Saturday, January 31, 2015

Your Fun and Fabulous Elopement and How to Make It Happen

Yes. Have the Wedding You Want.

The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $28,000, whereas grabbing your Sig-O (does anyone use that term anymore?) and driving to the courthouse, or if you’d rather, hiring an officiant to marry you on the hilltop of your choice? Even if you tack a fancy dinner onto that, it’s still only a few hundred bucks.
So, you can’t really talk about Broke-Ass Bride brilliance without talking about Eloping. I’m a wedding officiant, too, and last year was big on elopements for me. Historic monuments, beaches, parks, the balcony at the AMC theater  (no lie). Short, fast and very, very sweet.
But before you head out the door with a pair of shiny rings and visions of the Honeymoon night dancing in your head, there are four important questions you need answers to:


“Because we want to” is a perfectly acceptable answer! “Because we can’t afford a big wedding,” or “I don’t want to have to deal with a lot of people” or “Because she needs health insurance NOW,” or “Because he’s moving out of the country next month,” or “Because we were going to be on vacation anyway,” I have heard them all.  The important thing is that what goes at the end of that “Because” sentence is “ ... and we were going to get married anyway,” AKA, “The Love.” People are going to ask, repeatedly, so you might as well have an answer. Also good for you to know why you’re doing this, too. Side note: If their follow up question is, “Are you pregnant??” I give you permission to laugh in their face and not answer. They’ll figure it out in a few months, either way, right?

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wedding Wise Weekly - January 22

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

Cool Wedding Thing of the Week:

I went to the Wedding Salon in Beverly Hills on Monday, and this was so cool! Is it a dress, is it a buffet table, is it a delightful bit of entertainment? YES! You can find out more at , courtesy of Spotlight Entertainment.

The Events:
Sunday, January 25

11am - 3pm
Premiere Bridal Shows
The Hills Hotel
25205 La Paz Rd
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Admission: $5 if you register online, $10 at the door

The Deals:

My favorite Aisle Runner Company is having a sale! Save 25% on Original Runner Co.'s patterned runners, available in glittery and non-glittery versions. GO.

The Dresser - Orange County's chicest Bridal shop is also having a sale on their sample gowns this Sunday. All gowns, all designers only $500. Yes, you read that right. And, you're welcome!

Hoopla House - Free pretty printables! Thanks to Broke-Ass Bride for the find!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Three Things To Remember When You're Throwing a "Backyard" Wedding

Welcome to our very first Blog Hop for 2015!
This month we want to help you start the year off by getting organized as you’re planning your wedding or event. Get ready for some great ideas to help you reduce stress and enjoy the planning process as you move along through the blog hop.
You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from Angela Christoforo's blog at Elite Wedding and Event Planning  on Natalie’s Blog Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup at the end of this post will help you move along from blog to blog so you make sure to see and learn from all of the articles featured here today.

Three Things To Remember When You're Throwing a "Backyard" Wedding

With apologies to Jane Austen, it is a universally acknowledged truth that the best way to save money on your wedding is to hold it in any venue where you can bring everything in - chairs, tables, catering, everything. I call them "backyard" weddings, and no, it doesn't have to be in your own backyard! But like most universal truths, this one also needs qualification. More choice on costs means less cost, right? But it can also mean more stress, hassle, and, yeah, more expense, unless you remember these three things:

Daniel Cruz Photo
1. You're recreating a restaurant, first and foremost. You're responsible for everything that is available and possible when you sit down to dinner at The Olive Garden or wherever,  so take notes the next time you eat out. You're sitting at a table, but at your wedding you're going to bring in the table and the chairs, and set them up, so how is that going to happen? Where is your meal being cooked? How is it being kept warm, or in serving condition? How is it getting to you at your table, and who is bringing it to you? What is it being served on or in? What should be on the table when you sit down? The devil is in the details, and this is where you can get caught. Chafing dishes, but no sterno cans to heat them up. Serving utensils? Enough plates for everything that you're serving - appetizers, salad, entrees, and dessert? Even if you're having a buffet, especially if you're having a buffet, you want to keep it orderly and clean. What is your waiter doing during dinner? Not just serving, but bussing your table, too. Filling your water glass, wiping off the table. Replacing silverware. How are you going to accomplish those actions, or have alternatives to them? 
Sit down with our caterer. They'll able to tell you what size your serving dishes and servingware should be, and how many of them you should get. Have them walk you through your entire menu at least twice. Do you need salt and pepper shakers? Do you need a milk pitcher for coffee? Don't be afraid to ask questions. There are no stupid questions in wedding catering. Your caterer can also recommend local rental and event staff services, too. Price out event staffing before you reject it! Having a couple of people that know their way around food and serving is definitely a good idea.
Oh, and while you're scoping out the restaurant, look at the bar, too. And don't forget ice and trash cans!

