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

 

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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

 

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

Pool Party Wedding Reception Las Vegas

When I met Sara and TJ, I knew I had to immediately be part of their wedding.  They got married in June in Las Vegas and I never encourage an outside reception but theirs was brilliant.  I will add first, the family was coming in from the Ukraine and couldn’t wait to attend a traditional American wedding but this is not quite what they experienced.  The wedding ceremony was a beautiful traditional ceremony at the Sayer’s Club inside SLS.  Their guests were told though to wear resort casual and even their swimsuits.  Many were stunned when they invites arrived and no on showed up to the ceremony in their swimsuits. Everyone did however come to the cocktail hour and reception in their beach wear and ready to take a dive in the pool.  Their reception took place at the Lux Pool at SLS and it was a pool party reception.  They had the huge swan and flamingo rafts as decor for the pool so guests could enjoy a float on them.  This definitely wasn’t your traditional wedding reception but it was a huge hit.  This wedding was so much fun to plan and it truly was a great idea.  I encourage all of my summer couple’s if they must get married in Vegas in 100 + degree weather, why not do a fun nontraditional reception.

Here are a few of my favorite photos by the amazing David Burke:

A big thank you to our creative team for making this wedding so perfect:

Wedding Planner: Desirable Events by Desi (www.desirableevent.com)

Photographer: David Burke (http://davidburkephoto.com)

Floral: Naakiti Floral (http://naakitifloral.com)

Officiant: Nick Amon

DJ: DJ Uffe Moller

Uplighting: Elegant Entertainment (http://elegantlv.com)

GOBO: All Night Long Entertainment (http://www.goallnightlong.com)

Cake: Groom’s Aunt

Doughnut Cake: Pink box doughnuts (http://pinkboxdoughnuts.com) (*cake was created by Desirable Events by Desi)

 

*All photos provided by David Burke.  Please do not copy or alter any of the photos.

Havana Room Wedding at the Tropicana Hotel

 

4d8a7277-las-vegas-wedding-at-havana-room-at-tropicana-marissa-and-nate-steven-joseph-photographyI have never met a bride more organized and ready to go then when I met Marissa eight months prior to their wedding.  She knew exactly what she wanted and how she wanted it. When she said she needed a wedding planner, it was the first time I thought are you sure you need one? (Kidding)  Joking aside, Marissa and Nate were such an adorable couple.  They each complimented each other so perfectly.  Coming from the midwest, the rivalries between in state schools are very serious but in the end, they put their differences aside for love.  You see, Marissa went to Oklahoma, and Nate went to Oklahoma State.  Being the amazing bride Marissa was though she called me for a top secret surprise that only me and the person coming would know.  She decided to surprise Nate with Pistal Pete (Oklahoma State’s mascot).  It was quite the journey coming here as he couldn’t fly because of the size of his head so he had to drive from Oklahoma State to Las Vegas.  This could not have been a better surprise.  Nate and his groomsmen looked like a child seeing Santa.  It was such a memorable moment. The wedding was absolutely gorgeous from start to finish as I knew it would be.  Thank you so much Marissa and Nate for choosing us to be part of your wedding day!

Here are a few of my favorite photos by Steven Joseph Photograhy:

 

 

Also, a huge thank you to all of their vendors who helped make their day:

Ceremony Venue: St. Anne’s Catholic Church

Reception Venue: Havana Room at the Tropicana

Photographer: Steven Joseph

Videographer: Kreigh Carter

Florist: Blossoms by Gayle

DJ: DJ Rumpleskilton

Dessert: Just a Bite Cheesecakes

Wedding Planner: Desirable Events by Desi

*Photos courtesy of Steven Joseph

Back to Work from Pregnancy Leave

I just wanted to say a quick Thank you to everyone in my life for all your support during this past year.  It has been a while since I had time to blog about our events but the wait was so worth it.  I didn’t get to blog about my pregnancy or anything but this little amazing, fiery spirited girl came into our lives and is the best surprise we will ever have.  Our daughter Stoli was born 4 months ago and she’s so awesome.  Although I worked throughout my pregnancy and even had a wedding a few days before I went into labor and another right after, I made sure to keep some time aside for this sweet little angel.  I can’t wait until she is older to be my little wedding planning assistant.  Thank you Lullaby Lane for capturing our little newborn.

Wedding Must Haves Couples Tend to Forget

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Don’t forget these simple details

As everyone knows and says, planning a wedding can be extremely stressful. Something that only adds to the stress is last minute things that come up in which the couple either overlooks or since they haven’t been married doesn’t even know they need. My suggestion to anyone getting married of course is to hire a wedding planner or at very least a day of coordinator to prevent any stress from happening. However, if this is not in your budget please feel free to read on for the little things couples usually forget.

1. The Rings- now of course this is something that is purchased far in advance but the day of your wedding this is one of the most forgetful items. I don’t know if it’s the excitement of the whole thing or what but this happens often. Try to assign someone the week of your wedding to be in charge of both wedding rings this way they will show up and be together.

2. Accessories- Sure the tux and dress arrive safely but what about the little things. The ties, socks, veil, earrings, garter, shoes, everything that puts your entire outfit together. Three quick stories I have on this is one, our wedding I packed both of our outfits from head to toe, with extra accessories in case I didn’t like something. Come the next afternoon as my future hubby is getting dressed he calls my maid of honor to ask where the tie was. Of course I left it at home. The only thing that is definitely going to stand out if he didn’t have. Luckily for us, we lived 2 minutes away and best man came to the rescue. A wedding I planned, thank goodness the bride woke up with butterflies at 5 am because as she was laying out her accessories for the photographers she realized her veil was at her sister’s house in Houston, Texas (we were in Vegas). Luckily a friend didn’t have his flight until a few hours later and was able to get the veil in time for his flight and have it well before the wedding started. On a side note, by hiring us I would have ran to the store myself and found the exact veil or one closest to it for her. Last one of my grooms forgot a pair of socks for the big day. Since he was closest to Crystals he went over only to buy a $45 pair of designer socks… that ended up being close to knee highs on him. It was hilarious and I can only imagine his brides face that night when she saw them. I send out a checklist of things to remember but it is always best to designate a trustworthy bridal party or family member to keep this stuff safe.

3. Unity Ceremony items- whether they be custom traditions for your culture or something fun to add into the ceremony, don’t forget these items. Most are purchased by the couple and this is a reason I strongly agree to having a wedding coordinator because you can make them responsible for these items. You don’t want your officiant to call you up for the sand ceremony and have vases but no sand to unite with.

4. Place cards- If you are having a sit down dinner where guests choose what they are having you MUST have place cards. I have yet to find a venue that doesn’t require them. Each guest receives a place card and there is always a “secret” symbol on them to designate who has fish, beef, or chicken. A classy way of doing this is by simply adding a different color pearl or rhinestone for each (i.e. fish-white, beef-black, chicken-wedding color) You can always have place cards if you don’t have your guests choose but couples you must have them if they do. If you have a buffet or family style then you may opt out for the extra work in place cards and just do a poster seating chart. Many places also do not set these up for you, so if you want your family and friends to relax on your wedding day this is also a good reason to hire a wedding coordinator.

5. Table Numbers- You rented all your centerpieces, linen, etc, but what about your table numbers? Some rental companies offer table numbers as well but couples tend to forget until the very last minute (just like the place cards) that these are needed. If you have assigned seating then you definitely need either table numbers, books, however you decide your guests will find their seats make sure you actually show this within the centerpieces.

6. Guestbook- Something else you need to bring yourself and set up (or have your wedding coordinator which yes many venues give you a coordinator but they are mostly for the ceremony and many will not set up additional items for you). Guestbooks are all sorts of items from a traditional book, photo book, monogram letter, anything to be unique and stand out. You don’t want to forget this because although guests RSVP to your weddings, you want to know who actually showed up. Don’t forget if you choose something unique to make sure you have a pen that writes well on it.

7. Card box- If you are allowing guest to bring gifts to your wedding then you must have a spot for them to put it. Most guests typically bring cards and there are tons of cute ways to display a card box. