Friday, November 30, 2012

Ask Liz: Two Weddings Enter, Only One Leaves

Got a question for Liz? Go to the contact page and tell us what’s up!


Break it Down, Figure it Out
Dear Liz, 
 
My fiance and I are planning a wedding 2 years out so we have time to save and I can finish with my graduate degree.  However, when we got engaged, I never dreamed of how expensive everything would be.  I have had little to no emotional or financial support from my family and although we have time to save to pay for the wedding of our dreams ourselves, I’m at the point that I feel like it would be for everyone else–instead of us.
I would like a barn wedding with a big group of people (we’ve cut the guest list down to 200), but I’m considering changing the plans completely and doing a destination wedding in Mexico instead. Do you think I would regret it?  What type of hidden costs are associated with a destination wedding?
Signed, 
Donde  o Donde?

Go to my column today on The Broke-Ass Bride and see out what I told her. And let me know what you think in the comments!

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

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Olive Garden Rule - A Perspective on Wedding Catering Costs (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)


Courtesy of Nonsense and Sensibility
If you haven't planned a wedding before, it's the unknown-unknowns that are going to shock you the most. I have been having a lot of discussions with new brides about wedding and food costs lately. As in, I have a 12k budget, my venue is $5,000, I can make my budget, right?
If your budget is a serious consideration, then you have to know that the "rule" is that venue site fee and your reception are going to take up half of your budget.

Feeding all those people costs a lot. Here's why, pulled  straight from my book, The Mad Dash Down the Aisle:


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Let’s go back to dinner for a minute. I use the Olive Garden Rule (TM Liz). The standard meal you’re going to serve your wedding guests will include appetizers and drinks during the cocktail hour, and a salad, entrée, and dessert during dinner. According to Olive Garden’s website, this is their cost per person, averaging across all the different options:
Appetizers  - $8.00
Glass of Wine/Cocktail - $6.00
Salad - $7.00
Entrée - $15.00 (average, highest is $19.95)
Dessert (slice of cake) - $6.00
Sub-total: $42.00
Tax (10% where I am, but make your own calculations) – $4.20
Tip/Service (15%) – $6.30
Grand total - $52.50
x 100 guests - $5,250.00
Ta-Dum!
Makes a little more sense now, doesn’t it?
There are three things you can take away from this example.
1.     The less guests you have, the less money you’re going to spend.
2.     If you can save money on any of these line items, SCORE.
3.     Memorize these four words– tax, service, gratuity, delivery (if you're bring catering in). Whoever it is that you’re talking to, whatever vendor it is, actually, ask about these four things, and add the cost in.
$5,000 venue, and you'll paying another $5200 for food. Which leaves you less than $2,000 for the rest of your wedding stuff. If you don't want to pay $52pp, how much are you willing to spend? Start with that question.
Also: I am in no way, shape or form putting down the Olive Garden. I was just there with my husband last week, because we enjoy free bread sticks, excellent salads, and I'm a huge fan of their Chicken Marasala. We're DINKs (double income, no kids), and this is what we do sometimes. Okay? Okay. I'm only using it as a price and perceived quality benchmark. Although I have to say that I've had some wedding food that made me miss Olive Garden. Just saying. 

What do you think? Were you shocked at how much food came to? What alternatives have you found? And let me know if you have any questions, in the comments. 

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com

A Little Advice For the Holiday Week Ahead (Los Angeles Wedding Coordinator)

When the going gets tough...


Visit my boards on Pinterest for more gems like this, Wedding-Wise or otherwise.

How is your wedding planning going? Contact me for a complimentary consultation so I can find out what you need and how I can help.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com

Monday, November 26, 2012

New: "My Favorite" Monday (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

New thing. Every wedding vendor that I work with has such a great passion for what they do - it's so important. So, every week I'm going to talk to one of them about their favorites. Favorite engagement pictures this year? Favorite dress they've designed?  Favorite moment of each wedding day?

Starting with me. It's been a great year, and here are three of my favorite moments from it:

Cupcakes at Griffith Observatory:

Nikkia and Andrew wanted to get married at the Griffith Observatory, on Leap Year Day, April 29, 2012. They needed someone to marry them, and it sounded like fun. It was chilly, but the sky was a clear and beautiful silvery blue. You could see to pretty much everywhere, Downtown L.A. to the east, and to the sun glinting off the ocean to the west.
Instead of rings, they exchanged cupcake halves (Love it). I read their ceremony off my iPad, they read their vows off their iPhones. Their friend Eric took pictures, while a small crowd gathered, figuring out what was going on. At the end, perfect strangers burst into cheers and applause. It was perfect.


Can You Continue This AFTER I Marry You?
Alexa and John's wedding started out as an officiant gig, but as the orange cones started piling up, they asked me to help coordinate, too. The two of them are amazing together. Once she got down the aisle, they started laughing and making jokes and having a whole conversation while I was reading their ceremony. "John. John? Do you take Alexa to be your wife?" "What? Oh, yes, I do." And then back to talking to her about breakfast that morning. It's hard to seriously marry someone when you're trying not to crack up laughing.

DIY and Determined

Photo by Fondly Forever Photography
Chelsea and Joren created their wedding from scratch, and hired me to pull everything together that day. She's a librarian and he's a prop master. Their wedding was vintage and detailed and simple and striking, and gorgeous. And...it rained. Not very much and then a lot. We pulled all the paper-stuff inside in just enough time for it to stop pouring, but the wooden dance floor was soaked. Wipe it off, or dance in front of the bar? Joren had a better idea - move the floor and dance on the concrete underneath. He got guests to situate around it, pick it up and move it back. The area underneath was nice and dry, and dancing commenced immediately. It was awesome. I always say that there is a solution to every wedding problem, and I love it when you guys prove me right.

And, hey, it's Cyber Monday, so you need to check out the wedding coordination - and wedding officiant-  deals I have in the Silver Charm Shop. They expire tonight, so Go. If you have any questions about date availability, send me a text or email at 323-592-9318 or liz@silvercharmevents.com.
I'm here to help with whatever you need.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmeventts.com
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com

Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Black Friday Wedding Deals Are ON. (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

...Straight Through Cyber Monday. 


Click on "Silver Charm Shop
Above to Start Saving:


Welcome to Silver Charm Events!
(Photo by Micah and Megan Photography)
...Because Black Friday Deals abound, but mine is the coolest. From Midnight today to 8:00pm on Cyber Monday, you can get my Day-Of Coordination Service for only $1000:
  • One hour in-person consultation to discuss what you want and need your wedding day to look and feel like.
  • A site visit to your wedding and reception venue.
  • Contacting your vendors one month prior to your wedding in order to produce a detailed wedding timeline. This timeline will be distributed to all of your vendors and will be available to your wedding party and family.
  • Two coordinators on site at your wedding. We'll handle the logistics, so all you and your family have to do is just enjoy the day. 
  • All travel and communication (email, phone) is included.
The hitch? You have to pay online, this weekend, to secure your wedding date - make a deposit or pay in full. That's a $500 discount of my regular rate. Seriously, now is the time. Click here to get it.

What else do you need? Help finding a wedding venue? Someone to officiate your wedding? Someone to set down with you and get you back on the right wedding track? I've got deals on all of those, so you're all set!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ask Liz Follow-Up: What's Right vs. What's Right for You (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

You Know What You Want to Do. What Do You Need In Order to Do it?
(Photo: Snippet and Ink)

I checked in on my "Ask Liz" column from last Friday, and there was a comment basically criticizing me for telling the Bride to go ahead and invite her sucky co-workers. "If you don't get along with someone and they're not in your immediate family, you have no obligation to invite them to your wedding!"
And this is true. You don't have an "obligation" to invite people you don't want at your wedding. But it's also beside the point. What is the point? Figuring out what the right decision is for you. There are no "have to haves" in wedding planning. There is only want you want to have, and what are the best choices for you, in your situation.
I've had a slew of these type of questions over the past few weeks, both in the column, and in real life with my own brides. Difficult parents, difficult uncles and cousins, difficult co-workers. And all these letters end with the question, "I really feel like I should invite them, even though it could be horrible, should I?"
Here's the thing - if you feel that you should invite them, for whatever reason, then you should invite them. If you feel that you shouldn't invite them, then don't invite them.
But own it.
It's your decision.  Figure out the best way to make it work for you (which is where I usually come in), and own whatever consequences happen afterward. If you're not willing to face the consequences, then don't do it. That's the part that makes you an adult. Not why you do something, but how you handle the decision.

Happy Thanksgiving and I'll See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wedding Wise Wednesday - November 21 (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

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

Cool Wedding Thing of the Week:

This engagement ring shot by Next Exit Photography. Cat can bring it, can't she? Check out the rest of Kelli and Nick's wedding pics on Next Exit's Facebook page.



The Events:

Events? It's Thanksgiving Weekend! Take the day off, eat, and gather your strength for Friday...


The Deals

Welcome to Silver Charm Events!
(Photo by Micah and Megan Photography)
...Because Black Friday Deals abound, but mine is the coolest. From Midnight on Black Friday to 8:00pm on Cyber Monday, you can get my Day-Of Coordination Service for only $1000:
  • One hour in-person consultation to discuss what you want and need your wedding day to look and feel like.
  • A site visit to your wedding and reception venue.
  • Contacting your vendors one month prior to your wedding in order to produce a detailed wedding timeline. This timeline will be distributed to all of your vendors and will be available to your wedding party and family.
  • Two coordinators on site at your wedding. We'll handle the logistics, so all you and your family have to do is just enjoy the day. 
  • All travel and communication (email, phone) is included.
  • The hitch? No deposits, just one payment of $1,000 to secure your wedding date. That's a $500 discount of my regular rate. Seriously, now is the time.
Come back on Friday and book your day online! Email me at liz@silvercharmevents.com or call/text 323-592-9318 if you have any questions.



Winne Couture 3-Day Sale - 25% Off any bridal gown purchase from Winnie Couture Diamond Label and Blush Label collection at their Flagship Store, 9393 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Call (310) 858-8868 now to reserve your personal appointment. GO!

 
Forever Fiances - Save $49 off of their all-in-one plantable invitations.

Thanks to Broke-Ass Bride for this find - L.A. Table is  offering 30% off their gorgeous disposable tableware with the coupon code CYBERBAB30. They're recyclable, they're reusable. DIY'ing your wedding reception? Yeah, GO!

See  you at the end of the aisle (and back here on Friday), 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wedding Wise Wednesday - November 14 (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

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: There is more than way to have a Disney Wedding. This bride had her bridesmaid dressed as Disney Princesses. I'm not entirely sold on this, but you know, pretty cool idea. I LOVE the stuff you guys come up with! Thanks to Weddingish for the find, and you can read the whole story, with more pictures, here.

Cool, Too: Did you save your "I voted" sticker?  If you schedule a complimentary consultation and bring it with you or send me a picture of it, you'll receive 10% off any of my wedding planning services. Hundreds of dollars saved. You've got until 11/30. Find it! 

The Events:
Sunday, November 18th

11:00am - 3:00pm
Courtyard by Marriott Bridal Show
Courtyard Marriott Baldwin Park
14635 Baldwin Park Towne Center
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
Free Admission
6:00 - 9:00pm
Luxury Events 4 Less
17654 Parthenia
San Fernando Valley, CA 91325
Hot chocolate and their signature chocolate chip cookies, in front of a roaring fire, surrounded by 10,000 twinkling lights. Have fun!
Free Admission
 


The Deals:
Wedding Chicks - Surprise Super Sale! 25% off your entire order when you use the code "aka-october" at checkout. Stationery! Tote bags! Keepsake favors! Ends November 18th! GO!

 David's Bridal - the $99 sale is on again. Beautiful dresses at discount prices and free shipping.


Did you save your "I voted" sticker?  If you schedule a complimentary consultation and bring it with you or send me a picture of it, you'll receive 10% off any of my wedding planning services. Hundreds of dollars saved. You've got until 11/30. Find it! 


Have you liked Silver Charm Events on Facebook, yet? Go ahead and then enter my contest for $500 off any wedding coordination service, plus a subscription to Martha Stewart Weddings, and a copy of my book, "The Mad Dash Down the Aisle." Follow Silver Charm Events on twitter for two extra entries.



See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com




Friday, November 09, 2012

Silver Charm Events Sweepstakes - Like Our Facebook Page and Win Win Win!

Like me on Facebook and share the link to get more entries. You're another step closer to having the wedding you want!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Wedding Wise Weekly - November 8 (Los Angelss Wedding Planner)

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:

Wedding Cake Pulls! I think this is a great alternative to the bouquet toss. Charms attached to ribbons are embedded in lower tier of the cake. Before the cake is cut by the Bride and groom, the bridesmaids and other single lady guests (put your hands up!) pull a ribbon, and get their charm. Each one has a specific meaning:  Each charm has a specific and special meaning, like a  Star: Your wish will come true  Anchor: Adventure is around the corner  Wishbone: success, Four Leaf Clover: Luck,  Ring (similar to catching the bouquet): Next to get married!


The Events:

Saturday, November 10th - Sunday, November 11
11:00am - 4:00pm
Brides Against Breast Cancer  Charity Wedding Dress Sale
Designer wedding gowns and bridal accessories at up to 85% off retail price to benefit Brides Against Breast Cancer.  Proceeds from the gown sale (which start at $99) provide education, information, & outreach to people impacted by cancer. This is a huge event every year it hits town - I'm volunteering on Saturday, so drop by and say hello when you see me!
Admission: $7.00 for general admission.

Sunday, November 11
Bridal Show Southern California
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
The Proud Bird
11022 Aviation Blvd.
Los Angeles, California , CA 90045



The Deals:
Did you save your "I voted" sticker?  If you schedule a complimentary consultation and bring it with you or send me a picture of it, you'll receive 10% off any of my wedding planning services. Hundreds of dollars saved. You've got until 11/30. Find it!

Nordstroms - Wedding Dress Clearance Sale. Beautiful dresses at 40 - 75% off. GO. 

Wedit - Don't know how you're going to afford videography? Wedit sends you 5 small HD video cameras to hand out to your guests on the big day. Afterwards, you send them back to them, and they will upload the raw footage to their website, and host it online for a year. You can download the videos at any time, but you can also pay a little extra to have them edit it all into a video. It starts at $499, AND you get $100 just by checking to see if your wedding date is available. You're welcome!



 
See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Guard The Safety of Your Wedding Day, NOW. (Sponsored Post)

On your wedding day, things can get a little crazy, and although bad things rarely happen, you could use a little help with the hinky ones. Let's face it: Sometimes extended family and alcohol don't mix. Sometimes having a lot of cash and checks in gifts and not enough trusted hands to hold them can be a little stressful. Maybe having a little more security around wouldn't be such a bad idea? Some venues are even requiring it.

A lot of times, as a wedding planner, I have to be the one to mediate between the aggrieved parties, stuff and then hide the gift box, or track down the incredibly drunk guest who's about to wander into traffic.  And sometimes I think, you know, this might be easier with a uniform. Or, you know, a weapon. I'm kidding about that last part. Well, sort of.

 Zabi Kator, the owner of guardNow (www.guardnow.com) has been a security professional for over ten years, and his family has been in the field for over 20 years. guardNow provides temporary security wherever and whenever you need it, and they have seen in uptick in wedding gigs recently. Unwanted guests, unwanted traffic, standing in the way of creating the fun, stress-free wedding you want. "Couples come to us because they know they need us," Zabi says. "We can genuinely help people, and that's always a great feeling."
 His guards are all ex-police or military officers. They are bonded and have passed both state and federal back-ground checks. All are authorized to carry weapons, but you get to decide if you need them to, or not. Each on-site team is supervised by a roving supervisor, so if you need a little extra help, it's always nearby or on the way.

And, at a reasonable price, too. One guard is $249 for a four hour minimum, and only $50 an hour after that. Zaby does recommend having a guard for up to 6 hours on your wedding day, depending on how long you're going to be at your venue. They can monitor and secure any area while your vendors are setting up, watch over your personal items while you're enjoying the day, and then turn around and do it all in reverse at the end of the night. "Having professional security is a good idea, whenever you have 100 people or more in a room. It's not worth the liability if something happens," Zaby added.

guardNow is also available for security needs outside your wedding day. They've guarded celebrities such as Kim Kardasian and Randy Fenoli (Say Yes to the Dress), and helped personal clients and business provide safe environments under difficult circumstances. For example, one of Zaby's franchisers in New York assisted a small manufacturer in New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. They needed to transport a new generator, and have someone watch over it, so their 24-hour plant could remain just that.

So, what do you need to keep safe on your wedding day? Use the code "Liz" when you book online or make an inquiry through the website, and you'll get an additional 10% off your booking. You can also call directly at 1-877-GuardNOW. You're welcome!

Stay safe, and I'll see you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com



Friday, November 02, 2012

Ready for the Weekend? (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

Well on it's way to becoming a new tradition.
My advice column on The Broke Ass-Bride is out. Breaking wedding "traditions" is never a problem, you just need to figure out how to do it. When you do it right and it's done often, it's called a trend. When the trend is done even more often, it just becomes another tradition. I know, I'm like Yoda over here, right? Yoda would have made a good wedding planner. Using the Force would definitely come in handy during reception set-up!

And, heads up! Next Wednesday at 10:30am, I'm doing another #AskLizLive tweetup. Send in your questions early @silvercharmevnt or @brokeassbride. Something's bugging you about your wedding. What is it?

This weekend is one of those rare ones - no weddings, no wedding meetings. Which means, of course, that next week is going to be crazy! All of those, plus I'm volunteering at the Brides Against Breast Cancer dress sale again. I had the best time last year, and even got to be on television. If you would like to volunteer as well (Friday November 9 - Sunday, November 11), or you still need a dress, click here to sign up.

So, what am I going to do this weekend?Date night is tonight with the Boy, so that's dinner and movie.  I'm doing  Nanowrimo again, so there will be plenty of writing to do. Somehow I will try to fill the hours...
So, what are you up to wedding-wise this weekend? Let me know what's going on below!

See you at the end of the aisle,