Sunday, August 29, 2010

Couple with Our Staff

Our bride from May, Nikita Patel,just sent this cute photo of our staff and her family! Brings back memories. Love the blue!

Also, today is Reena Patel and Jeff Sander's 1 year anniversary. Wish them all the best! Can't wait to see you guys in Florida!

The Plaza Wedding- Photos


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Meghna & Harish- Tradition mets The Plaza Hotel

I reflect back to last weekend when all of us had the honor of being the planners for Meghna Saxena and Harish Sarma's wedding. It was one of the best weddings ever!  Everything went like clockwork from the start of the day to the end of the day.

The bride and groom looked incredible and by 11:00am they were out doing photos in Central Park and in front of The Plaza Hotel.  I loved the way our photogarpher, Steve from Stak Photo and Janice from Celeste Studios, made the bride and groom feel so relaxed.

As the parents and other family members got ready, our crew went to work with all the vendors including Sushmita, Elegant Affairs, Atlas Florist, The Plaza Staff- Kristen and Steve, and Moghul Caterers. It was amazing how everything came together after months and months and months of planning (and a good timeline!).

Atlas' staff build this 15 foot tall tree inside the place card table and that became the focal point of the entrance to the ceremony. 

Elegant Affairs bought in almost 40 feet and 5 feet thick flower rackets which sat on the Mandap. The bride did not want traditional fabric curtains so instead we put almost 50 hanging lines of orchids. The entire mandap was filled with roses and orchids. It was stunning.

The baraat began at 3pm sharp and I really was not expecting what I saw when we led the groom outside. There were about 400+ tourist who began to know that something spectacular was happening at The Plaza.  It was so crazy trying to get the groom on his horse but when we finally did, and the baraat started, all the Saturday Fifth Ave. Shoppers wandered over to see what the excitement was all about!  The two dhol guys were even shocked at the amount of people/ tourists everywhere!  All and all we had about 800 people leading the groom for his procession.  Madness!

The guests were in shock when they walked into the ceremony conducted by Pandit Sharma. It was quite and all the guests watched as the bride was escorted down the aisle with her father, Dr. Rajiv Saxena.

The guests then went to cocktail hour which had probably the most amount of food I have ever seen at a wedding.. Pasta Station, Sushi Station, Raw Bar, Risotto Station, and about 25 butler passed items.  The guests enjoyed listening to the Trina Basu from Tiger Lillies Music (Violin, Clarinet and Tabla).

When guests entered the ballroom around 8:30pm, they had no idea of the opulence they had just walked into. At the door, I heard several guests whisper, "This is the nicest wedding I have ever been to" Everyone was stunned at the work that Atlas had done. It was magical!  There was a white dance floor with the couple's monogram, 36 tables of gold rimmed china and goblets, purple table linen with gold cut work overlay.  Each of the women attending received broaches and the men received Vosges Haut- Chocolate.  The guests received a plated Vegetarian Indian, Non Vegetarian Indian, Vegetarian American, or Non Vegetarian American meals. I loved the plate up service that Moghul presented to each guest. (who says you cannot do a plated Indian Meal?) The food looked great and tasted amazing!

Dj Kucha and Co. took the night away as guests partied until 1am and then partied some more at the after party at The Rose Club.

We were truly honored to have been called upon to put this together. Thank you, Meghna and Harish and we wish you a lifetime of happiness! I want to also thank my wonderful staff (Sweta, Beth, Ruth, Judy, Jay, Jesenia, Emily, Jessica and Neeti) for making this day happen for this specal couple. Couldn't have done it without you!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Invitation Printing Methods

A lot of my brides ask me questions regarding the different types of invitation printing.  Here are some of the most popular methods of wedding invitation printing.  

1.      Engraving is the printing method with an old world charm. It is the most traditional form of wedding invitation printing and also one of the most expensive.  The wording is etched onto a copper plate, coated with ink, and then wiped clean so only the ink remains in the indentations. Soft, fine paper is then pressed against the plate which creates a very crisp clean lettering.  Engraved invitations may take a little longer than other methods so remember to start the process with your printer well in advance when choosing engraved invitations.

2.      Letterpress type of printing also gives a vintage look.  This technique is created when a letterpress printer uses inked letters or design which is pressed onto paper.  Letterpress type does not produce crisp lettering, hence producing a more vintage look. There isn’t a lot of flexibility in the letter type or font.  Very few printers still use this method but if you choose it, the method looks the best of handmade paper.  

3.      Thermography is a less expensive method of creating the engraved look.  The printer uses ink and resin dusting powders with heat to create raised lettering.  The process is high tech. and it’s at a flip of the switch.  It’s becoming the most popular method of printing wedding invitations because of the cost and, unlike engraving, it much quicker to achieve.

4.      Foil Stamping is also known as dry stamping, hot stamping or metallic foil.  It uses heated dyes or metal plates to place a fine layer of foil onto paper. This technique has been used for centuries. It began with the use of gold foil but now other metallic foils are used in place of gold. Keep in mind, the foil don’t not necessarily have to be shiny.  This method is comparable in price to engraving.

5.      Offset printing or lithography is the easiest method of printing and so the least expensive of all the types. It most commonly known as flat printing since the lettering is not raised.  It is also useful when printing on textured paper.  The method uses inked plates or rubber cylinders to transfer letters or images onto paper.  

6.      Calligraphy is used for handwritten appearance invitations.  The calligraphy artist will utilize special pens and ink to give that traditional look.  Calligraphy for matching invitations can be done by creating a plate for engraving.  Both calligraphy methods are expensive so best utilized for small weddings.

I hope this helps you when you’re ready to choose your wedding invitation. 

Top 10 Grand Entrance Songs

A lot of my brides ask me for suggestions on grand entrance songs. I've made a list of our favorite Grand Entrance songs.  You want your guests to be excited about the party and a great upbeat song will get them going. I hope this helps!  

Top 10 Grand Entrance Songs
1.      I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
2.      Bad Romance - Lady Gaga,
3.      Just Dance - Lady Gaga
4.      Forever – Chris Brown
5.      Get This Party Started – Pink
6.      Yeah – Usher
7.      Party Like a Rock Star – Shop Boyz
8.      DJ Got Us Falling in Love Again – Usher
9.  Crazy in Love – Beyonce
10.  Lets Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas

Top 10 Indian Grand Entrance Songs
1.      Deewangi Deewangi – Om Shanti Om
2.      Oh Girl You’re Mine – HouseFull
3.      Nagada Nagada – Jab We Met
4.      Soniya Ve – Kismat Konnection
5.      Ab toh Forever – Ta Ra Rum Pum
6.      Twist – Love Aaj Kal
7.      Mauja Hi Mauja – Jab We Met
8.      No 1 Punjabi – Chori Chori Chupke Chupke
9.      Mast Kalandar – Heyy Baby
10.  Live Dhol Music  

Monday, August 23, 2010

Site Visit to Turks and Caicos Islands, BWI

Just got to Turks and Caicos with Priyesh.. Our groom who is getting married in May 2011. The island is soooo amazing! I wish everyone could get married here. The Indian Food Tasting was amazing at the hotel. Today we are meeting with Photo, Video, 2 dj's, 2 decorators.. getting a lot done in the 2 days we have here.  Such an honor to be here.

Aekta and Jignesh’s Wedding

We just got back from our incredible wedding for Aekta and Jignesh at the Marriott in the Cayman Islands, it was simply beautiful.  It was one of our most beautiful destination weddings we’ve planned.  We planned each event with all the Indian customs and traditions such as dandiya sticks for each guest at garba, an amazing mehendi artist flown in from Miami, bangles, bindis, paan/ mithai, and a full array of Indian food. You wouldn’t have guessed we were on an island in the Caribbean but we were.

Aekta and her family wanted each guest to be blown away with the fact that you could have so much Indian tradition in the middle of the Caribbean. They didn’t miss a thing.

Aekta looked so amazing at every event. Aekta and Jignesh are such a sweet, fun-loving couple. They love to dance, so their family and friends put on a show for them at almost every event… I really enjoyed the performances which they practiced in the ballrooms for hours. It was worth it as their friends and family did such impressive dances. The couple made sure every event was vibrant and full of entertainment.

The wedding ceremony on the beach was amazing!  With the blue sky and waters in the background, how could you ever go wrong?  Aekta and Jignesh made sure their guests stayed cool, by setting out ornate carved wooden hand-held fans for each of the guests.  It was so great when we did the baraat as the entire hotel stopped what they were doing to watch. I mean all the guests at the pool, on the beach, in their hotel rooms all turned into an audience! We had a much larger audience than expected so. It was certainly a sight to see!

With the help of Joanne Brown from Celebrations, we turned the ballroom each night into different and vibrant colors (hot pink, blue and green, red and blue). We decided to do a traditional red and white color scheme for the ceremony since both families were Gujurati. The beautiful red and white colors totally stood out against the blue of the water.

The colors continued from the beach ceremony into the reception ballroom. I love the place card holders which were delicate white starfish with guests names and table numbers attached and the center pieces had scattered seashells and tall tropical arrangements. The guests loved the fresh fruit mocktails with umbrellas. (The hotel staff made each guest their own delicious fruit concoction including mango strawberry coladas, banana strawberry coladas, pineapple coladas), etc.

I have to give a shout out to the hotel staff at the Marriott. They were so helpful as we worked around the clock to make sure all guests had what they needed and were completely relaxed. They really helped us and went above and beyond to make sure each and every event was a success. The General Manager even put on his Indian outfit and posed for a photo with us! Here we are at the wedding with the General Manager of the hotel.