Fondly Forever Photography
2. You're buying in bulk. This is where and why this stuff gets expensive. Ten guests is a table, 100 guests is 10 tables. Each table is 10 chairs, 10 plates, 10 forks, 10 knives, 10 napkins, at least 10 water glasses and one centerpiece. That's 61 separate pieces on one table, and you have to pay for all of them! And that's not counting bar glasses, ceremony chairs, enough alcohol, soda and water to last 4-5 hours, and a dozen other things that you've got to get 100 of. My advice, if you're on a budget? Start with the basics, upgrade later if you can. Generally speaking, you don't have the finalize rentals until much closer to your wedding date. So, back away from the chiavari chairs and put down the bottles of Jack Daniels. For now, at least. 

Honey Honey Photography

3. You're not actually in a restaurant. Which means that you don't have the backup that comes with having your wedding at a restaurant or a hotel ballroom. Back up like extra plates to replace dirty ones, or for a new dish or serving. Extra glasses when your guests want to follow up their water with a beer. Your guests will not expect to have to re-use their plate or their glass (NO, THEY WILL NOT), and neither would you. Get at least twice as many entree dishes as you need, 10-15% more silverware and napkins, and 3-4 glasses per person, depending on what drinks you're serving at the bar and how many your bartender is comfortable working with. Otherwise, you will  inevitably run low on something. Do you have someplace to wash dishes and a timely manner? Probably not, so get extra and avoid the scramble.  Budget tip - if you're trying to save money, serve less kinds of drinks. Less kinds of drinks means less kinds of alcohol, and less kinds of glasses to serve the alcohol in. The only thing you don't need more of? Cake plates. There is always cake left over, so getting 100 plates for 100 guests will work just fine. 

Yeah, it can get a little overwhelming, but the first step to resolving any challenge is recognizing that that there is one!  But, if you use what you already have - your vendors, any resources your venue does provide - to find out what you need, then you'll be able to create the wonderful wedding you want. 

If you would  like to get ten more of my tips on how to have a fantastic wedding, click on the link at the bottom of this post, and we'll email it to you immediately!  

The next stop on Natalie's Blog Hop is Amber Peterson at Cheers Wedding & Event Planning. Enjoy! And thank you for visiting, I hope to see you next month...

The Blog Hop: 

  1. Natalie Bradley at Natalie Bradley Events  
  2. Katherine Shorter at Creating Awesomenessity
  3. Kristi Richardson at Bloomed To Last
  4. Chantal Benoit at Chantal Benoit Photographer
  5. Elizabeth Batte at plainjane designs 
  6. Andie Freeman  at Andie Freeman Photography 
  7. Brenna Fields Taylor at An Elegant Affair LLC
  8. Irene Tyndale at Irene Tyndale Events 
  9. Sharon K Hyatt at Weddings with Sharon of Awesome Designs & Weddings
  10. Tessa Marie at Tessa Marie Weddings
  11. Peter Merkle at Chicago Wedding DJs
  12. Anshwa Lewis at SwaLaRue Events
  13. Deborah Ashe at Rev. Deborah Ashe
  14. Angela Christoforo at Elite Wedding and Event Planning
  15. Liz Coopersmith at Silver Charm Events  
  16. Amber Peterson at Cheers Wedding & Event Planning
  17. Maggie Evans at Maggie Evans Designs :: handmade bridal couture
  18. N'neka Scruggs at Images by N'neka
  19. Kelly Snyder at Southern Charm Weddings
  20. Cindy Clearwater at Something Blue Virgin Islands
  21. Kimberly Parks at KP Photography
  22. Simone R. Ross at Lil' Tux N Tiara's Event Sitters & Entertainment
  23. David Osborne at Sound Insight Productions
  24. Nicole Hill at Flora Bond
  25. Shaun Cox at A D.I.Y. Affair Weddings and Events
  26. Katrina McCullum at Made of Honor Weddings
  27. Sandy Salle at Hills of Africa Travel
  28. Rachel Huntoon  at Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast 
  29. Daphne Simpson at Elite Design
  30. Kishana Highgate at Kishana Highgate Photography
  31. Loraine McCall at Mojica Photography
  32. Teresa Rhodes at Nearly Nesters 
  33. Andrea Freeman at Andrea Freeman Events
  34. Nikki Michel at Ciao Bella Weddings
  35. Kelly King at Affordable Wedding Invites by Gossett Printing
  36. Christine Ringuette at Down The Aisle Wedding Planning & Design
  37. Myiesha Antwine at Kiss and Tell Weddings
  38. Ashley Rae at Ashley Rae Events
  39. Laurie Kuerlemann at Platinum Party Events Entertainment, Inc
  40. Lydia Wells at Writer Mom
  41. Melissa Pepin at Melissa Pepin Photography

Would you like to receive more of my tips on how to create a wonderful wedding day? Click here to sign up to get my free checklist, "Ten Things You Need to Know About Your Wedding" and it will be emailed to you immediately.

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ask Liz: Let Your Wedding Crew Choose. Follow and Get Out of the Way.

Credit: Powell Pictures
So, I’ve been checking in with my 2015 couples a lot this week. March’s backyard wedding was relocated to another backyard. May wants a photo booth.  I’m looking at venues with July #2 this weekend. June #1 is in way better shape than she thinks she is. And, actually, so are you. Remember that the next time you start to wonder.

