Thursday, September 30, 2010

What is a Welcome Letter?

Welcome bags have become a major part of destination weddings but they can useful for your out-of-town guests as well.  The welcome letter is an essential component of the welcome bag.  Many of my brides have asked me to help them put together a welcome letter.  Have you ever wondered what goes into the welcome letter?   It can be a simple 1 page letter thanking your guests for being a part of your big day with information regarding events of wedding or it can be more elaborate like a booklet with information about the hotel, the area, in addition to the events of the wedding.   

Here’s what a detailed welcome letter would contain.

Page 1 - Cover Page
Page 2 – Note from Bride and Groom
Page 3 - Day 1 Itinerary
Page 4 - Day 2 Itinerary
Page 5 - Day 3 Itinerary
Page 6 – Information regarding the hotel amenities
Page 7 – Things to do in the area including shopping, restaurants, and places to see
Page 8 – Contact Information for Bride and Groom and a thank you

Here are a couple of examples of welcome bags.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Destination Weddings

We’ve done many destination wedding over the years.  Recently, I’ve noticed there have been many more destination wedding inquires coming my way.   There have been many occasions where I’ve been asked to make some suggestions for the destination weddings. So, here are a few of my favorite island properties where we’ve done weddings.   

Ritz CarltonCayman Island
Ritz CarltonJamaica
Ritz CarltonSan Juan Puerto Rico
W Hotel – Vieques Puerto Rico
Westin Hotel – Los Cabos Mexico 
Seven Stars Resort – Turks and Caicos
JW Marriott – Cancun Mexico
Mandarin Oriental – Rivera Maya Mexico
Four Seasons – Nevis West Indies

I hope this helps you with your search for the perfect destination wedding. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Traditional Wedding Dress with a Twist

Your wedding dress will be one of the most important decisions you will make during the wedding planning process.  It’s something every bride has looked forward to since she was a little girl.  Over the years and the many weddings, I’ve been fortunate to see some of the most beautiful dresses.  A lot of my brides have put a creative, personal touch on the big day’s outfit.  One of my brides, Debjani, took a traditional South Indian sari and added her own personal modern twist. She bought a traditional cream Benarasi sari with a maroon and gold border and transformed it, with the help of designed Angelo Lambrou in NYC, into a modern work of art.  Debjani’s idea was to replicate the traditional pleats and draping of a sari and create a gown.  Angelo was able to achieve the look Debjani envisioned for her reception. The top of the dress was all cream folded fabric which imitated the pleats of a sari. The bottom of the dress had layers of the cream fabric bordered with the maroon and gold pieces of the sari, slightly off-centered, which also resembled sari pleats.

Debjani looked amazing.  I also love it when brides take their mom’s wedding saris and do something creative with it such as a modern wedding dress or a lengha. You can do what Dimple did and have her mom’s sari made into the blouse and boarders of her lengha.

I think it means so much, when picking your outfit for the big day, think outside the box, always choose something you will be comfortable in, and something you will remember for years to come.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Importance of a Detailed RSVP Card

RSVP cards are extremely important part of your stationary during the wedding planning stage.  You need to make sure you are requesting correct information from the guests.  So, I’ve put together some important tips for when you’re creating your RSVP card.

The favor of a reply is requested on or before the 19th of June 2010:                     


Always set a deadline for the guest.  Make sure to give a RSVP date about 4 to 6 weeks prior to the event.  You want to give yourself enough time to contact those guests who have not responded. You will need to give your venue the final guest count 1 week prior to the event or sooner. Also include a line M____ where your guests will fill in their names. 

_____ # of Guests Invited                                     

Always include the number of guest invited. You will fill this in prior to sending the RSVP card out. You don’t want to make the mistake of allowing the guest to determine the number people who will be attending.

_____ # of Guests Attending                               

Your guests will indicate how many people will be attending out of the number invited.

Please list full names of guests attending the Reception _______________________

Be sure to provide space for your guests to write the names of who will be attending the reception.  This will help when you are creating the placement cards and table assignments. This will also help you understand which individuals are attending the event. You may have invited 2 guests thinking adults will attend, but maybe a child will be attending in place of an adult. 

_____ # of Vegetarian of Meals
_____ # of Non-Vegetarian of Meals

If you are having a sit down dinner, always include the meal options.  This will help the venue determine the number of meals they will need to create well in advance, so there will be no issues on the day of the event.  

Since it's not always easy to read handwriting, number all you reply cards on the back.  This will help keep things on the right track.

Keep these few tips in mind when creating your RSVP card.  The last thing you need a debacle regarding the number of guests attending or the menu.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fourth of July Love: Mansi and Shamie

We just received a great slideshow from Our Labor of Love with photos from Mansi and Shamie's wedding.

The wedding took place over Fourth of July weekend at Tyson's Corner in Virginia. We had so much fun working on this weeding, especially because of its Fourth of July theme and the couple and the family was so wonderful!

Click Here  so you can take a look at the amazing photos!

Aarti & Vishal NYC

I have never been so excited about getting professional photos back from an event. My jaw dropped open when I saw these images taken from Jonathan at Studio Nine from the events from Aarti Mahtani and Vishal Samtani's wedding weekend. They look so great that I had to share them. From the Shoes, to the clothes, to the decor and the amazing, natural mandap, it all looked so beautiful.
Congrats Aarti and Vishal and you and your families are so wonderful. See you soon in NYC!

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Wedding Aarti & Vishal

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fashion's Night Out

I went to Fashion's Night Out last night. It was so much fun. It was very nice to meet Shoe designer, Vince Camuto. Also, the highlight of the night was meeting and getting photographed by Nigel Barker (Fashion Photographer). He autographered his new book for Jay and I. It was all for a good cause and was great to get out and shop.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Popular Flowers and Their Meanings

Flowers have become such an important aspect to weddings, more so now than in the past.   In ancient times, they believed strong smelling herbs/flowers would ward off evil spirits and bad luck. That’s how the tradition of walking down the aisle with a bouquet began.  Flowers, in the Victorian times, gained meanings behind them as they were given to convey a message. Today, flowers are incorporated into every event from the mehndi and sangeet, to the ceremony and reception.    So, I wanted to share with you the significance of some of the most popular wedding flowers used today.  I hope this helps when you’re deciding which flowers to use at your events.  

Apple Blossom – Better things to come
Camelia - Gratitude
Carnation – Fascination and love
Chrysanthemum (red) – I love you
Chrysanthemum (white) – Truth
Cyclamen – Modesty and shyness
Daffodil – Regard
Daisy – Innocence
Forget-me-not – True love and remembrance
Heliotrope – Devotion and faithfulness
Honeysuckle – Generosity
Hyacinth – Loveliness
Hydrangea – Boastfulness
Iris – Warmth of affection
Ivy – Eternal fidelity
Japonica – Loveliness
Jasmine - Amiability
Lilac (white) – Youthful innocence
Lily – Majesty
Lily-of-the-valley – Return of happiness
Magnolia – Perseverance
Maidenhair – Discretion
Marigold – Passion
Mimosa – Sensitivity
Orange Blossom – Purity and virginity
Peach Blossom – Captive
Rose (red) – Love
Rose (yellow) – friendship
Rose (coral) – Desire
Rose (peach) – Modesty
Rose (dark pink) – Thankfulness
Rose (pale pink) – Grace
Rose (orange) – Fascination
Rose (white) – Innocence
Rosemary – Remembrance
Sweet Pea – Delicate pleasures
Tulip – Love
Veronica – Fidelity
Violet – Faithfulness

Benefits of a Hospitality Suite

Hospitality suites have now become a part of many weddings where guests are traveling from a distance and I’m not just talking about destination weddings. I’ve done weddings where the hospitality suite is used to welcome guests as they arrive to the hotel, hand out welcome bags, and provide them with information about the upcoming events. The suites can also be used as a gathering place for guests in between events.  Your guests will be grateful for having a space to socialize rather than the lobby or being stuck in their room.  The last wedding we did, the hospitality suite was used through out the 4 day event.   I advise the hosts to use the space to provide their guests breakfast, drinks, snacks in the afternoon and newspaper to read. If your guests are traveling from out of town, they probably don’t know their way around or have transportation, so the hospitality suite becomes a go to place for them.  The hospitality suites help to create an overall atmosphere where your guests feel like they are being taken care of.   So remember when planning your event, consider having a hospitality suite for your guests.  They will truly appreciate it.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Top 10 Venues to Get Married in NY

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of weddings in the New York area.  Brides always ask for my suggestions on wedding venues in New York.  There are some many beautiful, memorable locations in the New York area.  It’s not about how expensive the location is, it’s about the ambience and d├ęcor.  

Here are some of my favorites:   

1.      Gotham Hall -
3.      The Plaza -
4.      Liberty House -
5.      The Boathouse in Central Park -
6.      Stage 6 in Brooklyn -
7.      Brooklyn Museum -
8.      The Waldorf Astoria -
9.      The Ritz Carlton Battery Park -

I can tell you from experience, you will fall in love with at least one of these venues.