Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday - The Myth of Wedding DIY

This has definitely been the summer of Wedding DIY, and I love what my couples have come up with to personalize their wedding and make it memorable. Raewyn and Iman's wands and gigantic red string heart. Trinh and Jarrod's Wedding Pinata. Rudy and Ryan's...well, everything. But there are some myths - and pressure- surrounding Wedding DIY that you should think about, before you decide to make personalized handkerchiefs for each of your wedding guests. I wrote a little article about it on the Huffington Post a little while back. Enjoy!


#ImanandRaewyn, courtesy of @arichoten



The Myth of Wedding DIY

I hear it all the time:
"I really love this bouquet I found in a magazine, but I think I can save money by going down to the flower market the day before my wedding and making it myself."
"I don't want to spend money on a DJ, so we're just going to hook my iPhone up to a boom box and play it for the reception."
"I'm going to design and print up my own invitations -- it will save us tons of money."
"I want cupcakes instead of cake, so I'm going to make them all myself."
The Myth of Wedding DIY is that it's going to save you time, it's going to save you money, and it's as easy as it looks. Build it yourself and it will come out just as great or run just as well as if a professional has done it. And I get it. You don't think you'll be able to find what you want, or at a price you can afford. And it does seem so easy, doesn't it? The flowers wrapped in ribbon, fashioned in the exact right way.
But a florist knows what the best cuts of flowers look like, when and where to get them, and, most important, how to arrange them. They have all the materials they need on hand, so there's no scramble if something is missing or if you want to change how it looks. And, at some point, you're going to want to change how it looks. The DJ knows when to fade the music out, when to turn it up, and if you go up to them and want another song other than the one that's about the play, it happens seamlessly. Someone needs to be in charge of the music, and just the music, at all times. Trust me on that one. Stationery stores are responsible for all the typesetting and all the printing for your invitations, and they're responsible for whatever it takes to make that happen. And do you really have the space to bake and hold 300 cupcakes? Time and experience -- and, yes, storage -- are what you're paying for in order to get a perfect result.

Wedding Pinata. #makeitatrend



Don't get me wrong, I've worked with couples who've created gorgeous DIY wedding projects. Luxurious centerpieces, jaw-dropping table numbers, and beautiful invitations and programs, many of which are now hanging on my office wall.
But everyone had one thing in common: They'd done this type of thing before. They knew how long it would take, how much it would cost, and they were eager and excited to devote the time to work on it.
Where are you on that?

So, how do you make Wedding DIY work? Read the rest of my article on the Huffington Post .

See you at the end of the aisle,

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

A Week in the Life: Tuesday and Wednesday - Two Birds, One Stone

If Tuesday was indication, apparently I'm going to be having a lot of fun this week while I'm working on August's weddings. Monday was dresses with Ally. Today?  Dinner and  a tour of The Federal Bar and The Loft on Pine in Long Beach, with Beverly Harris and the #plannercode wedding planner group. Kind of great for me on a couple levels - always great to hang out with other wedding planners, for one. Zane is out filming, now I had dinner plans. And, three, I had to talk to the venue manager at The Loft anyway about my 8/31 wedding there.

The #PlannerCode group in the bridal room of The Loft on Pine.
With champagne, of course.



I also made a few more edits to Amy and Mary Ann's wedding ceremony in Corona Del Mar on the 17th. They had a commitment ceremony a few years ago, and I did a lot of editing it down to create a shorter script for them. My favorite part of their past ceremony is this:

The institution of marriage was begun so that two loving hearts would be allowed to grow into one, learning to accept and share their joy and strengths. Mary Ann, Amy, you do not know what the future holds, but as long as you have each other, the journey will always be your reward. 

I also did a bunch of prep for my Thursday meeting at Altadena with Shaunicie and Sinclair, the big balances, layouts and bar meeting. Where is everything and everyone going at the reception? Which bar package are they going with, and what are the cost estimates that they're looking at? I've also gotten most of the vendor balances that are due, so there will be lots of talk about logistics, too. Stay tuned...

See you at the end of the aisle,  

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
323-592-9318










Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Week in the Life of a Wedding Planner - Monday

The first day back from a long, relaxing vacation sucks, there's no way around it. The best way to take the edge off of it? Go dress shopping with one of my brides.