What’s been interesting is that each of them asked about managing their wedding party. And managing their families. Or, rather, managing their wedding party and families’ questions and expectations.

There are just so many of them, you know? Wedding party and family members. And questions.

When is the bridal shower, where is the bachelorette party? Should all 10 of your family members wear the same color as your bridesmaids and/or groomsmen? When should everyone, or anyone, fly in for the wedding? And on and on.

Should you let them choose, or just tell them what to do?

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wedding Wise Weekly - January 14

Every week 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:

Humblebrag! One of my weddings last summer, Rudy and Ryan's at Heritage Square Museum, is on Style Me Pretty. Emma from Honey Honey Photography did such an amazing job, you guys.  I love this gig. Check it out...

The Events

Monday, January 19
4:00 - 8:00pm
The Wedding Salon
Montage Beverly Hills
225 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
This is one of THE high-end shows of the year, straight from New York and tickets are usually $75. But if you register using the code CWDC you and a guest can attend free.
I'm going to be there with a bride and some other Wedding World friends. Shoot me an email if you'd to meet up!

The Deals:

Wedding Paper Divas - Save 25% off wedding invitation suites and 20% off Save the Dates. You're welcome!

Koyal Wholesale - Free shipping on orders of $99 or more. Paper lanterns? Check! Mason Jars? Yup! Have fun.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
Get my checklist, "Ten Things You Need to Know About Planning a Wedding in Los Angeles."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Silver Charm Events Featured in Style Me Pretty

Rudy and Ryan's wedding at Heritage Square Museum is featured today on Style Me Pretty! I had the best time helping them create that day, and it was gorgeous and sooo much fun. Click through and enjoy Honey Honey Photography's wonderful pictures!

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Grab my checklist, "The Ten Things You NEED to Know About Planning Your Wedding in Los Angeles."

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ask Liz: Five Wedding Planning Habits You Should Probably Start Practicing Now

I believe that it’s not enough to simply survive planning your wedding, you should thrive and feel like a Boss while you’re doing it.  Here are five wedding planning habits to start practicing now that will help.

Let’s start with the money, first:

1.Multiplication. Avoid sticker shock that every couple goes through, and  remember that you are buying in bulk. For example, Chiavari chairs  for  $10 each? Multiply by 100 = $1o00. $2000 if you’re getting another set for the reception.

2.Ask about the other STDs – Service, Tax and Delivery. Always. Everyone who is delivering a product – your photographer, your photo booth, your cake – is going to charge tax, plus a delivery or travel fee. Your venue and your caterer will charge tax, plus a service fee. Here in Los Angeles, that’s usually adds up to  30% of the bill, on top of the bill, turning your $85 per person dinner into $110.50 per person. Multiply that by 100 …

3. Your last question to any potential vendor needs to be, “Is there anything else I need to know?” There are many unknown unknowns in wedding planning – the stuff that you don’t know that you don’t know, or need to know.  Asking this question will give the opportunity for your vendor to go over anything they might have missed in their spiel, but are mentioned in the contract, or cover concerns other couples should have had. Things like, late fees, open fire permits, parking, vendor meals. That question might lead to more questions, but there are never too many questions. Or answers, for that matter.

Click here to read #4 and #5 on The Broke-Ass Bride to find out how you need to THINK about your wedding...

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Schedule your free wedding consult this weekend:

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Wedding Wise Weekly - January 7

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

Cool Wedding Thing of the Week:

Pinterest - Ask Liz: Nixing New In-Laws and Calculating the cost of a Park Wedding.  Every day for the past month, I get a notice from Pinterest that this has image/article has been re-pinned.  Over 1400 times, already. It's good advice, if I do say so myself...but you guys are pinning it for the wood box, aren't you? :-)

The Events:

January 10 - 11
10am - 4pm
BrideWord Expo
Los Angeles Convention Center
1200 L.A. Live Way
Los Angeles, CA 90015
$10 at the door if you RSVP online, $12 directly at the door

Sunday, January  11

Bridal Premiere
11am - 3pm
Hilton Pasadena
902 E. Yorba Linda Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
$10 at the door, Use code WWD2 online for two free tickets

Athenaeum Bridal Open House
1:30 - 4:00pm
551 S. Hill Ave
Pasadena, CA 91106
Admission: Free

The Deals:

Amazon Local - Three-Hour Photo Booth package from Caught Up in the Moment Photo booths, with props, for $289.00. Amazon Local is also offering a couple more photo booth services with different packages, so check it out. Limited quantities, as always.

Minted - Save 15% on Wedding Invitations and Save the Dates. Use code WINTERWED by 1/12

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Schedule a complimentary wedding consult:
call/text: 323-592-9318

Monday, January 05, 2015

Seven Reasons to Believe in Weddings
Welcome to Wedding World 2015.  The original version of this appeared in the Huffington Post a while back. This is why your wedding is already awesome:

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 -- and why the pushback at same-sex marriage continues to annoy me (Florida, you are getting my side-eye) is that weddings are good for the economy. In 2008, 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 in 2008). 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 more than 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

Let's talk about your wedding: