Sunday, November 29, 2009

The $10,000 Wedding - Seriously.

Hey! Look What I Found:

So, I'm prepping for the re-launch of the Recession Bride's Workshop on Thursday, so I've been updating and revamping all the materials that I give the participants. And, in looking at my own teaching materials, I knew, somewhere, that I'd broken down what a $10,00 wedding budget for 100 guests looks like. And I did, and here it is:

Ladies and Gentlemen, The $10,000 budget:

50% - Ceremony and Reception - $5000

Site Fee - $1200
Food - $3800
which breaks down to $38 per person, INCLUDING standard 9.75% tax
and 20% service,$29.35 base without tax and service OR, if there is no site
fee, only a charge per person for food, $38.50 per person.

$5,000 for everything else:
10% - Photography - $1000
10% - Attire - $1000
10% - Flowers - $1000
10% - Music - $1000
5% - Cake - $500 ($5.00 a slice)
5% - Invitations - $500

That second half is where you get your wiggle room, that's where you can find your deals. Where, you might ask? I'll tell you all about it during the workshop call, I promise.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wedding Wise Wednesday - Giving Thanks for Black Friday

Sad news, Aislers - Instyle Weddings is no more. The last issue comes out December 25th, but will be on the stands until March. LOVE that magazine. Between that one and Martha Stewart Weddings, that was pretty much all I needed. They're just dropping like flies, aren't they?

But here's a little piece of heaven for you - the L.A. Times just launched a new wedding announcement section called "Together", and if you get your wedding announcement in by November 30th - that would be NEXT.MONDAY. - their "basic" announcement is free. That would be in the Los Angeles Frickin' Times. You're welcome!

And on to even happier news, because you are a lucky, lucky girl if you still haven't gotten your wedding dress

There are serious sales all over Los Angeles on Friday:

Lezu’s Bridal famous after-Thanksgiving sample clearance event

Friday,November 27,10AM to 5PM
Lezu’s Bridal Famous after-Thanksgiving sample clearance event
Black Friday never looked so good - 100% silk couture gowns in over one-hundred different styles, all from $500 to no more than $1,500. Come prepared to look, love, and buy. Gowns must be purchased and delivery taken during the sale hours. No appointments,first come, first served. Cash and credit card purchases only. 247 South Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Ivory Suite - Black Friday Blowout Sale
Save up to 75% off! One day blow out sale of couture sample gowns, accessories, and flower girl dresses. Plus, receive 10% off any new gown order. This is by appointment only, but I checked and there are appointments left. 803 Meridian Avenue
South Pasadena, CA 91030,626.799.2991

Rose Petals Bridal Store - Black Friday Sale Event

Friday, November 27, 10:00am - 6:00pm
Save up to 75% off retail price on ALL sample weddings gowns and evening, prom gowns and flower girl dresses. All Shoes & Accessories 50% off, plus 50% OFF veil with purchase of wedding gown. No appointments necessary, just walk on in
10212 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602, (818)232-7901,

Alfred Angelo Preview Sale
Alfred Angelo 2010 preview sale runs right into and over Black Friday, $100 off each wedding dress and $20 off each bridesmaid dress, just go to their website to print the coupon, and to find a location near you. The picture above is of one of their dresses. Pretty!

Lots of online wedding deals and steals, Too

And Brenda's Wedding Blog and OneWed have lists of the best of them. Ooh, and look what comes up on Etsy for their holiday sales!

Other Events:

White Satin Wedding Show
Sunday, November 29
Westin Pasadena
191 N. Los Robles
Pasadena, CA 91101
I'm dropping by this one - the fashion show is going to feature dresses by Alina Pizzano, whose trunk show I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. Register online and get $4 tickets when you use the code"Veil". Look for my review of this one on Monday.

The Recession Bride's Workshop
Thursday, December 3, 7:00 - 8:00pm
Making a comeback as a conference call teleclass. Still trying to keep it intimate so I can answer everyone's questions, so register as soon as you can. Once you register, you get a whole bunch of budget-friendly goodies AND the call in number!

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all, and I'll see you at the end of the aisle,

Liz C.
Silver Charm Events

Monday, November 23, 2009

Squee is the cure for the Monday Blahs

And, luckily, I had plenty of squee this weekend to share.
One of my brides is getting married at Casa Romantica in San Clemente this spring. We had a meeting with her caterer, 24 carrots last week, and since they were going to be setting up for another wedding on Saturday, I went by to take some pictures for my bride, so she could see what all this fabulous stuff they were talking about looked like. This place is GORGEOUS. That's a picture of the terrace, and yes, you could sky dive off of it, right into the ocean. You can see the page of pics I set up for on my website. Flowers and event design at the Casa were done by Maready Design (949-246-0939), and trust me, I did not do them justice.

I'd been invited to attend a private sale in Laguna Beach at Nida's Boutique on Saturday, too, and she makes these beautiful hand-made invitations and reception stationery:

Totally worth the drive down.

This Thing I Finally Remembered to NOT FORGET:

Alfred Angelo just started their 2010 preview sale, which is going on until next Sunday, the 29th. $100 off each wedding dress and $20 off each bridesmaid dress, just go to their website and print the coupon.

It's another full week here at Silver Charm Events - Flowers with Ellen and Patrick tomorrow, and an officiant consultation with Sarah and Steve. Did I ever tell you I perform weddings? Well, I do.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz C.
Silver Charm Events

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wedding Dump Friday - Your Wedding Weekend

It has been such a week that I think we should start out with a pretty picture of a pretty dessert. Bring the Squee, please:

Courtesy of The Knot and Vancouver wedding photographers, Lucida Photography See, I could do this, I could make a rice crispie wedding cake...or I could ask my friend Maeline to make it for me. So, it's almost DIY I can do.


Saturday, November 21st, 1-3pm
Creation Station- The Art of the Creative Centerpiece
Thanksgiving is coming up. Your Wedding is Coming Up. Either way, you're going to need centerpieces. Wanna learn how to make them yourself? Happily Ever After Wedding and Events is hosting this workshop at Bright Stars Reading Club, Bright Stars Reading Club
714 E. Manchester Ave., Inglewood, CA 90301. Registration is $25.00


Lezu’s Bridal famous after-Thanksgiving sample clearance event
Friday,November 27,10AM to 5PM
Lezu’s Bridal Famous after-Thanksgiving sample clearance event
Black Friday never looked so good - 100% silk couture gowns in over one-hundred different styles, all from $500 to no more than $1,500. Come prepared to look, love, and buy. Gowns must be purchased and delivery taken during the sale hours. No appointments,first come, first served. Cash and credit card purchases only. 247 South Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Where's Liz?

Oh, I'm up and down the coast this weekend - first to Casa Romantica to take pictures of wedding set-up for one of my brides that's getting married there next Spring. On the way, I'm hitting an event at a stationery store that I was invited to. Sunday is my nephew's birthday party, and then I think I'm just going to sleep. But, hey, tonight I get to go to Disneyland! And I'm already late, so I should probably get going...

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz C.
P.S. The next Recession Bride's Workshop is Thursday, December 3. Register, you'll love it!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One more Discount, One More Squee! And How the Call Went Last Night

One more photobooth discount from Sunday's show, which I updated on yesterday's post, but I wanted to put in here, too:

Cheesy Photobooths
- 4 hours of unlimited double prints (one for guests, one for you), custom event banner on each print, CD of ALL the pictures taken. $1395, if you book them by the end of the year (for whenever next year)and use the code bookings48032 and receive 2 additional hours free. Oh, and I have THREE coupons for another $160 off if you're the first person to book a date they have open. Email me at if you're interested, and I'll send it to you.


There are wedding concepts that I just love, and Pingg is one of them - wedding e-vites, that you can also send out as paper invites. Best of both worlds, please everyone, how is that not cool? Now, okay, now? Pinng has designs by Martha Stewart. They're beautiful, of course! GO.

Yesterday's Charmed Circle Conference Call

... was awesome! We talked about working with your venues and vendors if there is something that you want that they might not be able to do (long story short - be specific, don't be afraid to ask!), and the best way to help your vendors help you. It's kind of interesting, because for a lot of brides, this is the first big party they've ever thrown. That's not daunting at all, right? We also talked about how to avoid being overwhelmed by it all, and the best advice I will ever have on that is just to break it down into bite-sized parts. You're faced with 5 million venues, pick an area you're interested in and break the 5 million into three venues each. Try and come up with three potential dates for your wedding instead of just one. And don't panic, you have plenty of time to do this, even if you think you don't. And if you need help, of course, just let me know! :-) If you would like to schedule a one-on-one consultation to get YOUR specific wedding questions answered, go to my website to find out how to get started.

So, I Was Thinking About the Recession Bride's Workshop

The call yesterday was such a success, that I'm going to bring back the workshop as a teleclass. The first date I'm looking at is either Thursday, December 3rd or December 10 at 7pm. Stay tuned!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz C.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wedding Wise Wednesday - Now With Free Conference Call!

If you had a wedding planner for an hour, what would you ask? Well, you'll have one tonight at 6:30pm. The big day is here - the launch of my new service, Charmed Circle Consultation Calls! Go to my website for the call in-number and code, get on the call tonight, and let me know what's bugging you about your wedding. And thanks to Meg at A Practical Wedding for the lovely write-up.

So, as I was saying on Monday, The Bridal Show was chock full of wedding deals and steals, so many that I'd be quite stupid to NOT use them for the Wedding Wise. Note: I'm not personally endorsing or recommending any of the vendors below, but I will say that these prices are all very good for what you're getting, so you should definitely check them out. So good, in fact, that I'm pretty sure most of these folks aren't going to be offering these prices for long.


King Photography- 4 hours of photography, engagement session, all photos on cd, 24 page album, $1095. With 6 hours, this package is $1495. BUT, if you book by December 15th, and mention (this is important) the Bridal Showplace on 11/15,the 6-hour package is, wait for it, $695.

Perfect Images Photography - Unlimited time during your wedding day, two photographers (subject to availability), DVD with all images,8” Digital Frame or Hardcover coffee table book,Secure on-line viewing album, $900.

Kelliane Jordon
- First of all, she's offering 10% off if your wedding is between November and March. Her basic package, "Custom Crystal" is 3 hours of coverage, cd with pics, for $1,000. This package would totally work if you know there are going to be a lot of guests taking pictures as well. Get a flickr or wedding lens account and ask them to download their reception shots onto the site. Also, if you book a photography service, you'll get 10% off her videography, which starts at $2,000 for 6 hours. So, basically, photo and video for less than $3,000.

Deluxe Photo Booths - 4 hours of Photo Booth Rental with attendant, Unlimited Black and White or Color Photos, $1000

Cheesy Photobooths
- 4 hours of unlimited double prints (one for guests, one for you), custom event banner on each print, CD of ALL the pictures taken. $1395, if you book them by the end of the year (for whenever next year)and use the code bookings48032 and receive 2 additional hours free. Oh, and I have THREE coupons for another $160 off if you're the first person to book a date they have open. Email me at if you're interested, and I'll send it to you.

Artistic Memories - Photography starts at $1095, Combination Video/Photography at $1895.

Remo Photography - "Gold Collection": Engagement session and 11X14 wall-sized picture of your favorite shot, up to 8 hours coverage during your wedding, one photographer, 30-page album, all images given to you on a CD. $1395.00

Yantz Photography - Their basic, "Timeless" package is 8 hours of coverage, two photographers, and a cd of the pics so you can print them out yourself, for $1399. Their engagement sessions are $200.

Studio 28 photo
- "Collection One" gives you two photographers for 8 hours, an engagement session, a cd of your images, and an online gallery for print purchases, for $2,000.


Design by Ashley - Their "Bronze" Package is a bridal bouquet, maid of honor bouquet, 3 bridesmaid bouquets, 10 boutonnieres and corsages, for only $499. Add 10 centerpieces,sweetheart table and cake table arrangements, and a toss bouquet, and that brings it up to only $1339.

Gotta Have It Personalized - monogram swarkovski crystal cake toppers. You have to see them, any color and size you could possibly want. Email them at, and use promo code PASSO9 for free shipping and a 5% discount.

Lovpoly - Personalized Monopoly game, great for bridal showers, game night. Hmm, I wonder if you can play a strip version of this? Probably. Use the code "wedpasadena" by Christmas, and get a $20 discount off the deluxe version. Enjoy!

See you at the end of the aisle (and on the conference call tonight!),

Liz C.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Review - Bridal Showplace, Sunday, November 15th

Bridal Show Week is over. Whew! Learned a lot, saw a lot, ate a hell of a lot of hors d'ouerves and cake,and I have two new favorite drinks. Whew! For reviews of the week that was, click here, here, here, here, and here. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

The Bridal Showplace was held at the Hilton Hotel in Pasadena. Tip to Add to the Bridal show tips - find parking outside the hotel if you can. Parking at the hotel was $9.00...with validation. Uh, NO.

This is one of the first big shows of the season, so the vendors with the deals were definitely out on Sunday. What I was first struck by was how MANY different vendors there were in each category at the show, and I think, for a bride (and I actually asked a bride at the show, later) that it can get pretty overwhelming. So, another tip to add to the tips - do a little research beforehand, especially with photographers and florists. Go to the knot, go wedding wire, and flip through the vendors and figure out what styles you like, it will better arm you when you walk the floor. It is also very important to do a round of the floor before you talking to vendors, wait until you see all of what's available, first!

The Best in Show:

There were a few vendors that I kept going back to again and again:

Bride and Bloom Magazine Shop (no pic, sadly, but the link should work, now):
B&B (which I was just looking at the night before and ripping pictures out of) is opening up an online shop in January. They were giving away these cute little cards with a package of, wait for it, chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Sounds bizarre, tastes delicious. I gave one to my husband, the pickiest eater on the face of the planet. He ate the whole thing and asked for more, and that is all you ever need to know. Want to save 20% on your first purchase? Use the code BBS1115. You're welcome!

Pictured Clockwise:

Clay My Figure. Wendy Lee makes these insane figurines, which would be perfect for wedding toppers, and something you would definitely want to keep around afterward. They start at $99 and take about a month to complete.

Santa Monica Florists - many "traditional" florists were there, but Glorian was definitely not one of them, just look at that! Mention this blog or the show, and get a free bouquet with your wedding flower order. The bouquet's about $200,in and of itself.

Emily Photo - Her pictures just stood out to me as the being the most original and neatest shots on the floor. Great prices, too - 8 hours of photography, two shooter onsite, plus an engagement session, plus a soft cover album all for $2200. Deal, deal, deal!

Atmosphere Entertainment DJ - there were a lot of DJs on hand, but this one was totally grooving out to his music, and the music, it was good. I had to circle around a couple of times because of the crowd, actually. Their packages start at $995 for 4 hours, and you'll get a $100 discount off if you mention this blog or that you saw them at the show.

What I'd Like to See At My Next Wedding Gig:

A photo booth, definitely. There were three companies there, and they were always busy.

The Bad:
The show was a little disorganized. There were three rooms, but you wouldn't know by the registration staff, or the directory they handed out which didn't tell you who was where, or the signage of which there wasn't any. Counting that your guests are going to wander around trying to find the restroom and stumble onto the second vendor room (which is what happened to me)doesn't work. Plus, I asked two Reg reps where the dress store was, and one didn't know, and the other sent me in the opposite direction of it. That's solved by a five-minute orientation of your staff before the doors open and one sentence to people coming into the main room, "There's two other rooms down the hall to your left, fashion show to your right, and the dress shop is right next door to it across from the hotel shop. Thanks for coming!" Or something like that. And, most of dresses in the store were being used at the fashion shows, so they weren't available, long before and long after they were on the runway. Kind of a mess. What could they have done, you ask? Throw in some dresses from the other two vendors there and have less dresses from the show's store, but highlight them. One dress at the beginning, point out that the dresses are only $179 each, store is next door, one dress at the end saying the same thing. I know, I'm quite the event planning nerd.

The Ugly:
Oh, man. There were just a ton of plastic surgeons, teeth-whiteners, financial advisers (money arguments are #1 cause of divorce, congratulations on your engagement!), corset companies, and one guy, this one guy who runs a clinic in Mexico where they specialize in lap bands, which I swear I saw in an episode of Grey's Anatomy (and you probably did, too) as a bad, bad thing. He was just kind of creepy, and they let him speak before the Fashion Show,too which was all kinds of wrong. Okay, so on one hand, yes, everyone wants to look beautiful/their best/better on their wedding day, and that's why these vendors were there. None of them seemed to have anyone lingering to talk, however, and I'll tell you why: When you jump in front of someone and say, "Wanna lose 30 lbs in 5 minutes?", it's kind of a turn off. Plus, most of these "solutions" aren't permanent, aren't comfortable, and are often dangerous to your health. Your guy is marrying you because he loves you, the you you were when he proposed. I know I'm rambling, but all those knives pointed at women's self-esteem jugulars just made all the lambs in my head start screaming. Ugh. And, just in case you think it's just the thin girl being judgmental, I was 40 lbs heavier than I am now when I got married six years ago. The lapband pitch would have been a turn-off then, too.

Deep Breath, jumping off the soapbox, now.
At any rate, I picked up a so many great deals, and so many vendors were willing to offer those deals after the show that this week's Wedding Wise Wednesday is just going to list them. Stay tuned.

Have a great week and I'll see you at the end of the aisle,

Liz C.

p.s. Don't forget to register for my free wedding consultation conference call this Wednesday!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Martha Stewart Extravaganza ,Part 3

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 Here

Moving On...

11:21 - The Prize Salon. One you sign into the website, you're automatically registered for the sweepstakes, but you have to be "present" - still signed in - to win. You get an email if you've won anything. Once I realized that, I rushed right over to my inbox, but nothing. Darn it!

I already mentioned that the Expo is also taking place tomorrow, too, right? 11-4,Eastern Standard, which is 8am-1pm here.

Also pretty cool - at the top of each "floor" is a box called "saved ideas", so if you see something you really like, you can click on it and it goes into that box for you to review later.

11:34 - I just hit the live chat on the Assistance page, to confirm how long all this info is going to be up, after the expo is officially over tomorrow.

All in all, I've been very impressed with how smooth this website is running. So far, all the pages have downloaded instantly, no hold ups, and I can't even imagine how many people are on this right now. But really, would you expect anything else from Martha Stewart?

11:40 - One of the assistance reps is sending me a private message to my question. I feel so special. And here it is: All the info will be up for 90 days after the expo, so February 15th. She says that some of the info will be updated in early January, so I'll let you know when that happens.

11:47 - Hitting Wedding Etiquette video now. And hey, the first topic is how to not invite kids to your wedding, which I've been discussing with one of my brides. Darcy and etiquette expert Talley Sue Holhfeld agree - proper etiquette says that you shouldn't write anything like "Adults Only Reception" on the invitation.

If you don't want to invite children, don't put the children's names on the invitation envelope (or the inner invitation envelope). If you do want to invite them, do. Just as I was about to gag, Darcy pointed out a lot of guests who don't know the etiquette rule are going to ignore it, which they will. Sue and Darcy agree, however, that putting some version of "NO KIDS" on the invite is wrong. You can include a list of babysitters "If you will need sitting services during the wedding and reception, please contact...", with the list of hotels. If you're going to have a wedding website, you can put that it's an adult-only event on there. Also, think about providing a babysitter service/table at the wedding. Their #1 suggestion is just talking to guests who you know have children and let them know, and that there is info about accommodating the tinies on it's way. That whole part is kind of funny, because Darcy and Sue are a little awkward covering a VERY awkward topic, but they get through it pretty well. They move on to other things like monograms and where the bride and groom should sit and with whom asquicklyaspossible. Whew! All in all, good stuff.

12:26 - And I'm done. So, all in all, that going through every room, it took me about three hours and some change. It shouldn't take anyone you more than two, I'm thinking even less, because you're not stopping to analyze, and you're not stopping to write. Gameplan? A variation of my bridal show tips - go through once, see what you're interested in, go back to those things on your second run through. Luckily, this stuff is going to be here for a while, so you have time. Take advantage of the live chats, they're great and the response is pretty quick,since they're each manned by at least two reps.

