Friday, September 28, 2012

Ask Liz:

Dear Liz:
What do you do when you don’t want certain members of the immediate family at the wedding, but they’re expected to be present? My fiance’s mother is a not-quite closet racist — I’m mixed race, and the first time we met she lectured me on why she thinks interracial relationships are bad. My father, on the other hand, is one of those people who sits around in angry silence and sucks the joy out of every occasion. Both of them have created unpleasant situations for us and others, and there’s a very high chance they’ll do the same on our big day.
My fiance and I have talked about it, and both of us are completely all right with not having them at the wedding. I want to have my mother walk me down the aisle, and he would rather have my mother present and completely comfortable, than let his mom spread her awkwardness. 

Trouble is, most people expect to see the mother of the groom and father of the bride for all the pictures, dances, and traditional wedding fluff. How do we explain to the more traditional crowd why two of the typical wedding VIPs aren’t there without going into family drama? Or would it be better to ask the parents in question to act like functional members of civilized modern society and hope for the best?

Minus Two

Find out what I told her, and what to do when your catering company screws you over AGAIN, by clicking here. 

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yes, Weddings Make Families Do the Wacky

I have a tough "Ask Liz" question, coming up on The Broke Ass Bride, which inspired me to repost an article that I wrote for the The Huffington Post earlier this year:

There's your Mom, critical of every single wedding decision the two of you have made, from the flowers to the invites to the caterer. She's helping pay for some or all of it, so she's insisting that her voice counts just as much as yours does, or more.
Your sister, who, depending on what day it is, hates the bridesmaid dress you picked out, the bridal shower the other bridesmaids are planning, and, well, the other bridesmaids. Or, it's your divorced parents who are using your wedding to stage World War III over how many guests -- and which guests -- they each get to invite. They take every "No" personally, blown up to biblical relationship-destroying proportions. You've known them all your life, so you also know this is the way they are. You were just hoping they would take a hiatus while you're planning your wedding.

They won't.

Here's the thing, and I swear it's true: For the most part, your family wants you to have a wonderful wedding. They just want you to have their idea of a wonderful wedding. They are used to telling you what to do, and they are used to you having to do what they tell you to. After all, for years they've known best, right? And thinking like that is a hard habit to break.
But then, reacting the way you always do can be a hard habit to break, too. It's a choice between "Fight" or "Flight," usually. A heated, uh, discussion, about how unfair they're being and how they should back off, which they counteract with how wrong you are across the board -- your choices, your attitude, your lack of appreciation for everything they are trying to do to help. That never goes well for anyone. Or you let them have their way and end up resenting a wedding that bears absolutely no resemblance to the one you actually wanted. So, in short, you'll end up feeling like a tantrum prone five-year-old or a Death March survivor.


Look, the reality is that the only behavior you're going to be able to change is your own, and it's the best way to get the wedding that you want. Here's the three-­step program I tell my couples to follow, because it works:

1. The best defense isn't a good offense; it's a better, more charming defense. First of all, acknowledge that they are trying to help you. Then, affirm like crazy how much you love your decision. Tell them why you love it, and that you are so happy with your choice. You LOVE the dress/flower arrangement/cake stand/hors d'oeurves, and you can't wait to see it at your wedding. And this has the benefit of being the truth. Always lead with the truth. The last thing they should hear you say, as cheerfully as possible is, "This is what I really want." It's going to be nearly impossible to be a wet blanket in the face of that enthusiasm. Example: "Mom, I know that you're worried about what this is going to look like on the table, but I love this centerpiece. I think they did a great job with the color combination, it's tall/short enough for people to see over/through it, these are my favorite flowers and I just love it. I can't wait to see it at my reception. I'm so excited."
Big smile!

2. Do not engage, do not engage, do not engage: You cannot win an argument about taste, style or personal feelings. When your Dad gives you a hard time about your Mom bringing her new boyfriend to the wedding, screw up your courage and tell him, nicely but firmly, that if he has a problem with it then he should talk to her about it directly. And that is all you need to say, and that ought to do it.

