to play when you're driving. Rocks otherwise.

10. Change, John Waite
So, one of the cooler things about being in your 30s in this day and age is hearing a song you loved as a kid, and actually being able to buy it and put it on the portable music player of your choice. I heard this song which I absolutely LOVED 20 (gack!) years ago, and ran right to itunes. "It doesn't matter who you are, it's all the same/What's in your hear will never change." Thanks, John!

11. Auld Lang Syne, Mari Campbell, Sex and the City Soundtrack
From the best scene in the movie, when Carrie races across the city and over the bridge because Miranda is all alone on New Year's Eve. That was a way better movie than it really had a right to be, actually.

12. Ain't No Good Day for Dying, Maura O'Connell
My writing buddy,Katinka, turned me on to Pandora, which in turn introduced me to Maura O'Connell. So much music to buy, so little time.

13. Clean Getaway, Maria Taylor
"I finally made it, I made a clean getaway/And I miss you, I miss you more than I can say." Not sure where I found this one, but it's depressing enough that I can probably blame Grey's Anatomy.

14.In Spite of Ourselves,John Prine and Iris Dement
This was the first dance song at Matt and Michele's wedding, which I coordinated in July. The best and worst you can expect from marriage - "In spite of ourselves, we'll end up sitting on a rainbow/against all odds, honey, we're the big door prize. We're going to spite our noses right off of our faces/They'll be nothing but big ole hearts dancing in our eyes."

15. No Air, Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown
I first heard this song on "So You Think You can Dance", a shared obsession between me, and my friends Dee Dee and Maya, and got pulled into Katie and Joshua's routine, which you can see here.

16. Holiday Road, Lindsay Buckingham
You know, from National Lampoon's Vacation? Never a big fan of the movie, loved the song, and Lindsay Buckingham (from Fleetwood Mac!)wrote it, which I never knew until a month ago. Did anyone else know that?

17. Lollipop, Mika
This generation's Freddy Mercury. Another bounce around and dance song. Not safe for driving.

18.September, Earth Wind and Fire
From Christel and Stephen's wedding which was...on the 21st night of September. It's also the ringtone on my phone. Sometimes I dance around a little before answering it, as do others around me. Complete strangers, even.

19. Human, The Killers
His haircut on the album is inexplicable, but it's a really great song. Are we human, or are we dancers? And why do we have to choose?

20. About Today, The National
Another Grey's song. Itunes owes so much of my money to that show.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Recession Bride Workshop - Sunday, January 11

The Economy sucks, probably will for a while,but you can still have the wedding of your dreams. Seriously. So, roll up your sleeves, bring your budget, bring your questions, and learn:

- What all this wedding stuff really costs
- The Top Five Ways You Can Save Money
- Negotiating Vendor contracts
-The actual time, cost and benefits of DIY vs. just hiring someone else to do it.
- What your guests are really going to pay attention to, and what you can stop worrying about right now
- And, of course, a list of the best wedding deals in Los Angeles.

Cost? $20.
You'll save? THOUSANDS, plus many, many hours of worry and work.

Wedding cake and appetizers will be provided.

The website and registration will be up this weekend, so in the meantime, email for more info, or call me at 310-891-3602.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bridezillas...And the people that can't stop watching them

On Monday, the Washington Post had with writer Carina Chocano (L.A. Times and about her article "Here Comes the Bride. The Question is...Why?", which is about Reality TV brides, and why we're fascinated with them. I actually don't watch those shows, because they're a little too stressful, and a little too, well, unrealistic. Not just for me, but for the brides, as well.

Why are people so fascinated with weddings? Well, it's simple. For one day, you get to be a princess. You get to be the center of attention, all eyes are on you. Your wedding day is when you get to be a celebrity, without all the baggage that goes with it. Now, who doesn't want that? It just depends on how much you're willing to pay for it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nicole and Mike's engagment shots

Nicole and Mike's engagement shots with B&G are up on their blog. They are so cute!

Also, here's an article about budgeting and floral arrangements. When I was planning my wedding, I really wanted something simple, so I literally walked down to the floral shop on the corner and ordered a few vases filled with Black magic rose, a bouquet for myself, and small bouquets for my bridesmaids, and I got out of there by paying less than $150. But like I said, simple helps, and most of the pics in this article are pretty simple.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Wedding at Villa Del Sol D'Oro in Sierra Madre

Happy Monday, everyone!

There's a post on, featuring pictures of a wedding at this gorgeous place in Sierra Madre. One of my favorites. You can find the post here.

And then the pictures of the wedding that I coordinated at the Villa here.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Family Members and Their Obnoxious Spouses You Have to Invite

Answering Questions in Wedding Wire:

If you dont like a family members husband do you still invite them
I have a family members who's husband I cant stand he is loud and rude and never has anything nice to say. I have been to other events and he has been there and somepeople wished they had never invited him. Would it be wrong not to invite him?

Unfortunately, yeah, if you invite the family member, then you're going to have to invite their husband, there's really no polite way out of it. The good thing is, since you'll be running around getting married and doing other wedding stuff (you're not going to be at the cocktail hour because you're taking pictures, you're not going to be at the same table as he is during the reception), you're really going to have minimal contact with him. Basically, only as much contact as you want.

The only way out of it is to not invite the family member, but I don't know how much heat you're going to get from that. But seriously? You're not going to interact that much with him on your wedding day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Save Money, Save Time, and uh, Save Some More Money

I just found out about Bravo Bride which I can only describe as Ebay for wedding stuff. They, of course, feature the dresses on the home page! And, part of the proceeds from each sale goes to the American Heart Associations project for women. Very cool.

And I just got another email from, which offers a quick, online way to change your maiden name to your married name. You get gift cards for friends, too. I'm tempted to send one to Heidi and Spencer.

Oh, and Weddingish, one of my favorite bridal accessories boutiques, is going offering a bunch of Holiday related-sales and events, including $25 off any $100 purchase. Check 'em out.

Personally speaking, I've recovered from participating in NaNoWriMo, and am now getting into editing it. Which I don't know how to do. Having just achieved a life long dream of writing a book, it would be nice to get into shape to present it to the world. But, I'm a fan of process, so I did a search and found Holly Lisle's website guide to one pass revision editing, which totally works for me. I'm only through my first chapter, but so far, so good.

And, I have time to read again! I just finished the latest in the Sookie Stackhouse series, From Dead to Worse. I got addicted to this series after attending a panel at Comicon for the HBO series True Blood, which is based on the series. They gave away copies of the first book, Dead Until Dark, and I LOVED it. I've been reading the series all summer. I was totally thrilled when I found the last book at the library. I'm going to move on from that to Wally Lamb's latest, The Hour I First Believed.

Business-wise, my Quicksilver client upgraded, so I'm going to help her with the rest of her wedding planning. I also had a couple of potential client meetings yesterday and today, so I'm looking forward to hearing back from them.

Wow, this year went by in a hurry, didn't it?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pictures at the Marvimon House

I was trolling for wedding news a few weeks ago, and found these lovely pictures of a wedding at the Marvimon House, a very unique space in Los Angeles. I tried sending it out earlier, but the post never made it through, so I figured it I'd try it on my blog.

This isn't a wedding that I coordinated, but it's such. a cool. VENUE. The photographer is Chenin Boutwell in Laguna Niguel, and she's truly talented. I can't wait to work with her one day.

Here's a question that I just answered on Wedding Wire. I just came up with this solution, and now I REALLY, REALLY want someone to do it:

Big gap between our ceremony and the reception
We are having a very small wedding of close to 35-40 people and our ceremony will take place at a beautiful Boathouse but it opens to the public at 12 so we only have the time from 10am to 12pm for the ceremony. We decided to take everybody to the botanical garden which is across the street for pictures and relaxing time. But there still is a long time between the ceremony and the reception even if we start it at 4pm with light refreshments.

My answer:
My wedding (lo, so many years ago) was about the same size, and it was great, because we were able to get a group picture of everyone, and shots with each of our guests. That will kill about an hour.
What you might think of doing, and this is off the top of my head, is maybe providing a list of local places they can visit/hang out? Or, in lieu of favors, give a Starbucks card with each wedding program (with directions to the closest one), or if there's a local bookstore, a gift card for it, so they can go there and relax until the reception? We're not talking about a lot of money, just enough for a coffee and muffin, or enough for a magazine. You an even pull in your wedding date and give them cards in the amount of $6.69. Which is probably less than your favors will cost apiece.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Quicksilver! And links!

So, November flew by in a hurry, didn't it?

I've been working with a Quicksilver Client, Nicole, who needed a place to have her wedding in February. She choose two other vendors for me to find for her - a photographer and a florist. She wanted to have her wedding at a hotel, because most of her guests are going to be from out of town. It's a very small wedding - 40 guests.

They ended up choosing the LAX Hilton, which a family member of hers had stayed at. The meal Nicole was interested in started at $51 pp, which with tax and gratuity (note: the standard is an additional 28% in California, and you are NOT going to be able to avoid this) came to $66.25 per person. This includes light appetizers for your cocktail hour, a cake, and champagne toast for all their guests. The ceremony fee is another $600, and includes a microphone. The Hilton is also one of those places where you can put down a certain amount for your bar, so say, you pay $1000, and then every drink that is served gets taken off of that until it's gone. If any of your deposit is left, the Hilton gives it back to you. Their minimum deposit is $600, however. If each of your guests has 3 premium drinks, it's about $28 per person, so you can calculate from there.

For Photography, she went with B&G Photography, which gave her a great deal, including a 10% discount for being my client.
Flowers? Sky Flowers in North Hollywood.

Working with Nicole has been great - one of the reasons I came up with the Quicksilver package is that it combined my two greatest planning loves: research and short deadlines. In a month, I will find you everything that you need - and have a blast doing it.

Today's link:

Black Friday Marriage Proposal:

Man proposes at Mall of America on the busiest shopping day of the year. I wonder if he got the ring before or after they got to the mall?