Ally is marrying Brian next July, so, she's got some time. But she's looking at dresses with her Mom and sister in a couple of weeks, but she wanted to try on different styles before that. So, off we went to Lili's Bridal in Tarzana.


Form-fitting lace mermaid dress #FTW. Although she did enjoy twirling in the fluffy princess one.

 Meanwhile, back in the office...

I have three weddings coming up in August - one officiant and two coordination gigs. It's always best for me to take them in order, so Shaunicie and Sinclair's wedding was up first. It's Timeline time. We'd had a long conversation on Sunday about how the day was going to flow, and I whipped up a preliminary timeline given that. The first time you do a timeline, it's always more "Reds" (unconfirmed times and questions) than "Blacks" (this is DEFINITELY happening at this time), but oh, over the next two weeks, it's going to feel good to change those colors. The venue manager won't be back in the office until Wednesday, so I'm going to have to work from the outside in until then. Can their photographer start shooting at 1pm instead of 2pm? Is 45 minutes enough time for him to shoot all the wedding party pictures at Pasadena City Hall, but still get everyone to the Altadena Country Club by 4:15pm?



2014 is my 10th year as a wedding planner, and I'm about to start my first coaching program for wedding planners, so I'm really paying attention to my process, and exactly how I get my clients from point A to Point B, and make sure that they're getting everything that they need - and have paid for - to create the wedding they want. Prioritizing is key.

Communication with vendors, especially photographers, is that you have to let them know if there are any changes. Odds are that pushing his arrival time up isn't going to be a problem, but the picture time is going to be tight. What will he need to make it work? It might be a matter of making sure that everyone leaves on time, to and from. That might be a matter of giving him one of my assistants to help cat wrangle. Stay tuned.

And, if you're interested in finding out about my wedding planner coaching program and my first introductory group call, email me at liz@weddingplannercoach.com or weddingplannercoach@gmail.com, or call me 323-592-9318. It's open to all wedding planners in Los Angeles, that are in their first two years of business, which are usually the most stressful time. You're trying to figure out how to build a business while becoming the expert that your couples are hiring to be. No one is born knowing how to plan weddings, not even wedding planners. Maya Angelou said, "When you know better, you do better." I want to show you how what to know, to do better. And most of all, to feel better. Give me a call. Programs start at $28 a month.

Tomorrow? Amy and Mary Ann's Beach ceremony. See you there.

See you at the end of the aisle,

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




Friday, July 25, 2014

Ask Liz: Rentals Suck.

Dear Liz:

We're getting married in October, and we have to bring everything into our venue - chairs, tables, spoons, everything. I've started talking to rental companies, and I'm shocked at some of the numbers they're giving me. Not with the cost - I'm fine paying 40 cents for glasses. But am I REALLY going to need 300 glasses for 100 guests. It feels like they're trying to rip me off. 

Signed, 

Glass Half -Angry

Dear Half-Angry, 

I know, it sounds like a scam, doesn't it, 300 glasses for 100 people. But, if you're having an open bar, then that's about right. First of all, guests will not - nor will they expect to - re-use their glass. The cocktail hour usually comes out to about 2 drinks/glasses per guest. Some of your guests will drink less, but some of them will make up for that (and you know how they are). And then the rest of your glass order is for the rest of the night...which is why you might want to bump that up to 400. I know. And you can't get the exact number of plates per person either, especially if you're having a buffet. And you need extra knives and forks. And napkins. And, you won't use everything, but you need to have it, just in case, because there's no way to tell how much people are going to eat, or drink, or spill, or break. And if you think you're going to have the time or resources to wash dishes in the back, you're wrong. It's easier to just get another $4.00 worth of glasses. But, the excess and uncertainty drives me a little nuts, too. 

If you want a "definitive" answer for how much of this stuff you really should have on hand, talk to your caterer or your party staff. You can be conservative with your numbers, but really, those are the people who are literally dishing it out, so find out what numbers they're comfortable with.

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Schedule your wedding consultation today:
323-592-9318

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Rule #3: Eat Your Frickin' Dinner

Here's an oldie but goodie, taken from one of my past columns at The Broke Ass Bride:

“Pepper-crusted rack of lamb, where did you go??” – Marshall, How I Met Your Mother


I only have three rules for the couples I work with (only three) and other than that, they are never going to hear the words “can’t” or “must” come out of my mouth. Rule #1 you’ve heard from me a thousand times – Have the wedding you want. Have the wedding YOU want. Have the wedding you WANT. Please. Would you? Thanks.

