Monday, August 25, 2014

Ask Liz: Reception Time = Money

Courtesy of Real Simple
Dear Liz:

I started my wedding planning business this summer, and I'm excited because I've already booked four weddings this year! Two have already happened, and I had the same problem with both - we ran out of time with the photographer. Every part of the receptions ran late - it took forever getting everyone seated, dinner took longer than I thought it would, which means the toasts were late, the cake was late, her dance with her father was late, so we were already out of time at the bouquet toss. The photographer at the first wedding wanted to charge another $250 for another hour, so they let him leave. The last photographer was nice enough to stay a little longer and get those pictures. But, I really don't want that to happen again. What can I do?

Signed, 

Mistaken Rookie


Dear Rookie,

First of all, welcome to The Show. Two weddings down, I know it's probably been fun, but a little stressful. For one thing, you're supposed to be the expert now, and you're learning, too. We've all been there.

So, it sounds like you've got all the things the photographer is supposed to shoot during the reception down - First dance, toasts, cake cutting down, so that's good. But, if it's 30 minutes or less before your photographer needs to bail, you need to switch up and speed up the timeline. Cake-cutting takes hardly any time, so you can have your couple cut that before dinner is done. Cut the cake, and then finish eating while the catering staff cuts gets it ready to serve. Father-Daughter and Mother-Son dances do not have to be to each 3-4 minute song. A couple of verses will do. The bouquet toss is a bit more comprehensive, because you have to get everyone on the dance floor, get them lined up, etc.

Communication with the photographer, the DJ, and the venue manager is absolutely essential in this situation, Everyone needs to be on the same page, moving forward. If you're cutting the cake early, catering needs to know so they can allocate staff to cut the cake up, while others might still be serving and bussing. The photographer needs to know what you're doing moving forward and why. Most likely, they'll have some suggestions of their own. And since your DJ is the one who has to keep the guests informed of what's going on, he needs to know what that is. And, of course, you need to (calmly) inform your couple that they're running out of photo time, and present a plan and/or options to them. Not only will it make them feel like you have everything under control, but you will have everything under control. WIN.

Confidential to Tempe: "Traditionally" the toast order is Best Man, Father of the Bride, Maid of Honor. But hardly anyone sticks exclusively to that list or that order these days, so don't stress about it. Lots of couples even throw in their own Thank You speech at the end, too. Whomever is toasting, as them to keep it short, if possible, and it end it with a raised glass and an actual toast, "To Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt and Jessica Fortenberry,"except, you know, with their names instead, obviously.

What questions do you have about your wedding right now? Email me at liz@silvercharmevents.com, and let me know what's up.

See you at the end of the aisle,

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday - August 21, 2014


Michelle + Jonathan, September 4, 2011

So, here's the deal: A traditional Jewish wedding ceremony is capped off by the groom smashing a glass under his foot. This does not always go as planned, on the first try. Some people gasp in horror, some couples end up embarrassed. When Jonathan tried, the glass shot out from under his foot and shot into the bushes. The two of them busted up laughing, a good approach for all things, I think. It took longer for them to stop laughing than it did to find the glass. Happy Third Anniversary, you two. Stay awesome.

See you at the end of the aisle,

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wedding Wise Wednesday - August 20

Every Wednesday, I bring you the coolest 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:

Photo: Sarah Bray Photography

Fall is coming up, and this gold-sprayed bouquet would be perfect, wouldn't it? Thanks to Lover.ly for the inspiration and Bridal Guide for the find.




The Deals:

Apparently, late August is made for wedding savings...

Courtesy of Groupon

Groupon: Buy a $100 gift certificate for a wedding dress at Dolly Couture for only $49.

Courtesy of Modcloth

Modcloth has a 30% discount of a slew of their shoes, including some very cool wedding-worthy ones. Thanks to Offbeat Bride for the find.


Amazon Local -  $25 gets you $50 to spend on Dry Cleaning or Wedding Dress Preservation services at Tarzana Cleaners.

See you at the end of the aisle,

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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Three Lies You're Telling Yourself About Your Wedding



1. I'm not going to do this right.
It can be a paralyzing thought, but it's not true. First of all, there really is no "right" when it comes to planning your wedding. "Right" is whatever you want your wedding look and feel like. That's the goal, and that's what you should focus on. You can only do the best you can do, and use the resources you have - your vendors, Google, other wedding planning websites. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask all and any questions you want to.  And here's a tip: After you ask your question, ask another one: "Is there anything else I need to know?"  Again: You're going to do the best you can. That's all any of us can do.

2. I don't have enough money to create the wedding I want.
No matter how big your wedding budget is,  there never seems to be enough, and there is always the concern that you're going to go over it. And once the wedding goodies start dancing in front of your eyes, that can start to hurt bad. And, time-wise, it can get frustrating and overwhelming trying to arrange your life around the multitude of phone calls, appointments and emails that line your way to the end of the aisle. But saying and thinking that you don't have enough of either? No.
Be honest: If you only want, or can only spend a certain amount of money on your wedding, than a wedding that goes over that is not the wedding you want. Sure, there may be a bride online whose bouquet cost the entirety of your wedding budget, but that's not the wedding you want. You need to stop thinking that just because you don't have her bank account, your wedding is going to suck in comparison. And you're going to ruin your whole day and the days leading up to it by concentrating on that.

My favorite quote ever, and my personal mantra, is by Theodore Roosevelt: "Do what you can with what you have, where you are." Switch from "I don't have enough money," to "What can I do with the money I have?" Perhaps the Ritz in Downtown L.A. isn't possible, but the Doubletree Hotel's Japanese Garden is. Be honest about your budget with every vendor and ask what they can do with it, if anything. Roses and orchids aren't the only beautiful flowers in the world. You have so many options, you just have to be open to finding them.

3. I don't have enough time to plan the wedding I want. Okay, full disclosure: I'm the girl who can plan weddings in six months or less (latest coup - finding a videographer in two days), but really, managing your time really means managing your timing. If you contact a vendor on the weekend, they are probably working and won't be able to get back to you until the following Monday or Tuesday. Giving them your schedule to meet and asking for theirs right off the bat will save you some time. But, put the thought that all the good vendors, the ones that you want, are going to be gone before you can get to them. As I said, you have soooo many options. You may get tired of looking(in which case, take a break), but that's not the same as not having choices. And you have plenty of time. Even if you have a week, even if you have two weeks, even if you have a month, you're good. Fit it in where you can - the key to managing your wedding planning time is to not give yourself a hard time. So, knock it off.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com

Let's talk about your wedding:
call/text: 323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com





Friday, August 15, 2014

Ask Liz: Who Should Walk Me Down the Aisle?

Photo: Nataly Lemus Photography

Dear Liz:

I'm getting married next June, and I have a little bit of a dilemma. My mother remarried when I was four, so I grew up with my Step- Dad. I'm close with my real father, too. I would like both of them to walk me down the aisle, but is that weird? My step-dad joked that people would think that he and my Dad were "together," but he's okay with it. I haven't talked to my Dad about it, yet. I love the idea, but I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. What should I do?

Signed, 

My Two Dads

Dear Two,

First of all, I think that walking down the aisle with the two men who raised you is very sweet. I always say that you can do whatever you want on your wedding day, you just have to figure out how. The first step to that is asking your Dad NOW if he's okay with this. Don't spring it on him in the last minute. If he has an issue with it, best to know now, so you have plenty of time to decide what to do.


Confidential to Type A: You can probably get the invitations done over the weekend yourselves - one of you addresses and the other stuffs. If you're going to print the addresses out from your computer, no labels! Lint gets stuck under them and it looks gross. Figure out how to print it on the envelope and get an extra cartridge of printer ink. And, if this sounds like a hassle that you don't have time for, call a stationery store and get a couple names of calligraphers. There isn't a wedding problem alive that you can't throw money at. It just depends on how worried you are about it.



See you at the end of the aisle,

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

Got a wedding problem  that you could use some help with? Email me and let me know what's up!






Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Monique and David, Union Station, 7/14/13


One thing I can say about my couples is that all they all come to party. Monique and David gathered all their friends and family at Harvey Restaurant in Union Station, added some great food from Catering by Ashley, and it was all perfectly captured by Lesly Hall Photography. Click here for more pictures.


See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Schedule your complimentary wedding consultation today:
Call/text: 323-592-9318

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wedding Wise Wednesday - August 13

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

Cool Wedding Thing of the Week:


Ah, Disney fever. There is no cure, especially in the face of such adorableness.  Check out this cake topper, and the wedding that came with it, on White Rabbit Photo Boutique's Facebook page.

Throwback Thursday:



The Deals:

The Flora Gown from BHLDN. $800. You're welcome! Thanks to Wedding Chicks for the find. And, heads up, they are having a sample gown sale at the Beverly Hills Location starting Monday. GO.

Photo by Lizzy Pancakes

For the Brave DIY'ers among you, The Broke-Ass Bride has a post by Lizzy Pancakes perfectly describing how to make your own wedding cake, if you are so inclined. And by perfectly I mean, under what circumstances (small party, possibly with dessert back-up) and how far in advance. Girl after my own heart, people.


And, congratulations to Danielle, who won a copy of my Kindle book through Budget Fairy Tale, "DIY your DOC: The Silver Charm System to Day-of Coordination". Enjoy!


Finally, in tribute. I was, as a lot of us were, thrown by Robin William's death on Monday. He was my favorite. The Birdcage is also one of my favorite movies, and there is a wonderful scene in there that perfectly epitomizes what love and marriage is all about. The set-up is unfortunate, the message is strong, so I thought I'd share it with you.
Mr. Williams, I'm so sad you're gone, but I hope that you found the peace that you were looking for,. Thank you for the laughter and the love:



See you at the end of the aisle,

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




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Wedding Planner's Holiday. Or Not.

I had this big idea on Saturday, to grab Zane (my husband, I think I've mentioned him before), jump into the car, and drive up the coast until we got tired, and then take a walk on the beach. We got as far as Oxnard. The Embassy Suites in Oxnard, which is beautiful, but still, I was hoping for Santa Barbara or even Ventura.

So, we parked and took a shortcut through the hotel to the beach. And right outside the gate, we saw this:


Seriously, weddings just follow me around.  Right around the time we came back from the beach to  casually read in the lobby (Zane prefers paperbacks, while I'm addicted to the Kindle app on my iphone - thank you for listening), I noticed that wedding guests were having trouble figuring out how to get to the ceremony. Basically, the only way was through the pool area, and it wasn't a straight way. In other words, you couldn't see the gate out to the beach from the pool entrance. Like, two groups of people went past us, stepped outside, didn't see where they needed to go, and headed back inside. Force of habit kicked in, and I started to directing them, go outside, keep left, go out the open gate, and you'll see the ceremony space. Zane only rolled his eyes at me twice.

The directions they were given were probably pretty simple - just go outside to the pool and head out the gate to the beach. But that gate is on the other side of a building, so it's not immediately apparent when you see the pool. And the couple, having been there a few times already, and always with a hotel staff member, wouldn't have realized that it would be a problem. Long story, short lesson: Post a guide or a sign at any blind corner that leads to where your guests want to go. You're welcome!

Congratulations Allison and Frank! They're getting married at the Long Beach Museum of Art next June, and they just hired me for Day-of Coordination. I'm so excited for them, for me because I get to work with them, and even more so because the Museum is one of my favorite venues. So, yay, US!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharmevents.com

Schedule your complimentary wedding consultation with me this week:
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com





Friday, August 08, 2014

Ask Liz: The (Wedding) Envelopes, Please.

From My Wedding Reception Ideas

Dear Liz:

My wedding is next week, and I have a question. My mom is convinced that a lot of our guests, or at least our side of the family, will be giving us cash as gifts, in envelopes, I guess? How does that usually go, would they hand those to us? I don't think I want to carry those around for the rest of the night, but there isn't really any place that we can put them, where they might not get lost or stolen. What should we do with them?

Signed, 

Stash the Cash


Dear Stash,

First off, your Mom is right, folks will give you cash as a wedding gift. My first suggestion is to get a card box and put it near or on the check-in/escort card table.  You can buy one online, but they also have them at most stationery or craft stores. If you're in L.A., try Michaels. A medium size-ish basket would work, too.  I'd keep it out through the cocktail hour, and then empty it and give the contents to someone - heretofore known as  "the designated card holder" -  before the reception starts. That sounds like a good job for your Mom, actually. There will be some guests who will have forgotten to put their card in the box, and will hand it to you personally later on, in which case you can hand them off to her.

Confidential to Beach House: There is more than one way to cater your wedding for less than $18,000!  Start with a restaurant or shop that delivers - I'm particularly fond of Stonefire Grill and Wood Ranch Grill these days - and go from there. They can also give you extra serving staff, if you need it. Start low, build up.

See you at the end of the aisle,

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



Thursday, August 07, 2014

#ThrowbackThursday: Wedding Concept vs. Wedding Reality

B & G Photography


I just finished a one hour phone session solving a wedding limo glitch, and I thought about this part of my book, DIY Your D.O.C.,  that talks about the logistics on your wedding day. Stay flexible. There is a solution to every "challenge," even if the solution is to say "screw this" and start over:

A lot of times, what you want your wedding to look like crashes into the reality of your venue's logistics, and of time and space in general. Examples: At one of my weddings this past spring, the plan was to put the DJ on the opposite side of the dance floor from the head table. While he was hooking that up, the venue manager told him that he needed to be behind the head table, where there was a stronger source of power. That was a problem aesthetically speaking - if he was behind the table, he would be in most of the pictures of it. At another wedding, the linen for the escort card table was noticeably shorter than the table itself. At another, the extension cords the photo booth brought couldn't reach the plugs closest to it. Hmm...

Look, everyone, including you, makes educated guesses based on the information they're given at the time. And, sometimes those guesses are wrong!

So, what do you do? First of all, don't waste time arguing the point. If your original concept won't work, it won't work, so you have to work around it. Second of all, remember that you don't have to solve the problem all by yourself. You're working with experienced professionals who can help you figure it out. Ask the people who are part of the issue for suggestions on how to solve it. You can't move the DJ table, but can you move the head table, so the DJ isn't so prominent behind it? Make a note to give the photographers a heads up on that, too. If the photo booth's cords won't reach, ask the venue manager if they have extra cords they can borrow, or talk about an alternative place to put the booth. Linens too short? Shove the table against the wall and see if you can make it a little shorter on the back end to get length in the front. If it's a guest table, concentrate on covering the side that faces the outside of the room. Chairs should sufficiently hide the lack of length around the rest of the table.

Basically: talk to the vendor involved, pull in the venue manager if and when you need to, and choose the quickest and easiest solution.

Budget Fairy Tale is giving away a copy of my book on August 11, so click here to enter, or to purchase it on Amazon here.

See you at the end of the aisle,

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


Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Wedding Wise Wednesday - August 6 (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

On Wednesdays, 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:



This beautiful succulent bouquet by Floral Verde, which I found posted on Weddingish.com's Facebook page. That's some great Pretty, isn't it?

Cool, Too: ...and here's the Practical - Offbeat Bride's guide to broadcasting your wedding live on YouTube.  Oh, no, You're welcome! It was my pleasure.












The Events:

Sunday, August 10

11am - 4pm
Bridal Showplace
The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Hwy
 Long Beach, CA 90802
Admission: $7.00 online until 8/9, $10 at the door



The Deals:

Lovella Bridal in Glendale is having a sample sale this week, August 7-10, on their Maria Helena Headpieces.

And don't forget, Budget Fairy Tale is giving away a copy of my book, DIY Your DOC: The Silver Charm System for Do-It-Yourself Day-of Coordination. Go sign up!

See you at the end of the aisle,

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


Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Thanks for the great review! (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

Rudy and Ryan posted this review for me on Wedding Wire and Yelp this weekend. They are the sweetest, and were a joy to work with. Thanks, guys!


 

Photo Courtesy of Snap Yourself Photo Booth

Hiring Liz as our wedding coordinator was hands down the smartest wedding investment we made. We booked our wedding venue based on it's beauty alone but we quickly realized that it came with no amenities - no water, no power, no bathrooms, no lighting, etc. It could have been a logistical nightmare but Liz did a fantastic job of managing all the vendors, insurance, deposits, and set-up & breakdown times. 
Liz helped us find exquisite vendors that exceeded my expectations and were right within our price range. I tend to dream big and when I went to Liz with my crazy ideas she never said "no" but simply helped figure out the logistics to turn them into reality. On the big day, she and her assistants managed our timeline so that everything flowed seamlessly. The entire day was perfect! 
- Rudy and Ryan

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Call or email me for a complimentary wedding consultation:

Monday, August 04, 2014

Mindy's Blogiversary = Presents for YOU!

My friend Mindy, of Budget Fairy Tale, is celebrating her 3rd Blogiversary, and she's gotten together a great group of giveaways to celebrate. One of them is a copy of my last e-book, "D.I.Y. Your D.O.C. : The Silver Charm System to Day-Of Coordination." Here's an excerpt:

Liz's Wedding Day Rule 5: You are herding cats.
What I mean by that at various times during your wedding day, you will be moving multiple groups of people around - wedding party, family, guests, from one place to another. Each of them have their own priorities, their own goals and and own destinations. And, remember: Not only are you going to feel pressure to get it all right and on time but everyone else does, too. Give them the time and resources to do that.

Be realistic about travel time. That amount of time is not going to change, even if it is your wedding day. Figure out how long it will take to get from Point A to Point B...and then add another 10 minutes.

Seriously. Take a look!



You can download the first chapter on Amazon, and sign up today for the giveaway on Budget Fairy Tale. Good luck!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
www.silvercharrmevents.com

Call or email me for a complimentary wedding consultation:
323-592-9318
liz@silvercharmevents.com