My last wedding at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

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First I have to tell a little story why this was my last unknown wedding at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas.  As one of my favorite venues in town, the Mandarin Oriental has never disappointed when it comes to weddings.  The wedding of Laura and Paul definitely was no exception, however, I didn’t realize that it would be my last wedding as the Mandarin Oriental.  I have another couple contracted with the Mandarin but last week we found out the venue will be the Waldorf Astoria.  Of course the name immediately strikes people as an upgrade which left my October bride in awe when I spoke to her.  She said I’m not that fancy but the sound of having my wedding at the Waldorf is an honor.  They still guarantee to follow the guidelines of our current contract in which I think they will only deliver better service than Mandarin already provides.  I’m excited to see the progress of the property and hoping they keep their best features.

Now to describe the gorgeous wedding of Laura (Lulu) and Paul Evans.  I met this fabulous couple along with Lulu’s parents about a year prior to their wedding day.  Lulu from day one was the most organized bride I have ever met.  I honestly wish she lived here so she could work with me.  It’s amazing how detailed oriented she was.  Both the ceremony and reception took place inside of Mandarin’s stunning ballrooms.  For the cocktail hour the guests entered the gorgeous foyer area so we could reset the room for the reception.  The couple had around 80 guests traveling from mostly the east coast to enjoy their wedding day.  All of their family and friends were the sweetest group.  When deciding on wedding dates we went back and forth as Laura wanted an early spring date but not during spring break times where a lot of kids would be.  We had the perfect Saturday come to mind which was St Patty’s Day.  The bride being irish and a love for the holiday it couldn’t have been a better fit.  I definitely didn’t know at the time this would be my last wedding as the Mandarin but I’m glad that it was because it was perfect.  Please enjoy the photos below from their amazing wedding day by Susie and Will!

 

Special thanks to our amazing creative team:

Wedding Planner: Desirable Events by Desi

Photographer: Susie and Will

Videographer: Lighten Films

Floral and Decor: Naakiti Floral

Dress: Hayley Paige

DJ: DJ Livinh

Photo Booth: Smashbooth 

Officiant/Elvis: Roland August

Beauty: Sin City Beauty

Doughnuts: Pinkbox Doughnuts

Veil: Sara Gabriel

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Rings: Brillant Earth & Dunwoody Diamond

Suit: Men’s Warehouse

Stationary: Minted

 

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Wedding Venue closes two months before your wedding… Now what?

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So I want to start by setting the scene with how perfect the engagement was.  Many of you may have seen this couple either on the Today show or in People Magazine.  For those of you who haven’t, this is the lovely Katrina and Doug. Katrina has an obsession for John Stamos and Doug thought by writing him a letter to him maybe he would get an autograph back to propose with.  Instead John Stamos actually sent a video back asking Katrina to marry Doug.  They had an amazing engagement and had their wedding planned in Las Vegas.  Both being super laid back people, it is understandable that it was easy to plan.  Then November came around (just two months until their wedding day) and they received terrible news.  The restaurant where their wedding was taking place actually was no longer going to remain open.  Completely devastated by the news, the freaked out for a minute then Katrina knew what she had to do which was find a wedding planner stat.  She reached out to me with the following message:

“Hi, are you up for a challenge? Are you ready a great story? Imagine having the proposal of your dreams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qom_RLGsZYE Planning a year ahead to get the venue you always envisioned: http://alizelv.com Just to find out 2 months before your wedding that the restaurant is closing and that you don’t have a venue. What you DO have is invites out, RSVPs in, a total of 92 people attending… most of which have already reserved rooms and flights. Yup… that’s what my fiancé and I are going through right now. What do you do? 1. you freak out. 2. you settle down and realize you still have a love to marry. 3. you contact Desirable Events by Desi to see if there’s anything they can do to match the wedding of your dreams you thought you were already having. Your reviews are great, so let me know if you’d like to chat. Sometimes a phone call can help. Thanks, Katrina & Doug”

I instantly knew who they were since I in fact did see the episode of the Today show they were featured on.  I felt for them completely and instantly connected with them.  I became their planner and immediately began searching for the perfect venue.  Although it seemed impossible, it actually was quite easy for us to find.  You see their original venue was a close fit but never the perfect fit for them.  The perfect venue was actually still in the same hotel, just in a different tower.  All their guests staying at the Palms could remain there and the wedding could begin at the same time.  The only thing they had to do was send out a venue update.  Since the restaurant was originally taking care of all the other items, we had to get floral and decor, photo booth, hair/make up artist, and make sure the band could still perform at the new venue The View.  The vibe in the space was totally meant for Katrina and Doug.  They were going for the old Vegas/Rat Pack style.  The wedding ceremony will go down in history as the best I have ever heard.  Mainly because a very talented writer and director Josh Cooley was one of Doug’s closest friends and performed their ceremony.  The entire day went perfect and these two had the wedding of their dreams.  The one that truly they lucked out on losing their venue.

Thank you Katrina and Doug for trusting in me to find the perfect venue for you and create your beautiful wedding! One other thing that I absolutely love about them is for the welcome reception for guests, Doug and I went to pick up $93.48 worth of Taco Bell.  A couple truly after my own heart that will remain friends forever.  When you two are ready I call dibs on planning your vow renewal at Taco Bell!

Please check out some of the photos below from their gorgeous day by their dear friend and amazing Hailey Magoon:

 

Thank you again to Katrina and Doug as well as our amazing creative partners:

Wedding Planner: Desirable Events by Desi

Photographer: Hailey Magoon

Floral & Decor: Destinations by Design

Venue: The View at the Palms

Hair/Makeup: Esmeralda Aguis

Band: Laura Shaffer’s Midnight Refrain

 

Las Vegas Private Estate Wedding

Las Vegas Wedding Planner

Sarah contacted me while she was stationed overseas serving our country.  After just one email she sent I instantly felt connected to not only her but her soon to be family.  Sarah was lucky enough to not only gain a husband but she also gain two twin daughters in this unity.  The original photo she sent me of the family to get to know them just melted my heart.  Then when she was off tour, all four of them visited Las Vegas and the meeting was just what I expected.  The four of them were the perfect little family.  The girls were so sweet and well behaved.  They sat through a day of wedding planning but in the end they did finish it off with cake tasting so what little girl wouldn’t love that.

Now let’s talk about their wedding weekend.  The venue they chose was the 2810 Private Resort.  It was perfect for their guest list of 60.  The mansion is a three day rental which made it perfect to have their rehearsal and rehearsal dinner there the evening before.  For the rehearsal dinner, they had Cut & Taste (my favorite caterers in town) host a fancy BBQ.  The menu consisted of their Caesar Salad (spiced apples, brioche croutons, apple cider caesar dressing), Fingerling Potato Salad (crispy bacon & gorgonzola), Braised Brisket (caramelized onion, mashed potato and sweet BBQ), Smoked Chicken (three cheese mac n cheese, crispy shallots), Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme (macerated raspberries, toasted almonds).  I had to share this menu as it was just as delicious and amazing as their wedding day menu (that I will of course describe below).  After dinner, guests had the opportunity to have cocktails and swim in the pool. It is the perfect place for a laid back evening before the big day.

Onto the wedding day, which took place on a hot summer day in July.  The weather was actually beautiful and although over 100 degrees, it wasn’t too hot for guests since we added some cooling options.  Their ceremony took place on the bridge over the pool while guests watched from the beach area.  This is the perfect spot for an intimate ceremony.  During the ceremony, the twins came up for a special unity where Sarah & Craig placed lockets around their necks as a sign of unity for their new stepmother.  Cocktail hour & reception took place just inside of the home in the living room that already has a built in bar.  During cocktail hour passed Hors D’oeuvres of Mini Chicken Tostadas, Short Rib Barbacoa Empenadas, and Cut and Taste’s version of Pigs in a Pillow (Mustard Seed Biscuit, Ball Park Mousse, Cheddar Tuile, Pickled Mustard Seed).  I can only say it is a true amazing explosion of flavors in your mouth that you would never guess by looking at it.  The dinner took place outside the house on the patio where the toasts were made and the area was dressed up by RSVP rentals and the gorgeous florals from Mylo Fleur.  My favorite wedding dinner menu from the fabulous Cut and Taste was deliciously made of Heirloom Tomato Salad, Rootbeer Braised Short Rib (our favorite) with potato puree & carrots, and their take on Rice “Krispy” (see photo below).  Following dinner, the guests went back indoors to dance the night away.  Sarah & Craig had a sparkler send off and actually drove away in a limo to a hotel for a romantic evening alone.  This was truly a fun, gorgeous, intimate wedding.  The venue is the perfect spot for anyone looking to marry away from the Las Vegas Strip.  Please see photos below of this incredible day by Adam Trujillo.

