Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Amazing New York City Brunch Venues

We recently researched great brunch places for guests in New York City for one of our upcoming weddings. As you can imagine, finding a place that can accommodate 50 or more guests was not very easy. After looking into a number of places, we found a few that were able to accommodate a party of that size and offered a great menu.

Below is a list of our recommendations:

Aspen Social Club
157 West 47th Street

Very rustic yet has a touch of modern chic. It’s a great place to take your guests out of the busy New York City scene and enjoy a relaxing meal.

Double Crown
316 Bowery

Has a great ambiance for dining and your guests can move about freely and mingle with one another.

InterContinental Barclays Hotel
111 East 48th Street

This grand hotel offers a number of wonderful spaces to accommodate your guests.

Waldorf Astoria
301 Park Avenue

The touch of old New York with its grand clock in the middle of the Peacock Alley dining room.

Cayman Islands: May 7, 2011

Yewande and Olaniyi's celebration took place at The Ritz Carlton in the Cayman Islands. The slideshow, of this special day, was created by Rebecca Davidson. The pictures are not only stunning but heartwarming. Click on the title of this post to view this impressive slideshow!

Nina & Vinay: Puerto Rico

The wedding celebration of Nina and Vinay, that took place in Puerto Rico, was absolutely beautiful. Below is a video that was put together by Nelson D'Freitas, from NDF. Check it out!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hotels In Puerto Rico

We have had a lot of clients interested in getting married in Puerto Rico. It is the perfect place for a destination wedding not only because of the weather but because you don't require a passport to get there!

Here are some of our favorite venues on the island:

The Ritz Carlton

We just finished a wedding at this property last month and the staff was amazing! It offers a variety of spaces that can accommodate all of your events. From the gorgeous ballroom to the pool side fountain, your guests will be sure to enjoy the scenery.

Marriott Stellaris

If you are looking for a family friendly resort, this is the place for you. All of your guests including the little ones will have a great time enjoying all the activities the hotel has to offer. From the many pools and beach side activities to the spa and casino, everyone will be entertained.

La Concha

La Concha is well known as one of the hippest hotels on the island. So if your guest lists consists of mostly young adults, you should consider this hotel. The lobby transforms into a lounge at night which will guarantee your guests will have a great time well into the night. Another plus is that the hotel is located in a neighborhood with some of the best restaurants and bars on the island.

St. Regis

The St. Regis is the newest property on the island and it is nothing short of extravagant. Although it one of the most expensive hotels, you will not be disappointed as they offer nothing but the best in service. Your guests will simply be in awe from the moment they walk in.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Exclusively.in is a great website for brides looking to get the best Indian fashion, home décor, and travel at a discounted rate. They seek out the most recent styles from India and deliver the latest designs to their customers. To take advantage of their great deals, you must first become a member online and then you will be invited to all their private sales which change on a daily basis.

On the website, you can see all the great bridal deals they offer including Bridal Couture, Wedding Saris, Platinum Bridal Lenghas, Bollywood Blouses, Cocktail Gowns, Bridesmaids Lenghas & Saris, Men’s Kurtas and Indian Wedding Outfits, Wedding Jewelry, Wedding Books and Gifts for Guests. They have a huge selection to pick from and their prices are amazing. We highly recommend this site to all our brides.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Welcome Bags For Guests

A great way to welcome your guests is by putting together a cute bag full of goodies and information about all of your wedding related events. You can also include in the bag information on some fun activities in the surrounding area.

Many of our recent brides have purchased reusable welcome bags which are a great way to help the environment in a cute and stylish way. A portion of the proceeds for some of the bags even goes towards charity. Below is a list of links that we have suggested to our brides.

1.) Canvas Maptote - “Manhattan Bag”

2.) Jonathan Adler Love Dove Canvas Small Book Tote

3.) Merona Print Tote - Pink or Black

4.) Multistripe Reusable Shopping Bag

5.) Scroll Tree First Come Love

6.) Eco Friendly Canvas Tote Bag-Blue Elephant

7.) Cotton Canvas Tote Bag - Vintage LOVE

8.) Reusable Grocery Bag Small/Lemon

9.) Carry All Recycled Organic Tote-Chinese Butterfly

Fontainebleu Miami Beach: Fabulous Venue

Glittering lobbies, spacious event space, amazing restaurants and nightlife, and a spectacular staff describe the Fontainebleu Hotel. This past weekend, we held a wedding at the famous hotel in Miami Beach and we could not have been more pleased with the venue.