Final grade? Solid A. Why not an A+? There really needed to be MORE Martha!!! From what I could see, the only video of Martha is on the Details floor - if you find her elsewhere, please let me know in the comments. Granted her touch is all over the Expo, the site is PURE Martha, but the woman herself is in rare supply. Don't get me wrong, Darcy is great. A little bit awkward from time to time, as many of us are with any new experience (I don't even want to talk about the first two Recession Bride's Workshops), but she's extremely likable, and the information she provides is solid, and presented in a very engaging way.
But more Martha, please. A Welcome from her on the home page, at least? Geez.

12:48 - The Expo closes for the day in 12 minutes. I'm going to stay logged in, just in case I win the last prize. Oh, yeah, like you wouldn't?

Speaking of live bride shows, I'm still going to the Bridal Showplace tomorrow in Pasadena, and you're still welcome to join me. Meet me in the lobby at 11am.

And don't forget to email me and register for my free conference call Wednesday night. Get all your wedding questions answered, and find out about my new planning service where you can continue to get all your wedding questions answered. email liz@silvercharmevents to get the toll-free call-in number.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz C.

The Martha Stewart Wedding Extravaganza Continues

10:29 - Hitting the Bridal Boutique, next. Okay, this is kind of awesome. There's a "room" for each designer. A video slideshow of their latest collection runs in the middle of the screen, and on the side? A LIVE CHAT WITH A REPRESENTATIVE OF EACH DESIGNER!!! Got a question, get your question answered. Click on "brochures and ideas" on the left, for store locations, event listings, stuff like that. Pretty cool. FYI, of the designers that are participating, Anna Elyse, Anne Barge, Jennifer Salzman, St. Pucci and the Dessy Group either have stores in Southern California, or are carried in them.

10:55 - The Bridal Boutique floor also links to registry pages for Macys and Crate and Barrel, and each have live chats for reps, too. The video for Macys is making me hungry...

11:00 - You're also going to want to hit the Details Floor. Martha's section is DIY Nirvana, with a video featuring Martha herself. Someone else is doing the live chat, though. There's some tool called the "stamp-aligner" that I'm gonna need...

Martha Stewart Luxury Wedding Expo - Live Blog

Good morning!

I thought, rather than do a review afterward, I'd try my first ever live blog/twit("livetwit"?). You can follow me on twitter at

Let's see, now how does this work...

8:56am - Entering seems to be a snap. If you already registered, you just enter your email address. If you're not already registered, I'm not sure why since I've been bugging you about this for a couple of weeks, now! Anyway, I'm not your mother, so you can just register right now if you haven't already.

8:59 - There are four different "store fronts" - Wedding 101 videos, Bridal Boutiques, Inspiration from Experts and Prize Salon. Let's hit Wedding 101 Videos first...

9:09 - Went to "Defining Your Vision" first, hosted by Martha Stewart Wedding Editor-In-Chief Darcy Miller. Videos are about 7 minutes long. This is great information for a bride just starting out, and really, for a bride that's maybe a little stuck, too. I was disturbed that there wasn't a pause or fast forward "button" on any of these videos, but it comes up if you put your cursor on the screen. Whew! Martha Stewart perfection restored.

9:10 - Moving on to "Choosing Your Color Palette". Darcy and contributor Matthew Robbins. Darcy: "Thank you Matthew Robbins for being here to help me talk about color" Robbins: "Absolutely, my favorite thing." Darcy: "Well, you can't have a wedding without color." Um...Cough. Okay, fine, I'm just going to go ahead and laugh. The rest of the video is very good - Darcy and Matthew discuss how to find your color palette, where you can "bring it in" in your wedding, if there are any "rules" (only one - maybe don't bring in too many colors, maybe), and what colors are popular these days.

9:43 - Sorry, had to take a phone call. I'm hitting one more video - "Sticking To Your Budget", because I would LOVE to hear what Martha Stewart, inc. has to say about that. This time it's Darcy and Anthony Lucca, special projects editor. They start out talking about online resources you can use in the place of stationery. Darcy is a little hesitant about sending out wedding invitations online, though, which doesn't surprise me. I, however, don't think you should have to choose, and am all about Pinng for that, too, because you can send a combo of email and print invites. Anthony also mentions the site as a Save the Date alternative, too. The video is worth looking at, definitely. What I thought was great is that, as much as people tell you stuff like, "put labels on wine bottles for table numbers", "use seasonal flowers all in one color for your bouquets and centerpieces", etc., this video shows you what all this money-saving stuff looks like, and it looks pretty good. Lots of groovy stuff your you DIY-ers out there, including an interesting way to combine placecards and wedding favors, and how to dress up your wedding cake, which may or may not be entirely made of actual cake. Now, I'm not sure how much money you're going to save on serving a signature drink if you also get customized stirrer sticks for them (!!), but it's the thought that counts. The thought being that you don't want to feel cheap, so here's a way to look luxe, but you're gonna need between 3-4 of those per person. I'm just saying. Oh, but the clip art and stationery templates they talk about in the video? Here you go.

More coming up...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jobyna's Bridal By Ines Di Santo

Another day, another fabulous Bridal Fashion Show. Jobyna's Bridal just opened up their new location at the Americana,carrying couture dresses designed by Ines Di Santo.

The party started in the store, and then moved up to the rooftop pool of the Americana's apartment complex. I have a new favorite drink, y'all - Champagne with limoncello. Limoncello and champagne! Better than chocolate and peanut butter, let me tell you, and served with patience and grace by Red Carpet Wine. Hors d'ouerves and appetizers were offered by Divine Food Catering, including yummy chicken breast wrapped in red and yellow peppers. And, of course, Raya from weddingish made cookies specifically for the event. It was good to see her. Again. I also ran into the R-Mine crew (and learned as I suspected, that the dressing rooms were Armine's idea, and it took them forever to do it, and forever to tear it down before the store re-opened in the morning). The Knot was there. Your Wedding Day Magazine was there, all the usual suspects from the past week. I really do love my job, even when I'm not actually, you know, doing my job.

But on with The Pretty:

If I had to choose? Sophisticated Fluffy Princes in Picture #4,Yay! I'd want to dance the night away in #3, though. They're all gorgeous, seriously. Wouldn't kick a one of these dresses out of bed for eating crackers, that's for sure.

What's Liz Up To This Weekend?

TONS. Tomorrow is Martha Stewart's Online Wedding Expo, and I'm grooving to see how she pulls that off. Because you know she's going to, okay? There is a whole page dedicated on the technical requirements you need to participate. God, I love that woman.

Sunday I'm going to Bridal Showplace in Pasadena, so I can bring you a review on Monday. If you're interested in joining me, we're meeting in the lobby of the hotel at 11am. I also got some more info on the dress sale they're holding - Dresses are by Demetrios, Maggie Sottero, Private Label by G, Mori Lee, Mon Cherie, Forever Yours and more. All wedding dresses are, wait for it, $179!!!. Visit the website to register at a discount, email me at if you want to walk around with me, or, you know, just show up in the lobby at 11am.

And, while you're emailing me about the show, don't forget to register for the free Charmed Circle Consultation conference call on Wednesday! Once I get your RSVP, I'll send you the toll free number to call in with your pressing wedding questions - as if there were any other kind, right?

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz C.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

R-Mine Bridal Show - Tuesday November 10

After going full Squee on Armine Ohanassian at the Bridal Show last Sunday, she invited me to her Trunk show. Yes, those are live models in the windows!

Cobalt Events helped her transform her shop in Studio City - Each dressing room was turned into a different wonderland, each a background for a model in a beautiful dress:

One more dress from the @rminebridal event! on Twitpic

Thanks to Katy Carrier for the first two photos, and my iphone for the last one. I LOVED the dress in the candy room, and the decorations in the Winter Wonderland room. The parking lot of the shop was tented off, and L.A. Photo Party set up shop out there. Of course, I got my turn: My husband's already stolen the original from me! Treats were provided by Se' La Vi Sweets and Nola Ice, and cookies by Weddingish (I run into Raya, Weddingish's owner, everywhere these days. This summer I was tripping over Dana from Broke Ass Bride, this fall it's Raya, but I can't complain, because she usually brings dessert.) I also discovered my new favorite drink - Nola's Shaved Ice Mojitos. Dangerous!
Wedding Dress Week isn't over, yet - I was invited to the Grand Opening Party of Jobyna's Bridal at the Americana in Glendale, and I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. They're pulling out all the stops, too - after the party tonight, they're having trunk shows tomorrow and Saturday, so go to the website if you're interested. Oh! And If you'd like to go to the Sunday's Bridal Show with me in Pasadena, let me know in the comments below or email me at Could always use a "Bride's Eye" View...

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz C.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wedding Wise Wednesday - November 11

Every Wednesday, I bring you the coolest and best wedding stories and deals around Los Angeles and the web. And we call it Wedding Wise Wednesday.Welcome!

I went to the Harsanik Bridal Show at the Langham on Sunday, which was a lot of fun. This show was focused on Armenian weddings, so like every Armenian wedding I've ever coordinated or attended, it was filled with eye-catching extravagance and well, completely blinged out - opulent arrangements, featuring some of the biggest roses I've ever seen (you can't tell, but those blooms are each as big as my frickin' head), diamond encrusted headpieces, bejeweled t-shirts and tank tops, top shelf cash bars, two-table length dessert bars, and a beautiful fashion show by R-Mine Bridal (more on them and their trunk show party tomorrow).

What's New: Wedding dresses coming in different colors is a trend that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. When I got married seven years ago, going Ivory was bold, now you've got pinks and blues and browns and blacks and everything in between as options.
What I'd Like To See At My Next Wedding Gig: The Water Infusion Bar. Strawberry Mint was mighty tasty, and a good, healthy alternative for your guests who don't or can't drink.
What's Really, Really New: Have the models come back out after the show and sit on stage for 45 minutes. I couldn't get close enough to the runway during the show, but having the models sit on stage allowed EVERYONE to get a good look at the dresses. One of those head-slapping moments - why hasn't anyone ever thought of this before?? And, of course, they're reading copies of Your Wedding Day, the magazine given out at registration. Nice.

So, What Else is Going On In Wedding World, Liz?
Loved, loved, LOVED this story in Wedzilla - A couple used their wedding to pay tribute to the groom's mother, who had recently died of Breast Cancer. Not just pink and pink ribbons, but a money dance that raised money for the Susan G. Kormen foundation.

DIY I Can Do:
Which, as you know, is very important, because If I can do it, YOU can do it. One of my favorite local florists, Tweeny Kau, has written an article on creating manzanita branch centerpieces. Not only does she tell you how, but she tells you where in L.A. you can buy them. Now you know why I like her.

