Archive for June 2013




March S CA wedding

Another great celebration in the ‘off months’ here. Beautiful warm day, awesome sunset, and F&B minimum and other items including vendor fees negotiable!!! Something to think about.

Such a lovely family, their only daughter (2 sons married and great weddings, but this was the first the mob really got to get her hands into). Couple lived in NY, in fact we detailed everything out for 3 hours with mob/me in my office and the bride on skype during hurricane Sandy, only lost her once during that whole time, but we could hear the wind and see her reactions when tree branches hit windows or bangs and things happened outside. The wedding was cool and calm in comparison!!! LOL

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Till next time
Lisa
http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
714 305 7112

Add a comment June 24, 2013

1st wedding of 2013

Here are some lovely pics to show how here in S CA a Feb wedding can go off as planned outdoors with the Pacific Ocean backdrop.

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Lovely Tracy booked me for Month of service but used my vendor list, so had the A team on board, Nisie’s Enchanted for florals, Peter/Vive – dj, and Fusion for seating. As always being back at home at the Ritz after a few months quiet over the winter (we really don’t have winter, so consider those months for weddings – hotels tend to deal more/want your business over those months, as well as vendors) seeing the team (been working with them for 12 years now) was a great way to start my wedding year.
Thanks to http://www.karenfrenchphotography.com for the photos and for being such an easy recommendation for my couples.

Till next time
Lisa
http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs
714 305 7112

Add a comment June 18, 2013

Hyatt HB – Persian Wedding

Misting did not deter Shireen from wanting to keep her ceremony outside, and who could blame her. Then everyone went to the Mariners ballroom which had lighting in lavender/purples and flowers to match, very dramatic, romantic, and lovely.

src=”https://lisasimpsonweddingcelebrations.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/img_5867c2a9photo-by-navid-studio.jpg?w=300″ alt=”IMG_5867©Photo by Navid Studio” width=”300″ height=”200″ class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-1849″ />

src=”https://lisasimpsonweddingcelebrations.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/img_5874c2a9photo-by-navid-studio.jpg?w=300″ alt=”IMG_5874©Photo by Navid Studio” width=”300″ height=”200″ class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-1850″ />

Great job by Peni as always.

Navid is a well known wedding photographer in the Persian community, I loved these 2 photos he took, they caught my eye. http://www.navidstudio.com

IMG_5902©Photo by Navid Studio

IMG_4943©Photo by Navid Studio
IMG_5902©Photo by Navid Studio

IMG_4943©Photo by Navid Studio

Till next time
LIsa
http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs
714 305 7112

Add a comment June 17, 2013

Ranch Wedding

Teri got to see this celebration through to fruition, as when the location and date was finally found/decided upon (took about 6 months) I was not available on that date.

Loved this couple, so cute, and the groom is a fellow kiwi so it was fun for me to hang out with them, and I was sorry I was going to miss out on seeing all his family and friends from New Zealand that were coming over for the wedding. I had started with the bride & groom and the parents where we had a budget and a vision/style that the B&G wanted. The B&tuand I spent 8 hours one day looking at locations from San Juan Capistrano to park land in Anaheim to a lovely resort in Temecula that had everything the B&G wanted, but the distance was the only negative. Mom found the location we ended up having the wedding at, but the location is no longer available for events and it was touch and go in the end if the event could be held at the location, so be careful when not dealing with a proper wedding location.

The ceremony/dining/dancing was all done outdoors under a canopy of trees which had cafe lights and chandeliers hanging. Everything had to be brought in, including tables/chairs/dancefloor, linens/catering/beverage/ plates/utensils/glassware, so of course a good caterer was chosen who could provide mostly everything, very important because they also handle the cleanup. We also had to make sure we communicated with the guests that they would be taking their vehicles down a dirt road and that the event was being held on land/dirt, very important. More time is involved when pulling an event like this together, especially the more you want to personalise it. Mom had gone to the site a couple of times and come across a rental company that could provide decor elements to add to the atmosphere. Mom’s good friend did the florals and those ladies were at the site for 2 days prior to the wedding getting things pulled together.

You must remember when doing an all outdoors event, you are at mother natures mercy, it did end up being a really really hot day and never cooled down, even when everyone was leaving at the end of the event, rather that than cold though, you could never have enough heaters in an outdoor area if it is cold.

This wedding did cost more than if we had gone to a full service hotel or location, but that was not the atmosphere they were looking for and you can see that from the photos below.

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Till next time
Lisa

http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsondgs
714 305 7112

Add a comment June 16, 2013

Lovely thank yous already in 2013

It’s always nice to have couples remember you for how instrumental you were in their celebration. Here’s some Thank you notes I have already received from this season:

Thank you again for a wonderful day. Rod & Tracey

Thank you for such an amazing day. Best day of my life. You are so awesome. Erin

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a week since our beautiful wedding day. We want to thank you for helping our vision come true. Our wedding day was exactly what we envisioned and it was flawless thanks to your experience and awesome timeline! It felt like a fairytale wedding, I couldn’t have asked for a better day, it was perfect. Sincerely, James and Jennifer

Now that the wedding weekend is over and we’re back in New York City, I just wanted to thank you again for everything you did for us. I thought the whole weekend went flawlessly. We were all so pleased with every event, and with everyone we worked with. You truly work with the best people. Your attention to detail is amazing – just the way I like to do things! We even got a picture-perfect sunset. Thanks again and hope to talk to you soon. Malerie and Steven

We want to thank you so very much for making our wedding such a perfect and memorable event in our lives. You helped in every aspect of the planning, I trusted you and your opinions completely, and on the wedding day you made me relaxed and comfortable. Hiring you to help with our wedding was the best decision we could have made!!! Once again, thank you soooooooo much, and please don’t be a stranger! Sincerely Meredith

Then two notes from Helene, the 1st one while on her honeymoon, the 2nd one arrived this week in my mail:
The wedding went really well. The timeline that you drafted was perfect. I was able to enjoy the day to its fullest which I didn’t expect at all (almost no stress). Thank you so much Lisa for everything. Cheers Helene
Thank you so much for all the help you gave us for our wedding. All your advices were precious. Your timeline was just so perfect. It made our big day go by so smoothly. So thank you, thank you, thank you!! Love Helen and under her name the groom had written Thanks, Xavier

The wedding was absolutely beautiful. Glenda and I had such a wonderful time and other than having a universal time delay device that could have slowed time that evening, it could not have been better. Much of that is testament to you and all the planning that went into it. We would be happy to serve as a reference for you any time. Thanks so much for all your help. We look forwward to working with you again in the future. Ken
NOTE FROM LISA – I think he meant because they each have grown kids and they will be in touch when it’s time for their big days. Then I got a nice card from the bride:
Thank you so much for all that you have done for Ken and I and making our wedding planning process as stress free as possible and making the event such a huge success. You made the planning fun, your recommendations were amazing, your organization unbelieveable, and your humor – priceless!! We have so enjoyed working with you and would recommend you to anyone. Thank you for everything!! Glenda.

The wedding was more beautiful that I could ever have dreamed. You did a fantastic job from start to finish and I am so thankful you were my wedding coordinator! I do not know what I would have done without you. I knew NOONE in California! Every detail was perfect! I heard not one negative comment about anything. The band was incredible!! Everyone in attendance loved the band! Leading up to the wedding I was most concerned about the florals but they were exactly what I wanted and absolutely gorgeous.l can’t believe how much money you saved me on florals – not to mention entertainment of that caliber. Thank you so much!! Lisa, I really would love to write a glowing letter of recommendation about my experience with you that you could possibly use on your web site. Please let me know if that would be an acceptable thing to do. I will keep in touch! Thanks again!!! Judi
NOTE FROM LISA; Thanks Judi, looks like you just did. And as if this is not enough, she sent an email to the Director of weddings at the hotel and copied me:
We are from the New Orleans area and know no one in California. This fact made the task of planning a wedding so far away very scary and intimidating. From your vendor list I chose Lisa Simpson to coordinator my daughters wedding. I had to put total trust in her and I knew from our first conversation I had made the right choice. She put me at ease from our first contact and was incredible to work with! She not only anticipated my every need but connected me with the PERFECT vendors for both the wedding and reception. I can honestly say there is not one thing I would do differently or one vendor I would change if I had to plan the event again. I owe that to Lisa! Sincerely Judi

And from two weekends ago:
Jenn and I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful job you did. All of the vendors were top notch. Both families loved everything – and they are not easy to please! More importantly, Jenn and I loved everything, especially the PDR. Best Mr & Mrs ……………….. (aka – Ed & Jenn)

I am so fortunate to have such lovely appreciative couples who were a pleasure to work with and even more importantly it was my pleasure to bring their vision to being.

Till next time
Lisa

http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs
714 305 7112

Add a comment June 15, 2013

Vendors-DON’T

For vendors I refer or on 4/5 star hotel preferred vendor lists none of what I am going to say below is applicable to them, they come to a wedding prepared to do their job, bring the right equipment and staff needed, have the savvy to work things out, act professionally, and most importantly have liability insurance and have no problem signing and adhering to the code of conduct forms that some locations require vendors to sign. On my preferred list, I have florists that work out of their homes to top local floral designers, inexpensive but good quality djs who have day jobs to the djs who do this full time, to photographers just starting out where you get a lot of stuff for your money to the seasoned guys who have been around for a long time, to Beverly Hills guys, so just because I refer them does not mean they are expensive/you are spending any more than someone found on line or recommended by a friend.

I am a co-ordinator that offers smaller services where the couples can find their own vendors. Some of my fellow planners will not do these services because of the hassle that comes with working with vendors you don’t know/recommend. Over the years I have definately had some not so fun/great experiences with vendors the couples found, and I have had some great experiences, in fact four vendors on my current preferred list I did not know until I worked with them at the wedding they had been booked at, and they did such a fabulous job I now refer them and work with them a lot, but for all the weddings I do four is not a lot so that is saying something. The first few weddings I did this season I worked with from the beginning and was able to help them select vendors that matched their budget and style, that I knew, and of course those weddings went smoothly from beginning to end on the day. However, I had some weddings in the past few weeks where they booked me short term or they wanted minimum service to adhere to the hotels requirement to have a planner and they had their own vendors on board already or they got them, and things have not gone well.

Vendors –
Don’t – accept to do a wedding at a four or five star hotel if you don’t have liability insurance. Why you don’t have it as a business anyway I don’t understand. I have always had it/$2m coverage and I don’t bring product or anything tangible to the wedding that could cause any danger/challenge/problem. This year the Hyatt Huntington Beach, St Regis Monarch Beach and Ritz-Carlton Laguna, require proof of your insurance and some, to be named on your policy, before the wedding day. They have always required this but this year are really on top of it. If you don’t provide it prior to the wedding date you may not be allowed on property and you definately won’t be allowed a second time.

Don’t – tell a bride after reading the item above, that you have worked there before and didn’t need it. You did, but somehow you managed to get away with not producing it. No more, they are serious.

Don’t – think you can leave your product/rental items overnight at the hotel/location, most of the time you can not. Whether it is a 4 star or 5 star hotel you need to include same night pickup of your items. Thinking you are saving them money by not charging them to come back is not the point, you have inconvenienced them as whoever they designate to collect the items and get them back to you later, is normally gone by the end of the event, and no bride or mom should be in charge of collecting items that belong to you as a vendor and returning them to you the following week, especially when if something is missing or broken by the time they return it to you (which invariably is going to happen), you are going to charge them for whatever that is, just charge the pickup charge from the beginning so all ends well. If doing a 4/5 star location wedding, same night pickup needs to be part of your proposal, taking care of them from A-Z.

Don’t – rent linens to a bride if you are not going to provide delivery/setup/same night pickup. Companies that mail the linens to the hotel or bride are now relying on hotel to work out what goes on what and setup for them (not their job) or worse if the location won’t (and if there is not a planner who realises they need to be put out) they can be forgotton as they did not belong to anyone elses job responsibilities that day, a bride or mom or friend should not be putting these out either. This is a good time for a linen company to realise as they are setting up if something is missing/stained or ripped and get a replacement from the office or wherever. If the linens come for someone else to handle there is no way to rectify these problems and whoever is stuck putting them out is not going to care. Now we are at the end of the event, who is now pulling these linens off tables? Well if not planner, guessing the rental company or hotel staff that want to collect/put their tables away, the linens are being thrown on the floor and who is now picking them up and handling the return of the linen, oh thats right, the bride or her mom, that is not how the event should end for them. Last night mom had got some specialty linens delivered to her for cocktail tables (normal rental company did inside the ballroom normal way), I put these linens on the cocktail tables, no one elses responsibility, so now I am sweating in my wedding suit. After the event was over, I sent mom to her room and I then pulled off and dragged these linens to the box I kept that they came in, and after collecting everything else, 1 hour after everyone was gone, delivered everything to moms room. This was not part of my job and my contract says I will not take on responsibility for a vendors items/product but who else was going to do it. I will not be charging for having to stay so long, some planners or locations would hit the client with overtime (the videographer she had hired & used before decided the day prior to this wedding that they would add a 2nd person, so that now costs the ciient an extra vendor meal, mob did not see the need or want a 2nd person and said no, he demanded, so she gave in, and suggested he may stay later to get a sparkler farewell for the video), he did not stay as that would have meant overtime. Vendors I work with and refer do not work this way, whatever you need/want is what they do to make it happen, our photographer last night kept his 2nd there to get the sparkler pics – their time was up and he had already thrown in extra time. Frank Salas is one of the photographers that went over and above to extremes on the first wedding we did together years ago, and thus he is on my preferred list and many of my brides choose him and he is busy.

Don’t – if you are a photographer and the bride is staying at a four/five star hotel to get ready but not having her wedding there, assume you can walk your bride around and take pictures of her on the grounds. In order to not compromise the exclusivity for the brides that are paying tens of thousands to have their events there the hotels have caught onto this strategy. The bride either needs to get permission which may not be given to her until the week of the wedding and sometimes pay a fee to be able to take photos on the grounds and may be given times and certain locations for those pictures. On a brides wedding day you don’t want to embarrass or upset her by sneaking pics on the grounds and running the risk of being asked to leave.

Don’t – be mad at me when I have to keep asking you if you have got your insurance over to the hotel. The hotels do not know if I referred you or how the couple found you, but this season they are putting it on us to ensure if you are not providing it on your own accord, that we keep on you until it is provided. On the contract the couples sign with any of the above mentioned hotels they have signed that their vendors will have this insurance. Sometimes they forget that in their excitement of meeting/slecting vendors, but consider this your heads up that this insurance is non negoitable and you must have it. This is not going away and I believe more and more locations/hotels are going to start requiring it.

Don’t – make the bride and groom pay for day of insurance for you because you did not charge them enough to cover buying insurance. As mentioned above, as a business you should have this and it should not be the bride & grooms responsibility to cover your business insurance expense for you. Vendors who refuse to buy it and in the last few days leading up to the wedding make the client pay for it because they have a contract with the client and won’t refund any money allowing the couple to find another vendor to provide the same service who has the insurance, cause a lot of stress and financial pressure on the couple that they don’t need at that time.