The various events throughout the four days all took place in different areas of the hotel. The ceremony was held outside at the Oasis Pool, where the cabana located in the center of the pool served as a beautiful Mandap for the couple. The Fontaine Ballroom, located near the lobby, was spacious and easy to get to for the guests and was the perfect location for the reception.

The hotel hosts a variety of upscale restaurants that serve amazing food and live up to the high standards you would expect. Gotham Steak, Hakkasan, and Scarpetta are perfect for evening meals. Blade Sushi, Fresh, La Cote, Solo, and Vida are great for more casual dining. A personal favorite of ours was Scarpetta, where the spaghetti is legendary.

A big thank you to the staff at the Fontainebleau, especially Aaron and Jennifer, for making this event a magnificent and memorable occasion.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Grand Entraces

Your grand entrance is your opportunity to revel in the joy of being a newly married couple. Be sure to enjoy the moment and make your entrance a little extra special. Choose a song that you can have fun with and one that will show off both of your personalities!

One question that we repeatedly get asked is aside from the bride and groom, who else should be included in the grand entrance? The answer is simple: it is up to the couple. On most occasions, it would be the bridal party and immediate family members of the couple (grandparents, siblings and parents).
If you choose to include your bridal party and family in your grand entrance, we suggest you follow this order:

Start with the bridal party. You can announce them all at once or individually. After the bridal party, come the siblings, first from the groom’s side and then from the bride’s side. Next up are the parents; again first the parents of the groom followed by the parents of the bride. Finally are the guests of honor - the bride and groom.

When announcing guests, take into account the formality of the wedding and what you are comfortable with. “Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mann” or “Amy and Joseph Mann” are both valid options. If the bride is retaining her maiden name, the couple may choose to be introduced by their full individual names, such as “Amy Kennedy and Joseph Mann”. Or the couple may choose to be introduced by their first names only, which is more informal but also an option.

However you choose to be introduced, always remember that the #1 rule for grand entrances is to HAVE FUN!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Great Venue: The Palace at Somerset Park

Imagine a venue that can host events, provide bridal suites, has an exceptional staff, and has the versatility to hold a ceremony in the afternoon, cocktail hour in the early evening, and a reception that night in three different rooms. The Palace at Somerset Park is that venue! And in addition to all of that, it is a great location, near hotels, restaurants, and prime highway exits.

The Palace has tremendous experience hosting weddings, which means couples can rest assured their event will be flawless. You can rent the entire first floor, which includes several rooms, insuring that other events will not interrupt yours. On the second floor are two large suites that can accommodate the bridal party in one and the groomsmen in the other. The rooms are beautifully furnished and decorated.

A big thank-you to the staff at The Palace for a wonderful wedding this past weekend; it could not have gone any better.

Sample Indian Menu

Below is a sample of some of the great Indian dishes that were served at our recent weddings.

Pav Bhaji

A popular Indian dish consisting of a potato based curry, diced tomatoes, grilled onions, green peas, capsicums (green peppers), cauliflower and carrots in a spicy gravy. The dish is typically garnished with coriander, lemon, and chopped onions and enjoyed with bread.

Pani Puri

A common street snack consisting of a fried crisp shell with a hollow middle filled with a mixture of water, tamarind, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion, and chickpeas. It has both a sweetened and tart taste.

Bhel Puri

A mixture of puffed rice with various vegetables and a tangy tamarind sauce. It is typically made with juices from tomatoes, chutney and garnished with onions, coriander, and lemon juice. This dish can be either sweet or spicy depending on how you like it.


A stuffed chappati wrap filled with chicken, shrimp, paneer, or vegetables and garnished with cilantro, chutney and more.

Kathi Roll

A spicy paratha roll filled with various combinations of egg, potato, paneer, mixed vegetables, curried chicken and mutton.

Falooda with Falooda Ice Cream

A cold beverage prepared by mixing rose syrup with vermicelli and tapioca pearls along with either milk or water. It is often enhanced by adding vanilla or other flavored ice cream to make for a refreshing dessert .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PowerCamp for our Brides

This week, I met with Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, Sanchali Roy located in New York City, to talk about the amazing packages she offers brides looking to get into shape for their wedding day. Her main focus is to help her clients lose weight, become more toned, increase strength, and improve their overall health. Sanchali emphasizes nutrition along with exercise because both are key elements to living a more healthy life.

For our brides, Sanchali offers a PowerCamp Package using high-intensity interval training for two or three 35-minute express workouts per week. The workouts target stubborn fat in your abs, hips, thighs, and lower back and eliminates them from your body. For more information, please visit her website at http://www.sanchalifitness.com/index.html.

