Archive for May 7th, 2010

Wedding Season has begun

Hmm, I thought this would happen, as the weddings begin to happen and the details for the weddings that are coming later start to be worked on, plus all the normal things we must be involved in/do as co-ordinators, my blogs are down to about once a month right now.

Had a couple of lovely weddings since I last blogged at my lovely Sunset Terrace & Plaza Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna.  So hard to beat the spectacular backdrop to this site, it’s the Pacific Ocean in your face and being above it just gives this fabulous view/feel to what is being celebrated – your vows.  Then the Plaza Room where the dinner/dancing is held is so intimate (max 74) and elegant (fireplace & chandelier) and opens right to a balcony looking down to the crashing waves.  A very memorable experience for all those lucky enough to be invited and share your day with you.  My pal Tony Florez was the photographer for one, love him, so easy to work with/calm and captures everything without you even feeling his presence.  Now with both weddings florists, something for you brides to keep in mind, it’s hard for a co-ordinator to hold a florist to the same demands as normal, when you refer to them as your friends, you trust them, they have done other events for you etc.  When it is a normal florist I work with or a known or unknown company, I  get a copy of the order/proposal from them directly (normally nicely typed and easy to read) and then I can catch if something is missing or if something doesn’t read right.  When I get handwritten orders and there is no descriptions or colors mentioned all I can do is come back to you and let you know that the components are there, but as for holding them to anything on the day I can’t, so I have to leave it to you the bride to ensure you and the florist are clear with each other.  To me, the easiest way to do that is have it written on paper.   With both those weddings, very nice florists, they showed up, did what they were supposed to do, but with one wedding the bride said her bouquet wasn’t right, yet it was exactly as the paper said, and the mom said there was supposed to be pink in the bmaids bouquets (there was no pink mentioned on the order) when I showed them both the order and that the order matched what I was giving them, they said the differences had been verbally discussed.  With the other wedding the bride’s bouquet was gorgeous, peonies/gardenias/freeshias/roses-talk about elegant and fragrant.  When the bride saw it for the first time her comment was, where are the hydrangeas.  There was nothing on the order about hydrangea and this bouquet was stunning.  But maybe hydrangea had a place in her heart for some reason and this was important, at this time it is too late, so those are things you must be sure a noted on your order.  They were in her centerpieces, I ran right back and made sure of that (as there would have been time for the florist to rectify that, but the bouquet, not so much.   Ladies, remember this, paper is the king/queen.  Until your wedding day all you have for all the money you are paying everyone in advance, all you have is what is written on paper to hold them to.  So check colors/descriptions/items/people florals and make sure they are all right or as expected and if something is not clear, have it written down.  If you end up in front of Judge Judy you are going to lose if they delivered what is written on the paper but it wasn’t what you expected.  These things never happen when I hold a normal florist to my normal expectation of information, so please be really careful that you don’t have disappointment or a friendship is ruined because you assumed your ‘friend’ knew what you wanted or got it, and I will say, sometimes the pricing I see is more than what you would be paying if you used someone who doesn’t know you, you aren’t always  getting mates rates – they are probably a business for profit situation also.  Anyway, both beautiful weddings in spite of those ‘oh’ moments.

Was up at the Bel Air Bay Club for a dinner.  Wow.  I love Malibu but my past experience has been you are either right on the water or way up on the hills looking at the ocean in the distance, this club is just up the hill off PCH and the view is awesome.  Had a very Amalfi coast view/feel until you saw Santa Monica and realised you couldn’t be in Italy.  Great space, reasonable rates, there are even 9 hotel rooms you can rent to stay in.  The way the ceremony site is setup you have complete ocean behind you.  Really unique and only been open to non-members to use for weddings for the past six months, so this is one to remember.

This is a beautiful way to dress a napkin, you can either do this yourself or some of the more upscale linen companies do have items like this and will provide them and put them on, for a fee of course.  Just gorgeous.

Went to a viewing by Elysium Productions where they demoed their new demo.  Fabulous.  The music, the words, the picttures, there was a couple of times I had to not blink so the tears wouldn’t start, and I didn’t even know the couples they were showing!!!  They really know how to capture the emotion and that is why they are so successful and get to travel the world with their service.  The demo that really captured my eye, was the vintage demo, I loved it, that would be what I would have done if it was me getting married, so timeless and elegant and just such a great feeling.  The fun part of the showing was, they had rented out a movie theatre and you sat there with beer and popcorn (well I took Junior mints) watching!! Don’t think there are many theatres around here you can do that at.  In New Zealand when I am home we have a theatre where you sit in home theatre style chairs and you can drink your wine or champagne or whatever your pleasure, have appetizers or more to eat while you watch, it’s very civilised and grown up.  Don’t know why those kinds of things don’t seem to be around here, unless you are in someones home.

One of the weddings did have a nice dj that they knew, haven’t had such great experiences with this situation so far this year, but I have to say, I went in lery, and came out with a guy who did a great job, was easy to work with, and will be referred by me from now on.  Love it.

Then I was at 7 Degrees for the launch of a new program called ‘Wish upon a Wedding’.  A great organisation with chapters that are spreading all over the US.  A couple of my fellow co-ordinators are running the LA/OC chapter and this was the launch party.  It is all about us wedding vendors, from djs to caterers, to wedding co-ordinators providing our services at no charge for a couple who are getting married, one of whom is terminal and does not have long to live.  Don’t think there was one person of the 300 odd who attended that did not volunteer product or themselves.

Then I was very fortunate to be part of a small group to be picked up at my home by limo and whisked out to Riverside for a 24 hour Mission Inn experience.  I have done a couple of weddings there over the years and have taken the in-laws out at xmas so they can experience the wonderful light display and done the carriage around the block thing.  For anyone wanting to feel like they are in Europe but don’t have the time or want to fly, this is your place.  Time to go back again and create some more memories for someone/s.

Did my first wedding at Muckenthaller Mansion in Fullerton.  Have been to a few events there over the years, but not had a bride look there until now.  The caterer/handler of the mansion was lovely to work with, got to see my friend Larry Crandall while he worked doing the photos, such a gentleman and his work/end result is just beautiful.  For intimate events of no more than 60-80 you can use all the space inside for various parts of the event, the grounds are lovely, there is a great balcony for a ‘special’ picture that they seem to be known for, and a lovely courtyard for the cocktails.  Again, a touch of Europe or early America right here on our own doortep.  We did the sparkler exit with them getting into a vintage car and driving away.  They weren’t going to do the car, just leave with a friend driving, but it was easy to persuade them that my way was going to be the perfect end to a perfect day.

Have a great wedding coming up at Club 19, St Regis with a bunch of fun elements to it, so will report on that next time.  Have met and booked some great couples over the past few weeks who are going to be getting married in the next 3-4 months and we have some really great things in mind for their weddings, so keep your eyes open.

Till next time, Lisa

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