Saturday, November 14th
Martha Stewart's Virtual Wedding Expo
- but you've registered for this already, right? RIGHT??

Sunday, November 15th
Bridal Showplace, 11am - 4pm
Hilton Hotel - Pasadena
168 S. Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA
This is the one that I'm going to review this weekend. If you'd like to join me, comment below, or email me at Also, register online with a discount.

Here Comes the Brides

Warner Center Marriott Hotel
Woodland Hills
21850 Oxnard Street Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Again, register online for a discount.

Wednesday, November 18th
Charmed Circle Consultation - Information Call
I'm starting a new service - One-on-One weekly consultation calls, which gives you a chance to ask a real, live wedding planner (that would be me), any questions you would like,and get the advice and help you need as you're planning your wedding. I'm having an introductory conference call at 6:30pm on Wednesday, where you'll learn more about this, AND get to ask a real-live wedding planner (again, that would be me), any questions you have now about your wedding. Yes, including vendor recommendations, I promise, but you do have to register for the call!

See You At the End of the Aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
310-801- 3602

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trunk Show Review: Alina Pizzano - November 7th

On Saturday, I dropped by Alina's Pasadena Store for her seasonal trunk show, and all I can say is WOW. As you can see, her collection perfectly encapsulated Urban Princes sophistication, and I wanted to wear all of them (Think it might be time to prime the hubby on a vow renewal party? Hmm...). And I also got to talk to Liza Shotromberg, who makes and sells custom made bridal rings and jewelry,including all the jewelry worn by the models. I mentioned her company in a Wedding Wise Wednesday post back in September, and it was great to finally meet her.

Alina Pizzano's store is located at 235 E. Colorado Blvd, and you can either drop by, or better yet, call or email for an appointment, 626.584.0076, While you're there, I dare you to not gasp at the dress that's on mannequin display on your right, when you walk in. Jaw-dropping, and I've been promised pictures in the next few days!

It's going to be a wedding dress filled week for me - tonight I'm going to R - Mine's trunk show in Studio City, and bring you all the details tomorrow. Thursday will bring my first official bridal show review from the Langham show last Sunday. I'm going to the Bridal Showplace this Sunday in Pasadena, and if you would like to join me, email me at, and we'll set it up. Not only are they going to have a wedding dress show, but they're going to have a wedding dress store, too. Will I be able to resist trying something on? Uh, NO.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Friday Wedding News Dump - What's Up For the Weekend

FYI, you know that link you tried to hit on my blog, yesterday, the one that leads to a download of a wedding budget breakdown and other assorted planning goodies? Well, it should work NOW. If you've got the page cached, click on "Supplemental Materials" Sigh...

So, you news and political junkies are familiar with the concept - the last thing you hear about on Friday is the only thing you're going to talk about until Monday. It's also known as "the stuff Liz hasn't been able to get into her blog, yet." Yup, here's a few things to chew over on your way to the bridal show of your choice this weekend:

6 Tips for the Tech-Savvy Bride - Great ways to get the most out of the internet while you're planning your wedding, some you might not have even known about. Check out the comments for my praise of google docs.

iDIY - Their best Freebies and Downloads: Invites! Fonts! Door Hangers! Wait, what?

Save the Date Ribbon - Again, a cool, pretty project I can do! Thanks to Natalie Bradley for the heads up.

Where's Liz?
Well, Saturday, I'm meeting my bride Ellen to talk about hotels for her wedding guests next June, and tackling the rest of her list, including flowers and invitations. But she got her dress! Pre-owened and online, a girl after my own heart. Speaking of which, Encore Bridal, which sells pre-owned couture wedding dresses, is having an Open House/Salon at their Manhattan Beach showroom on Sunday from 11am - 4pm.

After meeting Ellen, I'm going to the Alina Pizzana Trunk Show in Pasadena. Blog Review on Monday! The folks at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena were kind enough to send me two passes to the bridal show they're hosting on Sunday, so I'm going to go check that out as well, and I'll let you know how that went, too. I'm also looking for someone to come along with me, since none of my chicas are available. Let me know if you're interested, and we'll meet up. Nothing like going to a bridal show with a wedding coordinator who can tell what to look for and what you're looking at, huh?

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith

Got any questions or want to come along? Leave a comment below!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Bridal Show and How to Swing It

Dresses! Cakes! Photography! One of my brides calls it “live wedding porn” and it can be just as educational as the other kind. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, this is your chance to see what’s out there that will work for you. If you don’t know exactly what you want, here’s where you can get some ideas, which also works for you DIY-ers out there, too. Checking out rows and rows of examples of how it’s done is the first step for you to figure out how to do it yourself.

The Prep
Most of the big bridal shows take place on Sundays, starting at 10 or 11 in the morning, with a fashion show around noon, and closes at 4 or 5pm. Wedding websites like or will list all local shows that are coming up - your pick. CLICK THROUGH TO THE SHOW WEBSITES!! Many offer a discount if you register and purchase your tickets online, and even though you’ll only save a buck or two, it’s worth it to not have to stand in line to pay when you get there. Also, if you have some handy, print out a sheet of return-address-sized labels with your name, email address and wedding date on them, so you avoid carpel tunnel syndrome when you want to sign up for more info at a booth.

The Plan
The last two to three hours of the show are going to be the most crowded, so go early. Vendors will have more time to talk one on one with you, and vice versa. Give yourself at least a couple of hours to walk through the floor. The bridal fashion show (pretty dresses!) will around be noon, so if you show up an hour earlier, you can do the rounds, talk to the vendors you’ll really interested in, grab a seat at the show, do another quick round to make sure you didn’t miss anything and get another piece of cake, and get out.

The Process
Before you go in, you’ll be given a bag with of wedding-related swag, but the important part is that you have a bag to put vendor info in. Things can get pretty overwhelming, so do yourself a favor and don’t just randomly pick up every brochure/flyer from every booth. Focus only on the vendors you still need, or are really interested in. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – "Are you available on my date?" "Can you work with my budget (use this if you need to figure it out,and enjoy the other goodies)?" "I really want to do x, y, or z, have you done that before and/or can you tell me/show me pictures of how you would/did?" Think about chemistry, as well – you’ll be working with this person from now until your wedding, and probably all day AT your wedding, so it’s important that you feel comfortable with them. Don’t feel pressured to book them right there, even if there’s a discount (you will be asked at one or more booths), but don’t hesitate to schedule a follow-up appointment if you like what you see – ask nicely if you can still have the discount if you decide to hire them. Yes, they can always say no, but you can always say no, too – as I tell my brides, the last vendor you meet is not the last option you have. And bridal shows are all about options.

Have Fun!

Taste the cakes, take a turn in the photo booth, squee at the flower arrangements, jockey for that front row seat at the fashion show. It’s all there for you. Enjoy!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith

Got questions? Ask them in the comments!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wedding Wise Wednesday - The Los Angeles Edition

Every week I post the best wedding deals, stories and upcoming events in Los Angeles and around the web. And we call it Wedding Wise Wednesday. Welcome!

I'm calling this the Los Angeles Edition because pretty much all the items I have this week are actually in L.A., as opposed to scattered all over the web, like usual. Like for instance, this picture is by photographer Amy Kolcz, who works out of Burbank. For me, it's another one of those "Omigod, I wish I had done that!" moments, because I loved my dress and loved my girls' dresses, and I don't have either anymore. This pic, if it were from my wedding, would be on my desk right now. Anyway, check out her website - her wedding photography packages start at $1200, so she's a deal, too.

More Finds:
Wine bottles are a lot more fragile than you think. They can crash into each other, spill onto each other, and a bottle with a stained label can be hard to sell. But the Accidental Wine Company specializes in selling them, at greatly reduced rates. Just let them know the kinds of wine you want, you know, for your wedding, how many bottles you need, and you can have your order either shipped to you or arrange to pick it up.

Okay, so getting your wedding dress dry cleaned before the big day is expensive. And getting it dry cleaned afterward can be even more so, especially when you've spent the day balancing (or failing to balance) a piece of cake in one hand and a glass of greatly reduced wine in the other. Door to Door Valet Cleaners in Manhattan Beach has your back - go to their website, click on "specials" and download a coupon for $30 off any wedding-related cleaning order. And they'll come get it from you,too.

Voting to pick the 10 finalists is about to start for the Wedding in a Week L.A. contest, sponsored by Wedding and 104.3myfm. The winning couple will be picked on November 13th, and the wedding itself will be on the 20th, which is where that whole week deadline comes in. Votes also get to pick the dress, menu, music, and the cake, so have fun, y'all. And thanks to The Broke Ass Bride for the heads-up.

How Not to Be a Bridezilla:
Believe it or not, they aren't born, but many of them can be made, and that's not really how you want to roll. Wedding Aces, Wedding's blog, has some great advice, which boils down to two things - 1. Keep things in perspective. 2. BREATHE.

The Events:

Did you know that more couples get engaged in November and December than at any time of the year? Well, wedding vendors do, and they're pulling out the stops accordingly.

Pasadena is Alive With the Sound of Wedding Music:
This weekend, you have your choice, or you don't have to choose at all. On Saturday morning you can go to the Valena Valentina trunk show at the Ivory Suite Bridal Boutique, and then hit the Alina Pizzano Trunk show in the afternoon. Both stores are offering a 10% discount on orders made that day.

On Sunday, The Premier Bridal Event will be at the Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa, from noon to 5pm. Register online for discounted tickets. Also, I'm doing a special post on how to get the most out of bridal shows tomorrow, so you'll be all set and ready to go.

Put it on your calendar for next week:

Martha Stewart's Virtual Wedding Expo
- just the words alone should give you a SQUEE! And you would want to miss this...why? Exactly. Go register right now. Thanks to Natalie Bradley, marketing Goddess, for the tip.

Have a great week and I'll see you at the end of the aisle,

Liz C.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

You're Planning Your Wedding - What Do You Need Right. NOW?

Wherever you are, whether it's a year from the big day, six months, or if it's next week, you need to find something, do something, or just need...something. What's on your mind, wedding-wise? Is it a timeline? A photographer? A cake that doesn't doesn't taste like plastic? A stiff drink? Let everyone know below in the comments.