We’ll get to rule #2 in a little while. But Rule #3?

SIT. DOWN.

So, you’ve planned this great wedding. You’ve had your meal tasting, you’re really excited about the food you’ve picked out and paid so much for (per person, even). You may not have eaten for most of the day… too much running around, too nervous, maybe someone handed you a cookie before you put on your dress. Now it’s cocktail time and you are starving. Ravenous, I tell you. But you have to take pictures. You have to take pictures while everyone is enjoying the signature cocktails and mini-donuts that you got just for them. You have to take pictures while they’re sucking down the chicken kabobs. And if you’re really lucky, you can smell the food from where you’re frantically (yet happily) smiling, for the love of God, while you’re taking pictures. 

 Yes! Time for the reception. Your grand entrance into your first dance, all you ever dreamed, and then you make your way over to the sweetheart’s table, where your dinner is waiting for you, tantalizing and hot. But on the way, Aunt Sookie bride-blocks you for a congratulatory hug. Seeing the opening, your Mom’s cousin David drags you over to table 3 for a group picture. Seeing that opening, one of your bridesmaids asks you a question about check-out time at the hotel, and since that’s going on, the groomsmen pull your guy over to the bar for the first of many celebratory Jager shots. By the time you get back to your table, your food is either cold or the waiters have quite helpfully – Grrrr - cleared it away. If I’ve seen it happen once as a wedding guest, I’ve seen it happen a dozen times. 

Seriously? Not on my watch. 

Rule #3 is as follows: You will eat. I will make sure you get some appetizers before or during picture taking. I will personally guide you to your table (in dark sunglasses and sporting a Secret Service scowl, if necessary) and sit you down. Addendum to Rule #3: Just like when you were a kid, you will not be allowed to get up until you have finished your dinner. Everyone can come to you while you’re sitting there, instead (and they will, don’t worry). When you’re done, then I will let you get up and work the room to everyone’s satisfaction.

 If you don’t have a wedding planner, make Rule#3 yours, anyway. Ask your venue/caterer to have someone bring a plate over to you and yours during the cocktail hour. Ask one of your wedding party or one of your parents to escort you straight to your table (an “official” looking escort always detracts people. Dunno, it works). DO NOT LEAVE THE TABLE UNTIL YOU’VE FINISHED. Then the rest of the night is yours.

Oh, and Rule #2: No cheap aisle runners. If it says it's made from paper, stay away from it. You think They’re beautiful, you think they’re elegant...and every single one of my brides who has had one has tripped on it. No matter how secure it was fixed to the floor, they stumble to the horrified screams of the crowd. It could be me, I’m cursed, but it doesn’t matter. If you want an aisle runner, ask your florist what they can do. Or, hey, use flower petals. Buy one from a company that makes professionally, like OriginalRunners.com. But don't go cheap, unless you're prepared to hear the screams. And seriously people, EAT YOUR FRICKIN' dinner. Please? 

 See you at the end of the aisle, 

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

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Wedding Weekend (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

Rudy and Ryan's Wedding was amazing. This summer has truly been the summer of Wedding fun and DIY. Three bands! Vintage Rentals! A historic park of Victorian Homes!

Heritage Square Museum




Before:




...and After:






So many great vendors, too:

Circa Vintage Rentals
Honey Honey Photography (Cannot WAIT for real pictures!)
Jay Williams Photography
The Enchanted Florist
Snap Yourself Photobooth
JC Party Rentals
The California Feetwarmers
AM/FM

Check out my Instagram page and follow me on Facebook for more pictures...



See you at the end of the aisle,

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

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ask Liz: It's the Week of My Wedding! What Do I Have to Do??

See you there!
Photo by Sherri J. Photography
Dear Liz:

My wedding is next Saturday, and my brain's freezing. Everything is taken care of, but I'm really afraid that it's not taken care of, too! Is there a list of things I need to definitely do this week?

Signed, 

Eight Days Out

Dear Out,

#1: One Word: CONFIRM. Call all of your vendors, and confirm: their arrival time, departure time, what they need (space, power, tables) to do their jobs, if there is a balance due, and both their best number for the day and yours. In other words, make sure you're not calling their office number when they're obviously not going to be in the office, and make sure they're not calling your home number when you're obviously not at home. Call all your vendors, every single one, including your venue.

#2: Guest stuff. Escort cards? Do them and put them in alphabetical order, by last name. My suggestion, in the interest of less chaos, is to ask someone to monitor the table during the last 15 minutes of cocktail hour. It's easiest if the person monitoring the table is the person who puts the cards out. Give them a list of everyone that lists what table everyone is at, again, but last name.

#3. Primp. Facial at the beginning of the week. Mani-pedi a couple of days out, or before your rehearsal.

#4. Pack. For the night before your wedding, and the day of your wedding. What are wearing while you're getting ready? What do you need to take to the wedding venue with you - shoes, a jacket, a purse with make-up? What do you need the night of the wedding? Sort it out.

#5. EAT. If your day starts early (which it probably will) figure out breakfast. Are you still getting ready in the afternoon? Figure out lunch. And, hydrate. Where's your water? Keep it close.

See you at the end of the aisle,

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




Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Some people just know how to party

Saturday, July 12, Trinh and Jarrod's Backyard wedding in Pasadena


Love is Good. 


Jarrod built the s'mores bar from scratch, by the way
...and he cut the tiles for the Jenga tower, too.
Good man to have around.


The End of the Pinata #WEDDINGDESTRUCTION


Cake Cutting
See you at the end of the aisle,

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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - July 16

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


Coolest Wedding Thing of the Week:

Trinh and Jarrod's Wedding Pinata:


Trinth and Jarrod, 7/12/14
And first of all, they got married last Saturday in her cousin's backyard in Pasadena, so congratulations to them. But, yeah, they DIY'd SOOO many things - they built a smores bar, they cut the tiles for the Jenga tower that they built. They built a wedding pinata and then hand-wrapped and glued hundreds of paper flowers on it. And it all turned out wonderfully. Their guests had the best time whacking that thing. And I've never said the words "wedding pinata" so much in my life. Though I hope to beat that record someday. 

Trinh takes her turn. 



The Deals:

#BringThePretty

Etsy - $34.72 for these glorious flower lights. It's over 8 feet long, and they have different flowers available, and made to order designs. 



See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Questions about your wedding? 
Call/text 323-592-9318 or email

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ask Liz: Tough RSVP Convos are TOUGH.

While The Happy Bride Project is slowly turning into The Fearless Wedding Project, I'm bringing the advice column over here. Let me know what you think.


These Things, Man.

Dear Liz, 

Our RSVP cards have begun to arrive in the mail! I found myself in a state of disbelief when I opened an envelope containing a card filled in with "Mr. X, Mrs. X, and 18-month-old Baby X will be attending." Why disbelief? Because the invitation was addressed to Mr. X and Mrs. X only. We are not having any children at our wedding per my parents-- who are 100% footing the bill. My fiance and I were in agreement until this happend. Now my fiance is upset that he has to tell his friend he cannot bring 18-month-old Baby X to our child-free wedding. I am, naturally, caught in the middle. Can you advise me on how to handle all parties in this situation (parents, fiance, X family...)? Thank you! 

Signed, 

 No Extra Guests Please

Dear No,

It's a tough conversation, but if accommodating his friend's child isn't possible, then you or your fiance are going to have to tell him that - that your contract with the venue does not allow children to attend, which is why you're having a child-free wedding. You don't have to go into why they put their child's name on the RSVP in the first place  or that your parents are paying for it and it's a budget issue. 

You don't have to apologize.  Just, it can't happen, and you hope that he and his wife will be able to find childcare arrangements and attend on their own. That last part is important. Keep it casual, and keep it quick. 

Seriously, though. You're either going to have the tough conversation with your friends, or a tough conversation with your parents. Pick one. 

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
323-592-9318

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday - July 10

Photo by Holly-Lynn Photography
April 19, 2014 - How big a party was Raewyn and Iman's wedding? Halfway through the reception, guests took the sashes off the chair covers and wore them as bandanas for the rest of the night. If this picture starts a trend, then so be it.
#tbt

See you at the end of the aisle,

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

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Wedding Wise Wednesday - July 9

Every Wednesday (come hell or high water), I bring you the best wedding stuff in Los Angeles and from around the web. And we call it Wedding Wise Wednesday. Welcome!