 

 

A very special thank you to our amazing creative team:

Wedding Planner: Desirable Events by Desi / Photographer & Cinematography Team: Adam Trujillo  / Floral: Mylo Fleur  / Rentals: RSVP / Catering: Cut and Taste /Bar: Liquid Courage  /DJ- DJ Kyd Wicked  /Officiant: Pastor Pete  / Cake: Las Vegas Custom Cakes / Hair & Makeup: Sarah Redzikowski / Venue: 2810 Private Estate / Rings: Tacori

A very popular trend right now in Las Vegas seems to be Private Estates and Mansions.  Many couples believe that they will get more for their money at a private estate.  It is important to note that many houses require a minimum stay of 3 nights for events.  This is perfect for couples who have the budget as it offers an intimate setting for all of your guests.  Please contact us to plan the wedding of your desires!

Havana Room Wedding Tropicana Hotel

I had the privilege of meeting Stacy & Charles while setting up for a wedding in this gorgeous space.  They happened to be doing a walk through of the venue and I had a moment to speak to them.  A week later Stacy contacted me and from then on we began planning this beautiful wedding.  Stacy is from California and Charles is a local so throughout the year I had the opportunity to meet with them for planning.  Every time I met with them they were so sweet and both had a twinkle in their eyes at each other.  Charles always had the perfect answer to his bride… “Whatever you want, dear”.

The day began with hair and makeup by Concierge Makeup.  The ceremony and reception took place in the Havana Room at the Tropicana Las Vegas.  The beautiful flowers were created by the ever so talented Naakiti floral who brought all of Stacy’s visions to life.  Stacy provided the vases so all of her local guests had an extra take away from the wedding.  The ceremony was officiated by Stacy’s Stepfather which put the perfect personal touch into the wedding.  During the ceremony since Stacy was not only gaining a husband but also a son, they did a sand ceremony to unite the three of them.  Catering and the exquisite wedding cake was provided by the Tropicana, including the exquisite groom’s cake of a camera (everything edible- see awesome photo below).  Charles is a videographer/videographer and with his surprise there wasn’t a cutting of that cake as he wanted to keep it forever.  The menu consisted of a three course plated dinner featuring: Lobster Bisque, chipotle caesar salad,  guests choice of herb grilled chicken breast or roasted organic salmon.  During cocktail hour the bride and groom’s favorite food chicken wings were served.  The Chef custom made the wings of their favorites: Buffalo Hot, Salt & Vinegar, Lemon Pepper, and Teriyaki.  Also during cocktail hour they had a violinist, Tony B performed.  The signature cocktail chosen by them is their favorite drink of Kentucky Mules. All of the photography in this blog and from their wedding day was shot by Indigo Foto.  They also had cinema created by K+A Creative.  The final personalized touch were their adorable wedding favors of maple syrup.  The story behind it being they are each other’s perfect match because one only likes the outside of a pancake and the other only eats the inside so together they have a whole pancake (with maple syrup of course). Stacy & Charles, I could not thank you enough for having us as part of your perfect wedding day.  I look forward to seeing your future together!

Please enjoy their wedding photos below and thank you Indigo Foto for capturing every moment:

Thank you so much to our amazing creative team for making this day so special:

Wedding Planner: Desirable Events by Desi

Photographer: Indigo Foto

Videographer: K+A Creative

Floral: Naakiti Floral

Decor: Sit on This

Hair & Makeup: Concierge Makeup

Dj: DJ Pros

Venue: Havana Room at Tropicana

Cake: Tropicana

Violinist: Tony B

 

Four Seasons Las Vegas Fountain Terrace Wedding

When I think of Jinley and Mario’s wedding, I see glamourous outdoor elegance.  Having a Las Vegas wedding without actually feeling like you are in Vegas is something that the Four Seasons provides.  Jinley reminds me of myself as she knew exactly what she wanted and how she wanted it.  Every detail she wanted we made sure came to life on her wedding day.  Her husband Mario is quiet and just wanted her to get what she wants. (The perfect match)  From the invitation details to the cake and entertainment, every little detail was well thought out and executed.  Speaking of the custom wedding invitations, along with place cards and seating chart were all produced by 1st Impressions Invitations.  After first speaking to Jinley over the phone, we had everything planned within weeks so she could relax and enjoy their engagement.  She couldn’t have been an easier bride to work with and although she is from Hawaii, there was no stress at all.

The day began with hair and makeup by Sarah Redzikowski & team for 8 bridesmaids and the mothers.  The ceremony and reception took place at the Fountain Terrace at Four Season’s Las Vegas in April.  The weather was 80 degrees with minimal wind and the perfect spring day for an outdoor wedding.  The beautiful flowers were created by the ever so talented Naakiti floral who brought all of Jinley’s visions to life.  During the ceremony, the romantic music was provided by TAJ, a duo act from T Entertainment.  Rustic signs throughout the wedding were created by a very talented and close friend of mine Kelly from her Etsy Shop From Kelly with Love.  Catering and the exquisite wedding cake was provided by the Four Seasons.  The menu consisted of 4 tray passed Hors D’oeuvres: mini lobster club, beef tenderloin, Maryland crab cake, tempura shrimp served during cocktail hour.  The reception menu was a 4 course plated dinner that included: portabello mushroom and cheese ravioli, crab louie, roasted and carved prime rib, and their 3-tiered custom wedding cake served as a duo plate of strawberry shortcake & carrot cake.  (Check out the cake photo below… it was absolutely breathtaking).  They also had two ice carving luges from Ice Occasions; DJ, photo booth & Marquee Letters from Elegant Entertainment, and Bistro lighting from LED Unplugged.  All of the photography in this blog and from their wedding day was shot by one of my favorites Susie and Will.  They also had cinema created by Adam Trujillo.  The highlight of the wedding of course was having their dog Weezy as the Ring Bearer.  Jinley and Mario, I could not thank you enough for allowing you to trust in me to plan and be apart of your perfect wedding day.  I look forward to seeing what the future brings you both!

Please enjoy their wedding photos below and thank you Susie for capturing such beauty in every element:

 

Special Thanks to our Awesome Creative Team:

Wedding Planner: Desirable Events by Desi

Venue: Fountain Terrace at Four Seasons

Photographer: Susie and Will

Videographer: Adam Trujillo

Floral: Naakiti Floral

Decor: Sit on This

Rustic Signs: From Kelly With Love

Dj, Marquee lights, & Photo Booth: Elegant Entertainment

Bistro Lighting: LED Unplugged

Ice Sculptures: Ice Occasions

Hair & Makeup: Sarah Redzikowski

Cake: Four Seasons

Wedding Favors: Macaroons by Bouchon Bakery

Stationary: 1st Impressions Invitations

Officiant: Elegant Vegas Weddings

Musicians: TAJ

 

 

 

 

 

Historic 5th Street School Wedding Las Vegas

This gorgeous couple, Marco and Shelby had the matching gorgeous weather for their March wedding.  The sun was shining bright and not a cloud was in the sky.  Our crazy Las Vegas winds were nowhere to be found and the temperature of 80 degrees made their 2pm nuptials just right.  The two wed in the courtyard of the Historic 5th Street School in Downtown Las Vegas.  The day was filled with so much love and laughs as friends and family traveled from all over to attend.  Check out the gorgeous photos below from their wedding day by the amazing Susie and Will.

 

A very special thank you to our amazing creative team for all your hard work:

Planner: Desirable Events by Desi

Photographer: Susie and Will

Floral: Layers of Lovely

Venue: Historic 5th Street School

DJ: Elegant Entertainment

Rentals: RSVP

Hair: Brandy Sam

Makeup: Makeup by Rose C

Cake: Cupcakery

Donuts: Dunkin Donuts

Bridal Show Checklist- Desirable Events by Desi

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Are you newly engaged and ready to begin planning?  Typically every bride from the moment that ring hits your finger (if not the day you started dating) you already have ideas of how your wedding will be.  Where do you begin?  Of course being a wedding planner, I highly recommend hiring a planner immediate for Full Service Planning because it just helps make the whole process easier and enjoyable for you.  However, if you feel that is out of your budget or you are not sure right away, a great way to find out is by attending a bridal show or open house.

Bridal shows and open houses are a fabulous way for a couple that does not have an idea of vendors, venues, or styles.  Pinterest is great for ideas but it definitely can not find and book your vendors for you.  First I want to just let you know the difference between a bridal show and an open house.  A bridal show is different from an open house because at bridal shows, there are many different venues there along with vendors.  An open house is actually at the venue and they have a preferred amount of vendors there to use for that property.  You of course do not have to book at the open house that venue but you will also not have information available on other venues.

I want to share a list of helpful information for any of you that plan on attending one or more of these events to make it actually worth your time.

  1.  Before you attend the event have a list made on exactly what you are looking for (photographer, videographer, DJ, and so on).  This way when you arrive and are handed a map, you can circle all the booths you definitely want to see.
  2. Go as a couple!  It is great to get your bridesmaids together and have a fun girls day out but you essentially could be meeting someone that you want to book for your wedding and your fiance will not be there.  This would typically mean that instead of having the initial meeting out of the way, you will have to set up an additional appointment to meet them.  Plus, vendors love seeing couples together because it shows how involved and in love you two are.
  3. Share the correct information.  Although none of us love having tons of spam emails, these emails will be helpful to you as they are from all of the vendors at the show.  Some offer discounts, a free gift or other incentives for booking them so it is a great way to see special offers.  You can always opt out as you are receiving them.
  4. Pricing is key.  If you are on a strict budget, you need to be sure to meet vendors that fall within that budget.  If someone is significantly out of your budget and you want to book them, it will break your heart.  Get information on pricing before you go into getting to know the person.
  5. Shop around.  You are there to find the perfect venue or vendor that completes your style.  Be sure to visit multiple booths for each vendor so you can see their different styles, packages, and personalities in order to find the one that best fits you.  It is not always best to go with the biggest bargain.  Pricing ranges quite a bit, especially in Las Vegas.  Make sure your vendor has the experience and quality of work that you wish.
  6. Ask vendors important questions.  Be sure to ask each vendor if they have a business license as well as insurance.  Most of the vendors at a bridal show will definitely have this but this is great advice whether you are looking at a show or online.  Any one can be a planner or a DJ, be sure that you are actually getting someone that has a reputable company.  Most venues require a copy of the license as well as insurance for each vendor.
  7. Sign up to enter their contest.  The vendors already have your contact information from registration so do not be afraid to enter into their giveaways.  You will get emails from them regardless and you never know if you could be the winner of a free engagement photo shoot from an awesome photographer.
  8. Have fun! Enjoy every minute of these shows.  They are meant for you to take all the stress off you for your planning experience.  Take in everything it has to offer.  Enjoy cocktails, sweet tastings, fashion shows, everything they have to offer.

Finally I want to just add, if you still need help finding some vendors you can always hire a wedding planner for partial service planning to help you out.  Regardless if you need that or not I always highly suggest having a day of coordinator from an independant company.  All venues come with wedding coordinators but most of their responsiblilties fall on the venue side and does not include assisting in setting up any DIY decorations or making sure all of your vendors know how the day is going to flow.  Please feel free to contact me for any assistance in planning your gorgeous day!

If you are traveling for a bridal show or open house, please visit Las Vegas Travel Packages to book your stay.  Contact me also if you need any assistance on planning your wedding day or vacation stay.

Also save the date for the following upcoming shows and open houses:

Revere Golf Club Open House– Sunday February 26, 2017

The Kosher Bridal and Mitzvah Expo– March 26, 2017

Bridal Spectacular Veils & Vino– August 18-19, 2017

Photo courtesy of Elegant Entertainment