Friday, May 13, 2011

After Party

Once your reception ends, the celebration doesn’t have to stop. Many of our couples have decided to extend the night and keep the party going. There are several options for an after-party and below are some of our recommendations.

1.) Rent the Hospitality Room at your Venue

Here you can order the food you want from an outside restaurant. You can also have your own DJ and selection of music. However, you may have to pay the DJ for the extra hours and supply your own alcohol.

2.) Get Table Service at a Bar or Club

With this option, you won’t have to extend your DJ additional hours or provide alcohol for the party. However, it will not be a private event and you won’t be able to select your own music. Arranging transportation to and from the club can also get costly.

3.) Rent a Penthouse

This can be a real nice surprise for your guests. You can bring your own food or even order food from outside. You can also choose the music you listen to and have your own personal DJ. As with the hospitality room, you may have to pay the DJ for extended hours and supply your own alcohol. Renting a penthouse can also get costly.

These are just a few suggestions. The possibilities are endless for continuing a memorable evening and keeping your guests entertained well into the night.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Upgrading your Beverage Package

One of the decisions that you will make when looking at a venue is the type of beverage or alcohol package for your events(s). If your budget allows, we definitely recommend upgrading to an ultra premium package with alcohols such as Johnny Walker Blue, Kettle One, and Dom Perignon. This will not only cater to your guests’ tastes for these finer brands but will also add a touch of sophistication to your event.

You should discuss with your venue what their policy is regarding upgrading to a higher package and find out what options are available. If you choose not to upgrade your entire bar, you may be able to upgrade only certain aspects that you know your guests will appreciate. If your guests are mostly scotch drinkers, for example, you may consider upgrading to Johnny Walker Blue. We have found that many venues will also let you bring in bottles of your own alcohol and simply charge a corkage fee (generally about $50 per bottle).

So ask yourself, when was the last time you went to a wedding and were served Dom Perignon champagne? I think most of us would be very impressed.

Here are some options when it comes to upgrading your beverage package.
Premium alcohol options:
- Jack Daniels Bourbon
- Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey
- Bacardi Silver and Captain Morgan Rum
- Dewars White Label Scotch
- Absolute Vodka
- Absolute Citron
- Di Saronno Amaretto

Top Shelf or Ultra-Premium alcohol options:
- Glenlivit Scotch Whiskey
- Johnny Walker Blue Whiskey (normally not on a bar but you can ask)
- Johnny Walker Black Whiskey
- Grey Goose Vodka
- Grey Goose Citron
- Maker's Mark Bourbon
- Kettle One Vodka

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What to Ask Your Videographer

Just like your photographer, your videographer will play a big part in helping capture all those great memories from your wedding day. And just like photos, video lasts a lifetime. You will one day share these memories with your children and even your grandchildren so it’s important that you choose the right videographer for you.

As always, we are here to help so we have put together a list of 5 questions you must ask every videographer you interview.

1. What is the videographer's style -- cinematic, documentary, or a mix of both?
Some videographers only offer one format while others will give you the option to choose. It is important that you understand the different video styles and choose the one that will not only capture your day but also your personality as a couple.

2. How do they coordinate with a wedding photographer? Has the videographer worked with your photographer before?
Photo and video go hand in hand and it is very important that your two vendors communicate well so that they both get the shots they need without getting in each other’s way. If they have not worked together before, make sure to introduce them beforehand so they can go through the day’s timeline and be on the same page.

3. Will the videographer you have been speaking with be the one who will be shooting your wedding?
If not, make sure you speak to whoever will actually be shooting your event. The last thing you want is to be in communication with one person and then have a different person show up on the day of your event. Make sure you are aware of who will cover your event and how many people will be with the team.

4. Have they handled events of your size and your culture?
If your wedding will be full of cultural traditions, ask your videographer if they have worked this type of wedding. If they have, ask for references. When your wedding includes cultural traditions, there are lots of details that can be missed if you are not aware of what is happening next. If the videographer has not done your type of wedding before, make sure you give them a list of all rituals and when they will be happening so nothing is missed.

5. Ask how long it will take to get your video.
Make sure you ask how long it will take to edit your video. The last thing you want is to have to wait over a year to receive your final product. Once you discuss a post production timeline, make sure to include it in your contract so that there is no confusion later.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

I recently spoke with Melina from the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas and we talked about all the amazing facilities with breath taking views this venue offers. The ballroom can even hold up to 300 guests. The Mandarin offers outstanding packages and of course impeccable service, which we experienced first-hand having worked at their property in New York.

We look forward to working with the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas!