Bare Necessities

It is an inevitable fact of life that your Wedding day will be like every other where you'll have to wonder about "what not to wear" in terms of undergarments (of course, when you're draped in a fabulous satin faced-taffeta dress, the annoyance level escalates just a little).

I spend on average 5-10 times a night at Weddings pulling and tugging the Bride's dress up so (guys cover your ears) the "girls" don't make an appearance. But honestly, there's just got to be a better way. My advice if this is of concern, and especially if you are "well endowed", is to avoid strapless if you can.

Now, I love strapless as much as the next person. I understand that it gives a beautiful neck line and something about it makes you feel "gorgeous", but on your Wedding day the last thing you want to feel is self-conscious because you're so concerned that the dress of your dreams keeps slipping. One option if you have to go strapless, is to have your seamstress create a halter strap to add to your dress during the reception. You can still walk down the aisle and have pictures in your strapless gown and then at the reception you won't be afraid to dance. If the halter is just not going to cut it for you, please invest in very good undergarments- WACOAL has an amazing seamless line as do many other designers. Be careful though ladies, I forewarn you, the stuff is addictive!


Today I discovered...


Passionate about all things food, my sister and I headed to lunch during my visit to New York. Now my sister can be just a bit "eclectic" when it comes to dining, so I was fully prepared to be dissapointed and hungry! Imagine my surprise when she took me to TISSERIE, a hidden jewel right in Union Square.

The food was fabulous, the decor a delight and service was great! The best part, they cater! Mmmm...


She's at it again...

My Florida Connection, Kelly McWilliams, of Weddings by Socialites is having another great contest. This time she is giving away $100 gift certificate for Telliegrams.com. Now, I personally LOVE this company. They make the most adorable and affordable favor boxes that I've seen in a very long time and the owner Kelly Sabine is just a gem to work with.

Click on this link and follow the directions on Kelly's site to enter. And yes, the Isis in the comments section-that's me! (I told you I love this stuff!)


You do the math…100=126

No, really it does! When you think in terms of your catering budget, $100 per person truly equates to $126 per person.

One common mistake I see too often when I meet with Clients to discuss their budget, is the intuitive calculation that you base your headcount on how many people you think you can feed. Here's how it actually works.

If you have a budget of $50,000 and a venue charge of $100pp, that does not equate to the ability to feed 500 people or less…Many couples mistakenly divide their budget by the venue cost for the number of invites.


First you must realize that when budgeting, approximately 42% of the overall budget will go to catering cost. The remainder of the budget will be allocated across the various other Vendor expenses. That being the case, the true budget for food & beverage is only $21,000.

Now, you have to account for NJ tax (7%).

You must also deduct the service charge amount, which can range anywhere from 18-21%.

With a service charge of 19%, your cost per person cost is $126.

Dividing $21,000/126, you can comfortably afford to feed 167 guests.

So, unless your per person cost is all-inclusive, be sure to account for tax and service charge before you begin compiling your guest list. This way, you can avoid over-spending and the embarrassment of too many guests not enough cash to feed them all.


Everything "Green"

One of the latest buzz phrases in the Industry right now is "Green Weddings". Green Weddings are Weddings that have incorporated ecologically safe components into the event production. From dresses to desserts, items associated with the event are made from products that are environmentally safe. One item that I love in particular is the eco-friendly jewelry. I think that it's great to be able to participate in preserving the environment and personalize an accessory that symbolizes your love that you can flaunt on a daily basis. Check out the selections at Green Karat... how cute are they!


Not looking to pay for advice…

A very good friend of mine contacted me today to let me know that his friend was getting married in Vegas and he wanted to know if I had any recommendations, good links, etc. Quite naturally, I pointed him in the direction of Tracey Kumer-Moore of Your Las Vegas Wedding Concierge, who is an extraordinary planner and quoted him her hourly rate. I recommended that his friend sit down and speak with her and after 2 hours or so, I’m confident she’ll be well on her way…after all-I live in NJ, I plan in NJ, DE and PA…I am clueless as to quality vendors in Las Vegas and it didn’t seem like taking my Vendors to Vegas was an opportunity his friend would be willing to entertain… Logical right?

His response-
eh, not looking to pay for advice… thank you anyway though

Ok, someone please help me…

If you needed to defend yourself, you’d contact a lawyer; hurt-call the doctor; car breaks down-dial a mechanic…Not necessarily looking for “the cure” but some advice to lead you in the right direction so that you can narrow down just what the issue may be.

So…why in the world, when you are participating in what for most is the 2nd largest expense in your life, would you just “wing it”? I’m a bit confused.

I know there are authors who recommend not hiring a Wedding Planner and every magazine that you pick up these days shows you the easiest way to plan your big day. Can you do it-absolutely! It’s no secret; people have been doing it for years.

The difference is, when you hire a Professional Wedding Planner, someone who is trained in the field as opposed to the new generation of “wanna be’s”, you are paying for sound, expert knowledge in the SKILL of planning a Wedding. We have invested time and a substantial amount of money to research the industry and reputable vendors, learn the skill of negotiating, contract review and budgeting, execute the flawless movement of 300 plus people from one location to another, in under 30 minutes for a 5 hour event involving alcohol (and it’s liability), massive amounts of food consumption and on average 6 other vendors, on time and without complication.

After spending $30,000 to assure that you have the day of your dreams, $300 for a consultation to guarantee that you get what you are expecting, just doesn’t seem to compare.

I know that budgeting for a Wedding is extremely difficult and I am very conscious that as it gets down to the wire, money becomes the determining factor for a lot of decisions. I also have personally planned enough Weddings to know that when I do the last “fluff” of the veil and I lock eyes with my Client (and there is a tear in both of our eyes), in that moment of silent communication-we both agree that all of the time, dedication, effort and money spent to execute her vision, has just paid off-there are no regrets and no fear and she is ready to begin the next phase of her life.

This is why we do what we do. Believe me, it is a job unlike any other.



I was recently on the hunt for the easiest way to make mimosas "to go" for a crowd of 200+ Wedding guests (don't ask) when I stumbled on Oral fixation. Thanks Leslie! This company custom makes mints in the best of flavors including green tea mint, fruity tropical, jasmine and you guessed it-Mimosa! This flavor in particular just happens to have the cutest tin container with a Wedding theme. I contacted Oral Fixation and thoroughly enjoyed the level of customer service I experienced and am waiting on my delivery of a sample now. Of course I'll keep you posted on how yummy they taste!!!


Shall we dance?

Ironically enough, one of the portions of the reception that couples tend to "dread" is the first dance (and believe me it's usually with good reason). Although, I think that the power of the love and the union overwrite everything else, I can totally relate to not wanting to do the awkward "two-step bounce" as onlookers watch for 5 incredibly long minutes. So, here's my advice:

Instead of deleting this portion of the formalities (it really is a memorable experience), why not try to spice it up? Instead of a waltz, sign up for professional dance lessons and try a foxtrot or even a tango! Not only will your guests be shocked (remember they were expecting the two step), but you will have designated on average 4 hours of time with your spouse during one of the most stressful times in your life, to do nothing but dance!

One of my favorite wedding moments was last October when I watched an amazing bride start her father daughter dance in the traditional manner and then hike up her ballroom skirt and break into a salsa that was to die for! When I say, everyone was on their feet, I mean EVERYONE (including the waiters) was on their feet and applauding out of control. It's your day, try a little something different. You never know, you just may be good at it!



The poem that Michelle Tortuya of Charming Events sent to me when I was pregnant with my son Christian. I couldn't help but tear up:

Before you were conceived, I wanted you
Before you were born, I loved you
Before you were here an hour, I would die for you
This is the miracle of life

- Maureen Hawkins


Pink Cake Box

I am a dessert fanatic; love them all, any kind, it's my second biggest obsession in life (shopping would be the first…)! But, like many of my couples, I'm not CRAZY about Wedding cake. Not that I haven't had some amazing cake tastings, I personally prefer a dessert buffet spread with petit four as options so that I can sample them all or a nice cheesecake topped with fresh fruit. However, I happen to be fortunate enough to live within pretty close proximity to The Pink Cake Box and they are definitely an exception to the rule. Not only are their cakes delicious, they are aesthetically pleasing (which is just as important to me). So, rather you're a cupcake girl like me or desire a traditional Wedding cake, definitely consider checking out some of their options; if for nothing else, you'll definitely be inspired!


Are the Greeks on to something?

In Athens, Greece, there is a tax drive which proposes deductions for weddings in an effort to crack down on tax evasion and reducing the country's fiscal debt. Under the new law, taxpayers would be able to deduct 40 per cent of annual spending on wedding receptions amongst other family related costs. The theory behind the proposed law is to improve tax collections and reduce tax evasion by encouraging individuals to collect receipts for these events.

With the average cost of Weddings in this area at $28,000 (the majority of Weddings I coordinate actually average between $30k-$100k) a 40% deduction would be pretty sweet! Hmmm…maybe the Greeks are onto something?


Change is a comin....

I know it's been a while since I've posted. I've been quite the busy little bee, working on making lots of changes. Within the next week or so will be the big unveil and trust me, it will be a good one! So, please be patient...can't wait to share!

Budget...What Budget?

I came across an interesting article the other day that I just had to share. As a planner, one "sticky point" in conversations with my new Clients is inevitably the budget. (That is, the REALISTIC budget as opposed to the "fantasy dollars"!) After reading this article however, I realize even the fantasy dollar is someone else's budget constraint. MUST BE NICE!!!

"Forbes recently compiled a list of the 20 most expensive celebrity weddings, going back as far as 20 years. Whether paying for 50,000 exotic flowers or renting an entire island to escape the paparazzi, celebrities spare no expense when it comes to having exactly what they want. The top 5 spenders, in order, are:

Liza Minelli and David Gest: $3.5 million
Paul McCartney and Heather MIlls: $3 million

Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar: $2.5 million
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes: $2 million
Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky: $2 million
Others on the list of 20 include David and Victoria Beckham, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, and of course Donald Trump and Melania Knauss.

Sadly, 40% of the couples on the list are now divorced (and some also made the list for the most expensive celebrity splits! "