Monday, January 24, 2011

Wedding Insurance

Your wedding is one of the most important events of your life. You’ve invested so much into it, your time, energy and money in an attempt for it to be perfect. However complications arise which can create a huge hurdle in your wedding plans. Quite a popular option these days to reduce these complications are wedding insurances.

Wedding Insurance is an insurance policy that covers your wedding and financially protects you against misfortune and mishap. This can include anything from a family death, mother nature and even the dreaded cold feet. Insurance itself is quite reasonably priced and the basic policy costs between $125 to $500 (this can cover you anywhere between $500,000-$1 million), which is a small price to pay for you and your family to enjoy your wedding planning worry free. We have provided some links below which are quite known wedding insurance companies:

Custom Wedding Toast

A wedding toast is an extremely important element on your big day. The speaker only has a few minutes and if done correctly those few minutes can speak volumes and be an unforgettable speech; priceless to the new couple. Majority of the masses have difficulty in this area, however a new company can custom write your speech and tailor it to your needs. They work with you to develop a speech for you that comes directly from your heart. They have years of experience and have successfully written speeches for previous distinguished and affluent individuals. So if you want to deliver a cherished toast, definitely use their expertise.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Inside Weddings Winter 2011

We were so excited to be featured in the Winter 2011 issue of Inside Weddings. They did a story about "Hollywood Going Bollywood" and one of our receptions was featured. Check it out below...

Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay

I have been traveling so much for the last two weeks! I have been to Puerto Rico with our bride Nina, New Orleans for our bride Lucy, Ft. Lauderdale for our bride Pooja and then finally San Francisco for our bride Rachna.

I have to share some amazing photos with you but the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay was truly heaven on earth! I was just taken aback but it’s natural beauty. We had the most amazing tasting with the Ritz Staff and the desserts, drinks, lollipos were all out of this world. There are very few things that really impress me and this location is beyond words. I highly recommend it to anyone in the Bay Area but really to anyone looking to do a destination wedding in Cali.

Unique Registry

So, everyone is asking me where they should register. It’s a great question that sometimes I don’t want to reply with the standard answer: Crate and Barrel, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, etc.

Today while flipping through a bridal magazine, I saw MoMA Design Store Gift Registry. What a novel idea? Here is a place where you can register and not have all the same items your other friends have. They present modern, classic, innovative pieces from around the world.

I loved the Inside out Champagne Glasses and the Hug Salt and Pepper Shakers (which I just ordered BTW).

They have store locations in NYC or go to MoMASTORE.ORG/REGISTRY. The best part about this is every purchase you make (or someone else makes on your behalf) supports The Museum of Modern Art.

Take a look at their website and you will see how much they have to offer.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Steps to Getting Married in New York

New York is a wonderful state and you have everything at your finger tips. Why not get married here? To do so you need the following information:

STEP 1: You must apply for a marriage license at any town or city clerk in the state.
Both the bride and groom must appear in person, no proxies.

The ceremony cannot take place within 24 hours from the exact time the license was issued.

The license is valid for 60 days, beginning after the day it is issued.

The fee is $35-$40

A Marriage License issued in New York can be used anywhere within New York State but cannot be used outside New York State.

When you apply for the marriage license you must bring with you proof of age and identity. Accepted documents are:

- Birth Certificate
- Baptismal Record
- Naturalization record
- Census Record

AND One of the Following:

- Driver’s License
- Passport
- Employment Picture ID
- Immigration Record

A blood test is not required to obtain a marriage license in New York.

STEP 2: Have the ceremony. Destination weddings are great but if you are concerned with the legality of an out of country marriage it may be beneficial to have a civil ceremony. Here are the steps to follow to having a civil ceremony:

You can attend the local City Clerk’s office to have a civil ceremony.
No appointments or reservations required.

The ceremony is performed during normal business hours.

Bride and groom must appear together with the same identity information used to obtain the marriage license.

Have your marriage license.
You must have at least one witness, over the age of 18 and they must bring proper identification.

You will receive a Certificate of Marriage Registration that is the official document for your wedding.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Planning Trip in Puerto Rico

It's been a while since our last wedding in Puerto Rico and we are so glad to be back! Last week we had our planning trip with our wonderful couple Nina and Vinay that will be getting married at The Ritz Carlton in San Juan this April.

We had one of the best planning trips as every vendor was so nice. They were all extremely helpful. What really surprised us is the amount of Indian vendors that are already in the island-which makes our jobs so much easier.

Puerto Rico is such a great place for Destination Weddings. It's only a short flight from NY and you don't have to worry about bringing a passport! Though the local language is Spanish almost everyone is fluent in English. Even better you don't have to worry about currency exchange as like us they use the dollar.

We can't wait to be back in April for the wedding!

Changing Your Name

Although we live in a modern society, the questions still arises for new brides, and sometimes grooms, if they should change their last name and how to go about doing it. Some change their last name because of tradition, may be easier when you start having children and for mailing purposes to be addressed the same last name, and some want to feel more united to their spouse.

Whatever your reason for changing your last name, it can be a confusing and overwhelming experience if you don’t know who to contact and what to do. Here is the basic information for anyone interested in changing their last name:

Change your name after the wedding and honeymoon. If you change your name before make sure you have all the proper documents, like your passport, has your new name when you travel.

Have a Certified Marriage License with for your appointments and records.

Contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 to change your name. There is no cost, so if anyone tries to charge you it is a scam.

Go to the DMV in person. Bring your Certified Marriage License and new Social Security Card.

When you have completed these changes you can make other name changes with other institutions. Call them to see their requirements.

-Friends and family
-Post office
-Phone company and other utilities
-Banks and other financial institutions
-Credit card companies
-Schools and alumni associations
-Voter registration
-Mortgages and leases
-Insurance policies
-Magazine subscriptions

If you decided not to change your name because you want to keep your identity or to keep your family name, that is acceptable as well. However, you may still be addressed and Mrs. Smith by some, but don’t let that bother you if you decide to keep your last name.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reshma Shetty

We at SJS love celebs.. so we were so excited and honored to be approached by Royal Pains Star, Reshma Shetty.

It has been so long since we started working with Reshma, the experience has been so wonderful that the time just flew by!

Her wedding is fastly approaching and all the details are coming together. We even had the pleasure of taping a webisode with her that will appear on the USA Network website. We cant wait until it airs later on in the Spring, we will make sure to check it out.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Interview with Pandit Sharma

A Hindu ceremony cannot take place without a revered priest, or pandit. They perform many rituals leading up to and within the wedding ceremony. We have asked one of our favorite pandits, Pandit Sharma, some questions regarding the significance of ceremonial details. Keep these in mind when planning your ceremony and looking for your pandit.

Why must the ceremony take place under a mandap?
Mandap creates a canopy of protection to ward away the evils sprits during ceremony.

What is the significance of fire?
Fire is one of the manifestations of God and its presence signifies presence of God to witness and bless the ceremony.

Can the couple pick any date for their wedding, or must they consult with their Pandit?
This is a matter of personal belief. Traditionally, Hindus would consult astrologers to define the movements and placements of planets to define an auspicious date and time of wedding. Many people will even ask the Pandit to perform Puja to appease Gods and Planets and then perform the wedding. While some still go this route, many prefer to select a day and time that is more convenient. Invariably once a date is selected couples and / or parents ask Pandit to perform Ganesh Puja, Nav Graha Puja to seek blessings from God prior to the wedding.

Who is involved with the ceremony, besides the bride and groom? What other family members and why?
From Bride’s side her parents are required to perform Kanyadaan / Hasta Milaap ceremony. Her brother or siblings are required to offer her the rice husk during Mangal Phera ceremony. This is to signify that they create a bridge of love between the generations. While it is elegant to ask the Groom’s parents also to be present, it is not necessary. In some families, Groom’s sister or sister-in-law or mother helps him apply Sindoor and Mangal Sutra on his wife’s forehead.

It is also required by law that for all underage couples (below the age of 18 years) their parents must be present to give their consent to the wedding.

Are there different standards for the ceremony, practices that must be done and those that are not necessary but are included?
Hindus are very flexible and allow many variations in the ceremony. There are several examples, (i) many societies perform FOUR Pheras (circles) around Fire, while some do seven; (ii) ceremony steps like Shilanyaas, Mangal Sutra are not universally common and many societies do not do it; (iii) sequence of ceremony steps also varies from North to South, Sindoor for example is the last (or near last) step in North Indian weddings whereas it is one of the first steps in South Indian weddings!

Who brings the supplies?
Pandit can provide a list of items required for the ceremony and these can be bought at most Indian shops. Most Mandap decorators provide a Havan Kund (Fire urn). In addition there are other Puja items (non consumables) that are required. Each items has specifications and it is generally more convenient and cost effective to get these from Pandit.

Is there a donation?
Traditional ceremony has a step included for Gau Daan. Bride’s parents make an offering of cash to the Pandit to pray for the removal of any Avgun (weaknesses or drawbacks) from her life so she can be happy in her new home. Many Pandits also suggest giving a donation to a charity or religious institution based on the affiliation or preference.

Is the Pandit fee tax deductible?
Usually not. This can be better defined by experts.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hello Everyone,

We, at SJS Events, want to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!

We ended a great year and we want to thank all the brides, grooms and families who put their trust in us for helping them organize their weddings. It was truly a great year and I will not forget all the wonderful weddings! We feel blessed to have met such wonderful families.

I had always wanted to do a wedding at the world famous Plaza Hotel her in New York. This year, that became a reality. I remember all the really over the top weddings and all the small, intimate events; each event being very special. I look back on all of the 2008 and 2009 brides who are now new mommies. Congrats and keep the photos coming!

I want to take a moment and also thank our wonderful, wonderful team without whom none of this is possible- Judy, Beth, Jessica, Neeti, Melissa, Ruth, Katherine, Jennifer, Anna, Sweta, Khadija, Vanessa, Shital, Monica and of course, my husband, Jay- a special thank you for all the hard work and endless dedication.

I am really looking forward to 2011!