Don’t – call me mean because I am asking you questions on the day or making sure you know the time. If I am having to do these things, then you aren’t doing what you are supposed to be doing, or the hotel has concerns re your services and is asking me to be on top of things. If I seem frustrated with you it’s because I know the difference between a vendor who is capable and on top of things and one that is not

Don’t – call me annoying, because I call you to go over information and then on the wedding day go over the order of things with you again. That is my job and what I am being paid to do. We are a team on the day, we all have our roles but I am the team leader. I know the big picture and how each vendor plays a part in that, and sometimes the brides ask me to check/go over certain items with their vendors that they may not feel happy about or want to tell you, so they confide in me and I get to communicate whatever that may be. Hotels have brides and grooms have co-ordinators because their past experience is that someone needs to oversee/orchestrate all the elements/vendors in order to ensure all goes smoothly/well and that is not the hotels role. I am on many preferred hotel/location lists because I am very detailed, and I ask lots of questions of everyone, so not only logistically but from an expectation or understanding point of view of the B&G, I know and understand everything and can then orchestrate it. My timelines are very detailed and very clear, and by working with these and the way I do, I never have suprises or things going wrong on a day, so no crying brides. If things aren’t going as planned, it is in the pre-event time when I am having to stop overseeing everything, to micro manage a single vendor who is not as we expect them to be on the day, and my brides never know what we have all been dealing with. The sad thing is, the brides on their day don’t know if a vendor is up to par or not, this is all they experience, I/we deal with multi vendors on multi events over a weekend and we can tell the difference very quickly and very easily. Even with the smaller services I normally know what a bride is paying, and sometimes am very sad that they are getting what they are getting for the money they paid, when I know vendors who would have provided better or same product for less or with less challenges.

Don’t – take on a job at a four or five star hotel, if you are used to working at restaurant or banquet hall locations or homes or three star hotels, if you are not willing to up your game. Meaning bring more workers than you normally do, come prepared – if you are not familiar with the location go ahead of time and look it over so you know where to unload and where the site is – showing up on the day and relying on everyone else to stop what they are doing to assist you because you have no clue where you are going is not right. When you accept a job outside of your normal comfort zone you must adapt, just as when I give a discount off my fees or am doing a wedding at a location that is less than four/five star, I still do my job from A-Z as if it was a five star location and they are paying me full fee.

Don’t – not bring the carts/equipment to get your items from your vehicle to the room. Hotels do not have spare equipment or want you to use their equipment.

Don’t – try to unload at valet at a four or five star hotel. You need to go to the loading dock and if you are not familiar with the hotel, call the hotel prior to the wedding day and ask where the loading dock is. Most of the times the loading docks are busy/many events loading in and out, so you have to be efficient. You can not leave your vehicles at the loading dock, after unloading at most hotels you need to then valet (if no self parking) or park close by, while you go to the cere and reception location and do your setup.

Don’t – suggest candles as part of your centerpieces unless you are willing to go to the local fire department and get the permit that may be needed, if you are a florist who has been in business long enough you know what cities require this. I am quite bothered that the florist for my bride this weekend left it to the bride to present it to the fire dept and get the permit, it’s still pending.

Don’t – accept a job at a four/five star hotel if you are a dj and you don’t have good equipment. Feedback/squealing never happens with the djs I recommend, yet I hear this quite often with vendors brides find (happened three times last Sat night) and when the equipment is bad together with someone who is not able to enunciate properly, the guests start to comment on not being able to understand anything, when all you hear is muffled or someone messing up names or just not smooth/good at mceeing. Mceeing is just as important as the music you play at a wedding.

Don’t – not read the code of conduct form you may have to sign to work at some of the hotels. This gives you a lot of the info re loading docks etc, equipment, acting professionally info that you or your staff show up asking questions about or not doing. Again, the hotels are serious in wanting to maintain a level of vendor that comes on their property and participates in weddings at their locations, why do they care, because just as the hotel has no idea if I referred you to them, the guests have no idea if you are part of the hotel or referred by the hotel, so you have become a reflection of the hotel whether good or bad.

Don’t – send a crew to setup what you have sold to the bride & groom, without making sure they allow driving time (last year a bride booked chivari chairs that she got very inexpensively that were coming from the valley to Huntington Beach) they showed up late and I had to have hotel staff, the dj, and me all start tying the cushions to the chairs because the 2 guys who were delivery and setting up, did not realise there would be so much traffic on the freeway on a Saturday (are you kidding me). Luckily the staff/team were willing to do this, but if I was not there or no planner, the chairs would have not been ready/done and the doors would have been late opening or the guests would have come in while the chairs were still being set up. She got a great price for these chairs and thank goodness for dim lighting as the cushions were quite stained and horrible. In most cases you really do get what you pay for. The bride and the guests had no idea but if it was a daytime wedding, it would have been a different story, hard to hide.

To give you an idea of what caused me to write this (had to get the word out about the insurance and code of conduct anyway) and it has taken me a couple of weeks to think about it as I was so perturbed, a couple of weekends ago I had a Friday and a Sunday wedding. The Friday wedding had a florist who provided a hand written order (I was fine with that but it told me a lot), not very descriptive which if things went wrong would not help the B&G in court. They were late, we were looking for the bouquets for pre cere photos so I called the number and got the florist who told me her people were at the hotel, I told her they weren’t and at this stage they were about 30 mins late. 3 workers arrived at the cere site about 1 1/4 hours later than they should have and bride had been doing all the photography without bouquets until that time, the crew said they got lost/not knowing where to go/what to do/unload etc, they got to the cere site 1 hour before the ceremony time, so I let them know they only have 30 mins to get setup before guests arrived at the cere site. They were not done until 10 minutes before cere time, so of course guests were arriving and watching them. Then while they were in the ballroom setting up for around an hour, three times security came and told them they needed to move their vehicle. Obviously never did, because about an hour later I see a security person looking in my room, I asked what he needed and he said he was looking for the florist as their vehicle was about to be towed. I could see a cart by the cere site with florist items on it but no sign of the two ladies (not sure where the man had gone but these poor 2 ladies were running ragged trying to get centerpieces done and move items from ceremony into ballroom), so I called the florist to tell her I could not see her workers but for the 4th time security had had to come looking for them and it seemed their vehicle may be towed, she started yelling at me that her people were there, and no one was helping them and I was mean. Ridiculous. I was calling to try to help her not get the vehicle towed as I assumed she had cell phone contact with her people. Won’t do that again. Then onto the Sunday wedding, all vendors I had recommended, and guess what, never had to have a word with any of them, they were all on time, doing their thing, everything looked great and ran smoothly, no hassle, no anything. What a difference, and just to prove my point, the evening bride spend about $2500 on flowers and the same on photography, both less than what the Friday bride had spent with her vendors.

This posting is not to beat up vendors I don’t know and portray that they are the only ones that don’t do a good job, I know there are good vendors out there I have not worked with and don’t know, and I have also taken vendors off my list that I have known for years because they have either lost the plot or their quality/service went down/changed and not for the good, but it is time to step up. Competition is a plenty and brides and grooms should not have to get substandard service or product because you know they don’t know the difference or you feel they are getting what they paid for or they didn’t want to pay much so you aren’t giving them much, it’s not okay to think and work that way.

Till next time
Lisa

http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs
714 305 7112

2 comments June 14, 2013

2013 season is off and running

I have already had some really lovely weddings and couples I worked with this year, pre ‘wedding season’, and based on those and the weddings coming up I am really pleased with how they are coming together visually. For some we have spent little and got a big effect, and for others from our budget meeting through the floral/design creating and to the day itself we have stayed on course with what we were wanting to create and with others we have gone bigger (due to someone getting carried away, not me)!!!!

I can’t wait to see the photos and share them with you.
2013 is going to be a beautiful wedding year. Keep checking in.

Till next time
Lisa

http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs
714 305 7112

Add a comment June 14, 2013

Europe wedding

So I was fortunate to head back to Europe in April, and as it was not my first time in Paris (about 5 now I think) and Spain (2nd time) I really looked at everything with weddings in mind, and as happens found and made some suprise decisions.

Of course people think Paris and romance, maybe even their wedding itself. You have gardens and lovely churches and some unique wedding reception venues, ie floating restaurant down the Seine, the banquet room up in the Eiffel Tower (yes there is!!!), restaurants and of course hotels that have banquet space. All great, but if guests are coming in and gathering Paris is not the city to be able to keep people together/bond etc, everyone is going to want to see/do/go in different directions based on their first trip, multi times, and time may be limited for some if they are in Europe for their first time and make your wedding/Paris just one part of their maybe once in a lifetime trip. So this is my thinking……
Use Paris as your pre wedding or after wedding stop, and spend a 1/2 day or full day with your photographer going around Paris in your gown/suit-tux and do a fabulous photo shoot to incorporate into your album. This way no pressure to be somewhere, run out of time and opportunity to get all the locations you want, traffic and protests etc can plug the streets up all the time. Then the wedding itself, start at the Costa del Sol in Spain, there are lots of timeshare/hotels in the area, including 2 great Marriott Vacation Clubs where the units can sleep up to 6, here you can take care of your own breakfasts and even barbeque dinner with the group if you want. Have people arriving into the area say 4 days prior to the wedding date, arrival and next day, nothing, people just relaxing/veging. Next day, mini buses to take everyone to Gibraltar for the day (2 hour drive), have lunch/beer in an English pub and some shopping. Next day, people on own. Next day everyone is bussed to a town called Ronda up in the mountains. Here everyone has 2 nights in the walled town area, maybe a bullfight experience in the afternoon, then dinner at one of the restaurants built on the cliff overlooking the most beautiful gorge you could do this at. Drinking sangria and soaking in the views. After dinner a flamenco dancing show and then party on for those that want. Next day, the wedding. You get married on a lawn/platform area that has views to die for, very Tuscanyesque, cocktails follow, then dinner in area close by with those same views, dancing follows, people walk back to their hotel when they are ready. Next morning, brunch, then driving everyone back to Costa del Sol where it all started, and people now leave from there to home/another location, some may stay in the area longer, who knows. You get to head to Paris for the after shoot (and that night have dinner in the Eiffel Tower Restaurant (must have reservations) and after a couple of nights there head home or onto another location for honeymoon (if needed).

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I was shocked when I realised that Spain, its uniqueness/proximity to so much (like S CA, beach-mountains in a couple of hours) and stumbling upon Ronda, would be a fabulous destination wedding experience. I visited Barcelona (2nd time) and Madrid (1st time) and even though they are lovely cities and have their charm and unique qualities, just think the itinerary I created above, gives a much better memorable experience for all involved, yet flexibility for those not looking for bonding time pre or post.

If this sounds appealing, let me know, would love to help you, or pull it together for you.

Till next time
Lisa
http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs
714 305 7112

Add a comment June 11, 2013

Fun fun at the St Regis

What a great time we had putting this celebration together.  Our bride was busy with her residency, so the groom and I got to run with things, but always got the brides blessing, and she was game for pretty much anything the groom wanted.

Because he is a kind of stylish guy, the florist we chose had to be someone who could think out of the box and be creative, and she was/did.

IMG_7781

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stregisbotanical

luge

One of my favorite couples from last year, we had a lot of fun in the months leading up to the wedding planning it, and seeing it all come together and how much fun they and their guests had, was wonderful.

Thanks to the fun/fab Irmina for the photos and for being so easy and professional to work with.

Till next time
Lisa

http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs
714 305 7112

Add a comment June 9, 2013

Location co-ordinators

Do not be fooled. They are not the same/do the same as someone like me. When they work for a location, their goal is to ensure everything they are responsible for, ie food/beverage, any vendors they are providing is good to go for your day, but they don’t normally confirm your other vendors, or assist you in the planning months.

Here’s an example of two brides who had booked me for month of service (one because she had to have someone/but probably would have anyway, and the other because she was not feeling confidence with her full service hotel co-ordinator that everything was going to be handled and when she arrived after the church service would find all was well) just this week that I detailed. In going over/through everything with them, I came up with things they had not thought about or things that could have been a problem when the day came, such as:

A room layout that looked fine to me, but she commented that it wasn’t what she really wanted, I told her I had done in her room what she wanted about 3 times (hotel person was newish) and it could be done, she was so happy. Couple of other items in the layout I then questioned and she said she wasn’t given a choice.
She did not realise there was a charge of $250 for something she was offered and she accepted, so that would not have been a nice suprise for some.
She ordered some items to be used in a send off/exit, that hotel person commented how nice, but did not tell her she had to get fire dept approval. So she will be doing that and if it doesn’t work out (which I don’t think it will) we came up with a backup plan.
Had she notified her vendors they had to sign the code of conduct (more and more hotels are doing this now) and provided proof of liability insurance – ‘what?’ she said. I explained it, she then said, what say they don’t have it, I said they should if they are a business, and if they don’t they need to get day of insurance which they would probably pass charge onto her, if they will not get it, she is in a contract with them and this was not part of their contract with her from the beginning/a condition, so probably would not get a refund and be able to use someone else who has it, so as she has contracted with the hotel that her vendors will have it, she would then need to buy it and provide it on behalf of those vendors, it must be done as it only protects you the bride/couple from being sued by a guest if something goes wrong and a vendor/item causes some kind of damage to them/their life etc. I had one groom a couple of years ago book Pelican Resort, did not realise how serious they were about the insurance, none of his vendors had it, so where he had saved money in hiring inexpensive vendors, he now had to spend over 1k on liability insurance for all of them.

For the other I was looking thru her paperwork from the hotel (wedding in two weeks), I noticed that there was no food ordered for cocktail hour, I questioned hotel person they said bride had declined. I emailed bride & said not being sure if guests are going to eat lunch after church cere/late morning before things begin at hotel at 6pm, she needs to have something there or people will be complaining or get tipsy due to open bar but no food. Bride thought she had ordered hors d’oevures, so bit of a miscommunication there. On the day that would not have been fun as she would have heard about it later that night from guests, when there was nothing she could do.
She emailed me she was changing her florals to be more candelly. Great, except I read on hotel paperwork any candles by florist have to be signed off on by the local fire dept. I have worked with her florist before and this would be a first for them to do, not even sure if they would/it would pass, but now she is telling florist this has to happen. If I had not noticed that, her florist would have arrived on the day and been setting up her candle centerpieces and she would be told nothing could be lit, which would ruin/defeat the vision bride had. Disaster and disappointment when bride comes into ballroom averted.
All her vendors need clearance through the hotel prior to wedding day to even be able to get to loading dock on the day, or be on property. Most brides have this in their hotel contract & forget about it, her wedding is in a week, I am now contacting the vendors they booked so they get on this and it will be fine, again without me I believe none of this would have been caught and it would have been chaos and disappointment. Very similar to what you hear after weddings when people don’t hire someone to oversee everything on their behalf, we are the professionals and know what to look for/catch. She emailed me yesterday saying ‘what would I do without you’. Her wedding is coming up so soon, and I hate for her having to hear about/work on these things now rather than months ago when they should have been done, but better now than the day before when/if someone realises or on the wedding date when it is too late.

Sometimes what you are paying an outside co-ordinator can be offset by the vendors they recommend who have the insurance and can offer the product/look you want for less than you may be paying someone you found online or through friends. We don’t only recommend the high-end/expensive vendors. I have florists that work out of their home and photographers etc who don’t have studios or start with expensive packages, and they all have the liability insurance and know how to work/come prepared at the locations I work at. You may never have found these people on your own, they can do whatever whoever you googled can do, most of the time better for same or less price, and no headaches/lack of confidence attached. Sometimes even if the co-ordinator fee does not save you any $$, you are saved by the time you don’t waste sourcing vendors (not knowing who they are or how reputable they are, or are you getting value for money or on the day the product is not up to your expectations but from what I can see you got what you paid the low $ for), frustration of the unknown, and confidence in knowing that you have someone at your event who is overseeing everything with YOUR best interest/expectations in mind, so you can relax and be a guest at your own wedding. Price of that, hmmmm, priceless.

Till next time
Lisa

http://www.lisasimpsonweddings.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisasimpsonwdgs
714 305 7112

Add a comment June 8, 2013

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