3. Change the subject, immediately: Cheerfully tell them what you want, what you want to happen and then talk about something else, preferably non-­wedding related. Or leave, leaving works. Get out of the store, end the call, move on to the next thing, ASAP.
Repeat as necessary.
More truth: You know what is rational and what isn't. Don't give into the dark side. Telling you that's it's going to be a horrible wedding because your cake has fondant frosting instead of butter cream is not rational. Shrug and tell them that if they don't like it, they don't have to have any. Refusing to be a bridesmaid because the dress you picked out for your crew is yellow? This is not rational. Call her bluff -- tell her that you really want her in your wedding (and you do, although maybe a little less right now), and you hope she reconsiders. You don't have to be mean, but you need to be clear. The only correct response to the irrational is the non-negotiable. Repeat that to yourself as necessary, too. I'm not, by any stretch of the imagination, telling you that this is going to be easy. It's going to feel unfamiliar and weird in the beginning, with a decided lack of perceived justice. But, as I said, it works. And, it has the added benefit of making you feel better about how you're handling the situation, and provide a blueprint for any family challenges you're going to face in the future. Remember: Acknowledge and Affirm. Do Not Engage. Change the Subject and Leave. With a Smile.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wedding Wise Wednesday - September 26

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

Cool Wedding Thing of the Week:

Isn't this awesome? I found this pic by Andris Sprogis on Weddingish's Facebook page.

The Events:

Thursday, September 27
6:00 - 10:00pm
Your Night Out Bridal Event
260 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
I'm so bummed, because I've been getting notices for this for weeks, but I'm going to be in Orange County tomorrow. So, you're going to have to go for me. Fabulous after-work night of bridal bling, cocktails, appetizers and fun. First 50 couples get a swag bag, which, by the look of the sponsors, is going to be amazing. Don't bother to get dinner beforehand!
Admission: $15 per person, $20 per couple (or Bride +)

Sunday, September 30

11am - 4pm
Bridal Showplace
Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel
7675 Crescent Ave.
Buena Park, CA 90620
Admission: $5.00 at the door or $4.00 if purchased online.

11am - 3pm
Premier Bridal Show
The Grand Event Center
4101 Willow Street
Long Beach, CA 92870
I'm going to be wandering around this one around noon, so if you see me, wave. There is also a dress sale here, too, if you're still looking.

Admission: $10 at the door or $5 if you pre-register or purchase tickets on-line by clicking here. 2 FREE tickets with coupon code HCG2.

11am - 4pm
The Bellisama Bride Bridal Show
Hyatt Regency Valencia
24500 Town Center Drive
Valencia, CA 91355
$8 at the door or
$4 if purchased online.

The Deals:

WToo by Watters Auth. Retailer - Do you know the exact dress you're looking for? Go get it, for less. Bride Power will save you 50-80% of your dream gown. Save any extra $10 if you sign up for their newsletter.

Groupon - Want to tear up the dance floor with your new hubby, but you don't have the skills? Yet. You don't have the skills yet. For $29, you get 8 beginners classes at Latin Dance Pros. There are three locations to choose from, so no excuses. GO.

I find new stuff all during the week, too - have you liked me on Facebook and are you following me on Twitter? You should...

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quick Los Angeles Wedding Fixes (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

I've been getting a lot of random questions this past week, and luckily, they all had relatively simple solutions:

Ceremony room is wider than it is long:
In other words, the traditional aisle with chairs lined up on either side is not possible. So, how about having it in the round?

$5 Chiavari Chairs in Los Angeles? Bedazzled Events still has them at that price.

White wooden folding chairs for less than $2? Ace Party Rents in North Hollywood and Orchid Rentals in Glendale (Closer to Downtown).
But, do NOT forget to ask about delivery charges, and don't forget about tax.

How to have a Beach Wedding in Santa Monica. 

Getting your marriage license. Great Officiants (I moonlight for them, FYI), can issue you your marriage license, either at their office, starting at $155 or at your ceremony site, starting at $225, depending on what type of license you need and travel.There is also a great list breaking down each county costs ("county clerk locations" tab for marriage licenses if you just want to go get one yourself, for less.

Everything has a solution, you just have to find it. Or ask me for it. :-)
If it's a small question (like these) email me at If it's a series of small questions, schedule a  one-on-one Charmed Consultation with me, and we'll knock it out. If it's a bigger question, I answer a lot of those in my Friday column on The Broke-Ass Bride. Go to the contact page and let me know what's up. I'm here to help...

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just Do The Placecards. (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

Martha Stewart Weddings re-pinned this on their Pinterest board, which is how I got ahold of it:

The idea is to scrap place cards and just put balloons over each table, and guests would have FUN finding their seats, looking for their name admist all the different ballons.
And, you know what? No, absolutely not.
As someone put it on my Facebook page - what if you have a whole bunch of family with the same name? What if the balloon keeps turning around, as balloons do, so people not only have to scramble, they have to schlep?
You won't be able to write the names when they're deflated, so you - or someone  - will have to do it while you're setting up the reception.
Look, I get it. After 10 years in this business, I understand that no one wants to do place cards. Deciding who should sit with who? Is it the right mix of people for each table? Where do you put the guy or girl who came alone and doesn't know anyone. You don't want to think about it, it's going to take forever, and does it really matter?
Yes, it does.
The only thing worse than being seated with people you don't know is not having a seat at all. Think about it. You know I'm right.
But if you're staring at this balloon thing, thinking, "wow, that's really cute," then go ahead and pair it with place cards AND a table number on the balloon. That will work. 
Now, go work on your table chart.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wedding Wise Wednesday - September 19

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

Cool Wedding Thing of the Week:
I do, I do, I do!
Alex and Lisa are on THE grand adventure - for three years they're traveling around the world and exchanging vows in the most unique places they can find. So far? Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador. Yup, they're making their way down South America. The pics are amazing, so check 'em out. Thanks to the Broke Ass Brigade Newsletter for the find.

The Events:
Sunday, September 23

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM 

Bride World Expo

Pasadena Convention Center 
300 E Green Street
Pasadena, CA 91101
Admission: $10 at the door, or get free passes at Things Remembered Stores

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM 
Culver City DoubleTree Hotel
6161 West Centinela Ave
Culver City, CA 90230
Admission: $5.00

4:30pm - 7:00pm
Fall Bridal Open House
12445 Mountaingate Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(Hills of Bel Air)
Admission: Free

The Deals:

Oriental Trading: Free shipping on ANY order, when you use the code WCE3583 at checkout. Lanterns, lighting, wedding paraphernalia, and if you need candy for your dessert buffet, they are running some great deals on that, too. The code is only good until tomorrow at 11:59pm, so GO!

Alina Pizzano -   Her fall sale is on! Purchase a gown between now and Monday, September 24th - online or in the store - and receive an extra 25% off. Use the code "Fall Sale" if you're checking out online.

La Boheme:  50 percent off handmade garters, fascinators, headbands, accessories. Dreamy vintage to die for. Thanks to my bride Lindsey for giving me a heads-up.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Congratulations Alexa and John! (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

Photo by Laurel Isle Photography
Alexa and John's mini-wedding on Saturday was so much fun! It was the first time I've done double-duty (as coordinator and officiant), which wasn't quite as complicated as it sounds. The funniest part was once they got together at the end of the aisle, they wouldn't stop talking to each other. I'm going through the whole "love is kind, love is gracious" thing, and they're cracking each other, and me up. Wedding officiant composure FAIL. Up on the rooftop, there were cupcakes and appetizers, and a view of Long Beach Harbor to die for. Note to self: if you're going to have your wedding in 102 degree weather, have it as close to the ocean as possible, okay?

Venue: Hyatt at the Pike
Photography: Laurel Isle Photography
Florist: Romance, Etc.
Bakery:  Sweet and Saucy
Aisle Runner: Original Runner Company

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Wedding Wise Wednesday - September 5th (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

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

Cool Wedding Thing of the Week:
From Style Me Pretty, via Pinterest. Sorry, this just cracks me up! Probably because I keep thinking about me and The Boy. . .

The Events:

Saturday, September 8
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

For All Seasons Bridal and Special Events Expo
The Grand Event Center
4101 E Willow St
Long Beach, CA 90815
Admission: like the Expo on Facebook for free admission, or pay $5 at the door.

Sunday, September 9
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Bridal Showplace
LA Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel
2500 N. Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505
Admission: $5

The Deals:

Dolly Couture is having a huge off-the-rack wedding dress sale, including this beauty for only $495. Special event dresses, too, which you're going to have to beat me to. GO.

DIY-ing your wedding invites and stationery? Then you're going to need some good paper. Soolip (as in "Soolip Wedding") is in the middle of their end of summer sale. Select merchandise at 40% off or more - envelopes in all sizes/textures/patterns, letterpressed boxed card sets and invitations, and yards and yards of every color/size ribbon you can imagine.  Click on the Facebook logo at the top left corner of the page, and have fun!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events