Cool Wedding Thing of the Week:


The Wedding awesomeness abounds! I found this on my Facebook thread this week, posted by Budget 101. I love it because it's mini-cupcakes and I LOVE it because this is DIY I can do! Click on the link for tips on how to pull this off, and see another style with red rosebud cupcakes. Good luck getting these centerpieces to last through the reception, though.

The Deals:




Darby Smart has ten of the Best Mason Jar Ideas ever, and ten kits to help make your vision of your rustic hipster wedding come true.

Modcloth - The adorable Cute Alert Heel in Pink, for $79.99. I always forget they have shoes, too, I'm too busy drooling over their dresses. Thanks to Offbeat Bride for the find.

You're Welcome!


Buzzfeed- 17 Beautiful Photos That You Can Make With Your Own Sparklers. Just in case you're still on the fence about having them at your wedding.
 Have fun! Thanks to I Love Sparklers for the find.

See you at the end of the aisle,

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




Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Huffington Post Live: Sick of Weddings? Here's What to Do.

Last Wednesday, I was on Huffington Post Live, talking about weddings, and what to do when you have a lot of them - to plan, to attend, to pay for. Click here to check it out...

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com



Monday, July 07, 2014

My Wedding Weekend - Fireworks on the Fourth of July

Congratulations, Eswari and Vishal! The only description for Friday's wedding at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City was "colorful extravaganza." So. Much. PRETTY.




I have a few more pictures on my Instagram page, but I'm REALLY looking forward to photographer Erin Shimazu's pictures in a couple of weeks. ESPECIALLY the ones she took of them on the rooftop of the hotel, with a 360 view of about 20 fireworks displays. Just...wow. 

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

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
323-592-9318

Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!


Photo by Sherry Photography


May your day be filled with fun, hot dogs and fireworks! I've got a wedding today, so follow me on Instagram for all the pics. And, oh, if you're thinking of having fireworks at your wedding, read Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Day Fireworks, on Lover.ly.com. 

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
323-592-9318

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Your Big, Fat, Backyard Wedding - Los Angeles Wedding Planner

I've said it before, every wedding is a big wedding, especially the small ones. And backyard weddings, as intimate, convenient, and savings-friendly as they are? Can also be a lot of work.

Here are some things you need to keep in mind about your backyard weddings, or about having your wedding at what I call a "backyard venue," which has no catering, no rentals, except whatever you choose to bring in.

1. Guest tables - the goal should be to re-create a restaurant environment. What do I mean by that? Everything should flow smoothly and be conveniently placed, both for your guests and for food and beverage service. If you're serving water or wine at the tables, you need the glasses at each place setting, plus silverware. If you are serving a buffet, it's better to leave the plates at the buffet table. That way your guests are not carrying their plate with them while they're waiting in line, and they can grab a clean plate for a second serving.

2. Better to have too much ,than not enough - Glasses, Plates, knives, forks and napkins fall to the ground or break. Or, as I pointed out above, they get dirty and guests won't want to re-use them. Either way, you're going to need more than the exact number of guests that you have.Think about your menu think about the flow of the food. I suggest at least 15% more on the silverware, and 3 glasses per person. Three plates for a buffet (one of those plates can be for dessert) two for a sit-down dinner. Again, you're playing the expectation game with your guests - no one will expect to re-use their glass. And 30% of the time, they forget where they put it, anyway!

3. Music. DJ vs.  Ipod? If you don't have a DJ, you still have to re-create the DJ experience. Someone needs to start the ceremony music, and then end it (Hint: Think "radio" - Don't shut it off abruptly - lower the volume all the way down at and THEN turn it off). Are you making any announcements during the wedding for the first dance, cake cutting, opening the buffet...? And someone definitely, DEFINITELY, needs to be in charge of monitoring the music! You can make as many playlists as you want, but at some point, you'll want to switch to another song. If you hear yourself thinking, "I can do all that myself," Stop. Get someone else to do it. Finding a DJ you can afford is the best choice, finding a willing volunteer is the only second option.

4. The buffet. Call individual tables to the buffet. Don't just open it and have a free for all, it causes confusion and consternation. We are a people who are used to having to stand in line and wait our turn. Go with that.

See you at the end of the aisle,

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

It's a wedding weekend, so follow me on Instagram for all the pics @lizcharm