Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!!

The time has come to ring in 2014! Whether you're throwing your own New Years Eve bash or you're heading to a friend's, we have some great festive party ideas for you. When it comes to celebrating the New Year, the more glitter and sparkles the better! Try some easy DIY projects and treat your guests with these adorable glitter coated champagne bottles and some clock & champagne shaped cookies. Another great idea is to create a shimmery photo backdrop for endless photos and memories. Weaving the theme of clocks & a countdown throughout all of your decor will add a fun flare to your party. Take some inspiration from these photos and have fun!

We wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

The entire SJS Staff would like to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas.

May this holiday season be full of love, joy and happiness!

We look forward to a 2014 full of many more happy brides!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Before you sign on the dotted line...

One of the biggest pieces of advice we can give our clients, or any bride is "make sure to read your vendor contracts VERY carefully". Contracts are done not only to cover the vendor, but the client as well. It's very important that if there is something you don't understand you ask someone to help. The last thing you want to do is sign a contract that you do not agree with or understand fully.

Here are some of the main things you need to make sure to carefully note on any contract:

 1. The dates and times are correct (start times and end times)

2. Hours of service - make sure to calculate the correct amount of hours you will need from a vendor. Overtime charges can get expensive so you want to make sure to add everything from the beginning. 

3. Cancellation and Postponment Policy: if you postpone your event some vendors will still work your event as long as the new date works for them at not additional cost. However other vendors have penalty fees. This is very important to keep mind and how what will happen to your contract if you need to cancel or postpone.

4. Publishing Rigths: almost every vendor has a clause on their contract that they have a right to use photos and video from your event for their own marketing use (social media, commercials, ad's, blogs,etc.). If you are NOT ok with this it's important to point this out from the beginning and make sure to have this point removed.

5. Almost every photographer/ videographer has a clause in their contract that states that no other photographer/ videogarpher can be present at the event unless they are from their team. It's important to be aware of this becuase many other vendors (DJ, venue, decorator) tend to include in their contracts that they can bring their own photographer to cover their work, however this would be a direct breach of contract with your own Photo/ Video team, it's very important that all vendors are aware of this and that if they want images from the event they need to contact your photographer directly if you allow it.

In the end, the main point is to read the contract and ask questions before you sign on the dotted line.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Airport Transfers

One of the big questions we get from our destination brides is: Should I offer airport transfers for my guest? We never give the same answer as this is something that depends on each individual case. For starters this can get very costly depending on your guest count. Some companies offer a per person rate, where as others offer hourly or daily rates for shuttles.

 Our answer strongly depends on where your wedding is, how many guest you are having and how far the airport is from the venue. If you are hosting your event somewhere in the US (like Miami or California) where cabs are readily available we suggest skipping offering the service, also if your venue is close to the airport ( let's say 10-15min) chances are guests will be able to find their own transportation easily.

 If you are hosting your event abroad or in a remote location then airport transfers are a must, you don't want your guests getting lost at the airport or on their way to your venue. When offering transportation make sure to keep the following in mind:

1. Specify to your guests what airport to arrive to. If there is more than one airport in the area, be sure to let them know for which airport the transfers will be available.
2. Consider offering transportation between certain time frames (ie. flights landing between 9am-6pm)
3. If you are offering transfers for all flights make sure the transportation company has a plan set in motion in case flights get delayed or cancelled.

4. Remember that you will need to collect travel information for every single guest. This can get complicated with guests arriving on different days, flights and airlines.

 If you are not offering any sort of transportation it's always good to offer your guests phone numbers for local car rental companies as well as cab companies so they can make their own plans ahead of time.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Charities this Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time for us to cherish our loved ones and be thankful for everything that we have, but we must remember those who are not as fortunate as we are. No matter how small or large your contribution, giving to charities during the holidays is a wonderful way to help those in need and truly make a difference in someone’s life. Here are some of our favorite charities for you to keep in mind during this holiday season:

Toys for Tots
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots collects toys to give as Christmas presents to children in need in your local community.  Click here to find a drop off center near you and help make a child’s Christmas morning truly special.

Pencils of Promise
This organization helps to bring education to kids around the world. Through building schools, training teachers, and mentoring students, Pencils of Promise provides less fortunate children with priceless access to education.

Soles 4 Souls
Soles 4 Souls provides shoes and clothing to those in need of them. This anti-poverty organization collects new and used shoes & clothing and distributes them in areas of high need.

Safe Horizon
Safe Horizon assists victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and other crimes by providing them with a safe environment as well as support with recovery.

In addition to providing a donation directly to a charity, you can also make sure that the gifts you give your loved ones help those in need. Here are some wonderful gift ideas in which the proceeds go to a great cause:

Smashbox Eye Wish Palette
This makeup kit, which includes twelve eye shadows, four cream liners, and mascara, is a great gift for the women in your life. Your loved one will look beautiful and the best part? All of the proceeds will benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Available at

Musical Objects
These adorable and modern music boxes play holiday tunes and are the perfect accent to your home holiday d├ęcor. The proceeds of each sale go to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Available at West Elm

Kiehl's - Jeff Koons Creme de Corps

This soothing skin lotion will help heal dry and cracked skin from the cold weather.
All sales go to The Koons Family Institute, an initiative of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
Available at 

Lavender-Pomegranate Gift Set
A beautifully packaged assortment of deliciously scented body lotion, wash, and soap. All proceeds from your purchase will support ovarian cancer research.
Available at

If you’d like to give something charitable in honor of a loved one this holiday season, but aren’t sure of what organization your recipient would want to support, giving a Global Giving Gift Card is the perfect solution. This gift card allows your recipient to choose how they would like to make a difference.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gorgeous Venues in Mexico

We are having an absolutely amazing time in Cancun at the Love Mexico expo. We have been able to travel to some incredible hotels during our stay, each one more beautiful than the last! The Riviera Maya is an ideal location for destination weddings, and with venues like these, you may not ever want to leave! Here are some of the gorgeous hotels we have visited so far:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Love Mexico

We are having such an amazing time down here at the Love Mexico destination wedding expo! Last night we attended the Welcome Night, which was a great way for us to meet everyone over delicious food and drinks. The entertainment was amazing and the night ended with a gorgeous display of fireworks.

Today we attended a tradeshow where we got to meet and get some one-on-one time with some amazing vendors. So far this expo has been an amazing one-stop-shop to meet vendors, including DJs, lighting companies, photographers, audiovisual companies, and entertainers, just to name a few. We are having a great time and we are looking forward to more networking tonight and tomorrow and to establish some strong vendor relationships in Mexico!

#LoveMexico #PalaceResorts #SJSEvents #IndianWeddingsMexico #IndianWeddingsCancun #IndianWeddingsRivieraMaya

Monday, December 9, 2013

Love Mexico Here We Come!

Today we are super exited to be getting away from snowy NYC and heading to sunny Cancun!

We are delighted to be participating in the Love Mexico program. We have a week full of seminars and meetings to learn more about what Cancun has to offer our clients. From hotels, to decorators, to photographers we look forward to meeting new vendors and building connections for future events.

We will make sure to post pictures and updates of our trip through out the week!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What the Industry Expert Have to Say About Our Book

Our book is about to hit shelves! In the mean time, here’s what the industry experts have been saying about it…

It’s always been a wonderful experience to work on the culture of Indian weddings with Sonal. She’s professional, seasoned and creates gorgeous events. This book provides everything you need to know from traditional customs to more modern touches to plan a spectacular Indian event or wedding.
- David Tutera, Celebrity Wedding Planner and host of WE TV’s My Fair Wedding

This is the go-to book if you're planning an Indian wedding. Sonal Shah has long-been a great resource on Indian weddings for The Knot and in her new book she breaks down the planning process and gives concrete tips and advice, demystifying the details so couples (and their families) better understand the rich traditions and how to make them happen.
- Carley Roney, Editor in Chief, The Knot

As a creator of ultimate wedding cakes, I know that it is necessary to take into account the design, taste and all elements that are important to the bridal event. Getting all the information about the couple, their background and desires are important for the event to be a success. In her thorough and accessible book, Sonal does all of this and more, making each celebration memorable to all.
- Sylvia Weinstock, Celebrity Cake Baker

Sonal creates the most magical South Asian Events; full of color and amazing details that transport you to another world. An unforgettable experience!
- Arthur Scangas, Executive Creative Director, Inside Weddings

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Winter Wonderland Weddings

The most magical time of the year is here! It’s no surprise that many brides choose to have their weddings during the winter as it is a season full of festive celebrations. Vibrant whites, blues, and silvers can add a magical sense of elegance to your big day. Take a look at some of these gorgeous Winter Wonderland ideas that use beautiful and whimsical designs to create truly enchanting events!