Congratulations Aekta and Jignesh! Thank you for letting us be a part of your special day. We will always remember your wedding and how amazing it was!
                                                                                                                 Some Photos by Rebecca Davidson

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beach Wedding DOs and DON’Ts

We’ve done many beach destination weddings throughout the years including Puerto Rico, Cayman Islands, Little Cayman Island, Arizona, California, Cancun, and Aruba just to name a few. I think destination weddings are great.  We’ve done small intimate affairs with 75 guests as well as large weddings with 250 people. There are a few things I’ve learned over the years that are a MUST when you’re planning your beach wedding. 

The Dos and Don’ts of a beach wedding:

·        DO plan accordingly when having a wedding on the beach and have the ceremony in the evening when the sun is going down.  Imagine how beautiful a sunset ceremony on the beach would be.   
·        DO make the event comfortable for yourself and your guests.  My suggestion no matter the cost, have the wedding under a tent.  Also, remember to have plenty of liquids being served. Recently we were at a wedding where the guests had options of 5 different types of tropical juices. They were delicious.  The guests were enjoying the ceremony and stayed cool.  Also renting portable fans or misting fans can be immensely helpful. Check with the local rental companies or the hotel. Trust me your guests will appreciate it.
·        DO make sure to read through all the contracts properly since you will be working with the vendor via email or phone.  It’s very important you relay your vision to them so there are no surprises the day of the event.  For example when dealing with your décor vendor remember to clarify your flower selection, your color scheme, delivery time for decor, set up time, what will they do incase of rain, and what if it’s windy how will they weigh everything down. 
·        DO make sure to check with the hotel for availability of any special items you may need while at the destination.  Recently, we did a beach wedding where the bride’s mother forgot to bring dry coconuts for the wedding ceremony. There was absolutely no place on the island where they sold dry coconut.  We got lucky! The groom’s mom had brought a few extra coconuts. Another example is printed materials such as guest itinerary for the welcome bags.  Making photocopies at the hotel will cost you an arm and a leg.  Also remember to bring things such as medication or baby formula. You might not be able to find these specific items on the island. 
·        DON’T over book your guests.  They are making a special trip in your honor but definitely remember to give them some down time for the beach. 

Keep these few things in mind and your event will be on track to being a success. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Aarti and Vishal's Wedding

Aarti and Vishal’s wedding was 4 days non stop fun in New York City at some of the most beautiful venues in town! Their wedding was one of the most gorgeous weddings we’ve done. I can’t begin to describe the décor and the amazing food at each event.

The Mehendi was in one of the suites at the Waldorf Astoria filled with history and tradition. The suite was completely redone about 4 years ago for a Middle Eastern royalty. No detail was too small including the mehendi green décor and chai tea cup cakes. The mouth-watering cup cakes were a non traditional dessert for a Mehendi with a very ethic Indian flavor.

The theme of the Sangeet night, which was held at the Vermillion, was Moulin Rouge. The décor reflected the theme to a tee including the backdrop, the red color inspiration, the pin-wheel ice sculpture, boa garlands, and we even had the movie playing in the background. Vermillion has a beautiful waterfall that resembles falling crystal which fit right into the theme. The guests were entertained all evening including a show from friends and family of the bride and groom.

My breath was taken away as I walked into the ballroom for the wedding at Cipriani. It is an amazing venue with beautiful grand architecture with gigantic marble columns. The décor and lighting perfectly complimented the classic space. Every detail was hand picked to fit the décor including the cake and the cake topper. The cake topper was a beautiful gold filigree bowl filled with delicious chocolate truffles. Our bride, Aarti looked amazing! She was dripping in jewels inspired by the Moulin Rouge movie. Each of the events was well planned and executed while tying back to an over all theme of classic elegance.

We wish Aarti and Vishal the best. Congrats!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Getting Ready for the Mehendi Event In Grand Cayman

Here we are.... in The Cayman Islands. We are at the Marriott and I wish I could enjoy the weather more. We are manning the welcome desk, handing out the gift bags,getting all the suitcases in order, and getting ready for Aekta and Jignesh's Mehendi Event. The guests are sooo super sweet. We have made some friends.

The guests are swimming, enjoying the beach, enjoying Sting Ray City and just having fun hanging out together. I really love, love, love destination weddings as they bring everyone together. Lots of hard work but it all pays off when the guests get to the island.

We did our final taste testing this afternoon and I gotta say, the chefs here are incredible and the Indian Food is so good!

Hopefully, I get a few minutes to hit up the shops by the Port and go grab a new Gucci or Prada Bag! A gift from me to me =) You gotta love Duty Free Shopping! More later...