Sunday, May 31, 2009


I really want to give brides the heads up that they should really donate the left over food and flowers to hospitals and shelters.

Here are some ways:

1. Call any local hospital close to your venue and see how you can bring your flowers over.

2. Call the event coordinator at a nursing home to donate your centerpieces there.
Most nursing homes will actually come pick up your flowers after the ceremony!

3. Food - Local food rescue programs will pick up leftovers from the wedding reception, and deliver them to a homeless shelter the same day. Couples should know that most food banks only deal with non-perishable food items. A food rescue picks up perishable and non-perishable foods. Anything not being used at a wedding falls under the heading of perishable. For more information and to locate a local food rescue program, please visit America's Second Harvest (

4. Also, visit to find some helpful info on how and where to donate.

Rules of Wedding Invitations

I get asked all kinds of questions about invitations. Here are a few simple tips:

1. You should start thinking about your invitations 9-12 months in advance of your wedding and order them 6 months in advance

2. Have your guest lists ready and accurate before placing any order (how do you know what to order if you don't have a guest list??)

3. Make sure you can see several versions of your proof (not just one) before going to final print.

4. Your invitations need to be mailed out min 2 months in advance of the wedding.

5. If you are mailing a Save the date card, this should be out about 6 to 8 months in advance.

6. RSVP cards are a must and please, please, please, have lines for the exact names of who is coming. For example if you invite Mr. & Mrs. Shah and Family and they only RSVP for 2, which 2 members of the family are attending? What are their names? The lines on the RSVP cards which ask for the names will avoid you having to call Mr. & Mrs. Shah and ask.. get it??

7. Before you begin addressing envelopes, take at least 3 completely stuffed invitations to the post office & have them weighted to determine the correct postage! You don't want them coming back to you!!!

8. It is customary in a formal wedding invitation TO SPELL OUT EVERYTHING! So, it is not 6:00pm but six o'clock in the evening that is appropriate. It is not July 4, 2009 it is The Fourth of July Two Thousand and Nine which is the correct way.

Remember, wedding invitations are much more than just the date, time, place and who is getting married.. it is the first impression of your wedding!

Hotel Room Rates

This week we had an incident that the hotel was contracted for $169 and the rate dropped to $129... what can you do to secure the lowest rate.. read on:

1. Be as accurate as possible when shopping for hotel rooms.. if you think you are going to have only 10 rooms pick up, then get your block for 5 rooms for Thurs, 10 rooms for Fri and 10 rooms for Sat night.

2. Avoid Binding Contracts that make you pay for unused rooms (called Attrition)

3. Call a few hotels to compare prices and then tell the hotels what you are getting at other hotels.. see if they will match or beat the price.

4. Ask about welcome bag delivery policy as most brides what a welcome bag handed out to guests. Does the hotel charge for this? Can you avoid this charge somehow?

5. Get parking rates.. most major cities, parking is not free and sometimes upwards of $35/day. See if they will give you min 5 overnight parking passes

6. Ask to get into the contract a clause that says that if the room rates drop, you will received the new lower pricing.. your guests will be happy as well to know that now they are paying less.

We were very happy that our client did receive the lower $129 rate.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Meet Anna

From our intern, Anna:

Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, my first three months living and working in Manhattan have been a unique and exciting adventure, as well as a valuable learning experience. With a degree in public relations from Louisiana State University, I spent my first year after college giving back to the community post Hurricane Katrina working as Communication and Development Associate for a nonprofit foundation. With my growing experience in PR, my interest in event planning began as I planned the retirement party of the CEO.

One afternoon, while rummaging through the wedding section of the local Barnes and Noble, I came across an article about a wedding planned and coordinated by SJS Events. Impressed by the beauty and elegance of the South Asian ceremony and celebration, I went to Sonal’s website and saw there was an open position for an events intern. I immediately applied and was pleasantly surprised to hear from Sonal a few days later. Soon, a short month passed and I was packed and moving to New York City. Like most, I thought planning a wedding would consist of cake tastings and picking out dresses, but Sonal has shown me that it is so much more. From constant researching, emailing, phone calls, negotiations and follow-ups, working at SJS Events has truly been an eye-opening and thrilling undertaking. I am extremely excited to attend my first Indian wedding to witness first-hand the Baraat, Garba and Mehendi, among other traditions. Thanks to the guidance Sonal and the rest of the SJS Events staff, I am able to do what I love in the greatest city in the world!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Name Change

Well, yes, I have been busy with brides and now that wedding season is here, I am writing less and less in our blog. I do come across info that I find helpful not just for me if brides ask me but also for brides across the country.

So, here is some great info on NAME CHANGE.

The easiest way if you decide to change your name is to apply for the name change at the same time you apply for your marriage license. It will save you extra paperwork, time and money.

Be sure to notify:
*Social Security Administration
*Motor Vehicles, you need to go there personal....bring your marriage license & Social Security Card
*Car Registration
*Car Insurance
*Voter Registration
*Passport (after your honeymoon)
*Checks and Checking Accounts
*Savings Accounts
*IRAs and CDs
*Credit Cards
*Safe Deposit Box
*Stocks & Bonds
*Life Insurance Policy
*Health Insurance
*Homeowner's Insurance
*Property Titles
*School Registration
*Professional Information
*Employee Records
*Magazine Subsrciptions
*Notify Post Office

This is the long and short of changing your name. I wish I had a list like this when I got married.. but then, I was a Shah before marriage and a Shah after marriage so I got lucky=)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Engagment Ring Insurance

I was reading this great article with NY Magazine. It is very helpful. Most of our brides have expensive rings and it is not something you want to lose...

How to Insure Your Engagement Ring
By Lori Fradkin Published Winter 2007

1. Investigate insurance options even before you get the ring. Get a detailed description of it from an appraiser (include carat weight, measurements, style, shape, and size). Some stores offer in-house appraisal; look for a local independent appraiser on

2. If you have a homeowner’s or renter’s policy, contact your agent and add a personal-articles rider or floater to your current plan. It guarantees that if something happens to your ring, you’ll be able to get a new one. If you don’t have said policy, see if you can put it on that of your parents and transfer it to yours later.

3. Jewelry coverage typically costs 1 to 3 percent of the item’s value each year. Make sure your coverage applies to loss, theft, damage, and mysterious disappearance, and if you prefer, look for the “kind and like” insurance, where you get a similar ring and not just its monetary equivalent.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From our Intern Last Summer

This was so sweet:

I love the fact that we can help young people find what they want to do in their lives especially since we are in NYC:

Dear Sonal,

It's been almost a year since I started working with you and I just wanted to let you know what the internship with you last summer has done for me. Working with you forced me to step outside of my comfort zone which I am so grateful for. I applied and was accepted as the Special Events Co-Chair for the spirit organization at my school (they put on all of the pep rallies and meet and greets during the football, basketball, and baseball seasons) and also have been asked to be the Sponsorship Chair for a committee that puts on a production at the beginning of every year for the new students to see all of the new organizations at our school. I'm thrilled about all of this but on top of that, I have been asked to be the only marketing intern for the Miami New Times. I will be working directly with the Marketing Director and my big event will be a fashion show on August 11th.

I am writing this to thank you for everything last summer. I know at times I wasn't always sure of what I was doing but because of the broad range of things I got to see and work with, I am able to attain these marvelous positions I have today. I just want you to know the impact you've made on me and the imprint you've left in my life. I will never forget last summer for its twist and turns, ups and downs, and great opportunities. Thank you again for everything, Sonal, and I hope all is well with you.



Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My New Favorite Dj

I love girls that do cool things.. check out Dj Kayper