Friday, September 27, 2013

Ask Liz: Fake Flowers and Furious Moms (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

My column on The Broke-Ass Bride is UP:




Dear Liz,  Fake flowers or real? 

Signed,  

Full-Floral Freakout
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 


Dear Liz,  My mother is not coming to my wedding, because she doesn’t like my fiance. How do I try and enjoy my wedding, and how do I deal with this situation?  

Signed,  Parental Peril 

Find out how to break it down...and avoid a breakdown, by visiting www.thebrokeassbride.com 

See you at the end of the aisle, 

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

Monday, September 23, 2013

Seven Reasons to Believe in Weddings (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

This article I wrote also appeared last year on The Broke-Ass Bride and on the Huffington Post:

There is a great debate in Wedding World these days, as to why we all do this. Weddings are down, cohabitation is up. Why, why, why? My life as a wedding coordinator and as an officiant -- ground zero, as it were -- has given me a few theories on that. (int #1: The average wedding in the U.S.  rivals the cost of a B.A. at UCLA, these days -- go Bruins.) There was an article on the Huffington Post recently, "Seven Reasons To Believe in Marriage," and I agree with them all. But why do weddings matter?

1. The act of publicly committing yourself to another person. Vowing before everyone you love and whichever deity you do or do not believe in, "This is who we are, and we are dedicating our lives to each other." No matter how many people are watching, I think the public part is a good reminder that this is no small feat you are undertaking. And, hey, you promised!

2. Celebrating that commitment to another person. It's no small feat, but it is one based in love and joy. I think that calls for a party, don't you?

3. A great reason to get all those people in the same room. I've said it before, and I will say it again: There are at least five people on your guest list who you haven't seen in forever and can't wait to hang out with at your wedding. Don't discount it -- this is one of the few opportunities you'll have to get all the people you dig and who dig you in the same place. It's a one-stop shop for a good time.

4. Finding out how the two of you work together and how to improve how you work together. This will come into play many times during your marriage. Planning a wedding will teach you how to compromise. How to reach a goal under a time limit, and often, under stress. You'll figure out the best way to deal with your families. You'll figure out the best way to deal with each other. I've said this before, too, and you should really trust me on this one.

5. Seriously, The Love, you guys! No, really. Right now I'm thinking about the wedding I performed on Easter, and the way the two of them were looking at each other. And the way everyone was looking at them. They'd created this day that had all the things that made them happy, from the purple roses to the Appletinis to the four-hour photo booth. It is gratifying to create that kind of environment for yourself, surrounded by your own idea of The Pretty and The Cool. It's one day, yes. But it's your day.

And the practical and political reasons:

6. For the same reason you vote. Because you can. And it's another one of those infrequent times where you get to publicly affirm your choice. And everyone should be able to do this. Forty-five years ago, my Jewish husband and I couldn't have gotten married in California. Gay people across this country are facing this challenge today. If you want to and you can, go for it.

7. The economy. One of the reasons Prop 8 annoyed me -- aside from the obvious Lucy-snatching-the-football away-ness of it all -- was that weddings are good for the economy. More than 18,000 same-sex couples got married at a time when the average cost of a wedding in California was $25,000 (during the brief window when gay marriage was legal). That's 450 million freakin' dollars. Granted, not all of them spent that much. But there was a clerk who had to process their applications, the officiant who married them, and the other clerk who had to process the marriage license. And even a $10,000 wedding employs at least five people at some point, and most of the weddings I coordinate have twice that number. It's not just the wedding planners and photographers who are getting paid. Your venue staff, down to the busboys and the guy that mows the lawn outside, is taking a check home and pumping it back into the economy. Have a wedding -- it's patriotic.

See you at the end of the aisle,
Liz Coopersmith Silver Charm Events
323-592-9318
www.silvercharmevents.com
liz@silvercharmevents.com

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ask Liz: Wedding Cancellations and FMILs (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

My advice column on The Broke-Ass Bride is up.

Dear Liz, 

Yesterday, I sort of had a wedding freak out. There's no way we're going to be able to afford our wedding next April, even with all of the major stuff being gifted to us. The venue, including the ceremony and dinner,  is going to be $12,000, which was already a fair chunk of our budget, and we just can't do it!  Should we change to something  a little less formal? Maybe a little chapel ceremony and a backyard party?  We're having between 150-200 guests, and we aren't sure if we have anyone willing to let us throw a party at their house with quite that many guests. My aunt might let us, but we always have our parties at her house. I don't want to ask too much from her.

I'm pretty sure we won't be able to get our deposit back ($2200), so should we should cut our losses now than get in more debt trying to pay for the venue? But I should be able to find someplace that's way less expensive, where I can bring in everything, right? My Mom and Aunt are already paying for and providing our flowers and other decorations. 

Signed,
Budget Back Out

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Liz, 


My fiancé's mother  and I aren't getting along so well - she hasn't had anything to do with the wedding planning at all , and when we first got engaged, she said that she wouldn't be able to afford to help us, financially. We completely understood and never pressured her. But then she goes and buys a brand new car, new furniture, and she went on vacation with her boyfriend, who she's only been with a few months. And then, with the wedding two months out, she tells us that she wants to play violin during the ceremony. We already have musicians, and  I don't want her to be a part of the ceremony because of how she's acted through our engagement. And she really only communicates with my fiancé, but not me. She and I have always gotten along pretty well, but once we got engaged, she wanted little to do with me. What gives?


Signed, 


MIL Miffed 

Weddings, man. Find out what I told them to do and add your own voice to the conversation.

See you at the end of the aisle,

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

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ask Liz: Bare vs. Ballroom Venues

My advice column this week is up on The Broke-Ass Bride:


Dear Liz, 
My Fiancé and I want to have our wedding and reception at his fathers house outside along the river. I'm getting into pricing with rental companies and I'm thinking it may be cheaper for us to rent a barn venue. What do you think?
Signed, 
Open the Barn Door?

~~~~~

Dear Liz, 
I just got engaged. Where do I start? I assume with venues, but there are so many. Also, how do you ask family/parents if they're able to contribute to the wedding?
Signed, 
Starting Gate Jitters


See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
323-592-9318

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

When Bridesmaids Say NO. (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

Frances Bast was one my interns three years ago. She also wrote an article on Disney weddings for me, which is still one of the most popular posts on my blog. She married a Marine, and while he was deployed, she made a name for herself on base, taking pictures of military homecomings...which led to getting hired for military family pictures...which led to a regular gig photographing meet-ups for PaxBaby woven baby wraps...which all culminated in her own photography business, Moments by Frances. Oh, and she had a tiny person, too, while juggling all of these balls in the air. As I've said, Frances is FEARLESS.
And then, earlier this year, she hired me to coordinate the wedding she'd been planning since before her husband got deployed. 

Here's Frances' take on picking, and possibly getting rejected, by your bridesmaids:

There’s nothing like the huge slap in the face you feel when your friend says no after you’ve just given her a carefully prepared speech asking her to be your bridesmaid. It sucks. And it might happen to you. I’m coming to you as someone that has had not one but TWO women turn down the request to be my MOH, AND one say no to being a bridesmaid.
Oh yeah. It’s a huge slap in the face and you can’t help but take it personally.  I am here to tell you NOT TO. I know it’s hard. I was thinking all the horrible things in my head that are probably going through yours right now. Are we not as close as I thought we were? Does she not like me? Was she just pretending to be my friend this entire time? Does she think I’m a Bridezilla?! Why won’t she be my bridesmaid?!?! And lastly, I don’t need her, I never wanted her to be my bridesmaid anyways!
Now take a deep breath. Done? Now take another deep breath. 
Now listen to these words very carefully.
It’s not you. It’s them.
Easy-peasy. It really is as simple as that. I PROMISE you.
One of my supposed-to-be-bridesmaids has her LSAT the DAY OF my wedding. Her tutor advised her that if she were to be my bridesmaid, she would not be able to focus on one of the most important tests she would be taking in her life.
My second supposed-to-be-maid-of-honor did not have the financial resources to be in my wedding. As you know, weddings are expensive! And my Bridesmaid dresses were expensive,  especially since I asked all of them to buy their dresses from David’s Bridal  make sure their colors were exactly the same.
My third supposed-to-be-maid-of-honor was just sucky. I’ll give you that. She just did not feel comfortable being my maid of honor. And surprise, surprise, less than 6 months later, we lost touch with each other and now we aren’t speaking. I guess it took my wedding for her to realize she did not want to be my friend.
In the end, it’s your wedding day, and that's whats important. As much as it sucks to not have bridesmaids, or not have the bridesmaids you wanted, it is still YOUR day, and it's all about you and your husband/wife to be. 

If I really had a choice, I’d have my fiancé be my bridesmaid, because he is the person that has been by my side and who will be by my side for the rest of our lives. He is my best friend and if I could, I would have him duplicated five times so he can be all five of my bridesmaids AND be my groom waiting for me at the altar. 

As much as it sucks to not have bridesmaids, or not have the bridesmaids you wanted, the most important thing is that your wedding is still you and  your husband/wife to be's day, and no one else's. 

She's awesome, isn't she?

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
323-592-9318

Friday, September 06, 2013

Ask Liz: Rentals and Rugrats (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

My weekly wedding planning advice column on The Broke-Ass Bride is up:

Sooo many. Or, wait...not enough??
Dear Liz, 
Help! I'm getting married at a  local museum, and we have to bring in all of our rentals. My wedding is in November, and we've already made at least 8 changes to the rental list, and it's driving me crazy!! I'm not even sure I need half the stuff that's on there. Is there a complete list of rentals that I should get for 150 guests?
Signed, 
Forked Up

Dear Liz, 
We stated "No kids" at the wedding, because of the expense and not wanting to have crying babies. Now, I've been suckered into inviting my only two cousins (8 + 12). My fiancé's cousins' kids are coming too, but only for the rehearsal dinner, not the reception.  Should I now tell the adult cousins that their children can come to the reception, too? The expense wouldn't be too much for them to come,  and they were going to make their kids stay upstairs in their hotel room during the wedding.  I feel like since we allowed the other couple of kids, we should extend the invite to those, too.  We do have legit reasons- they're all traveling from other states, and they're not babies. Or should I just allow the original pair of kids that were coming, and risk hurt feelings?
Signed, 
Two Pairs or a Straight Flush?


See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
323-592-9318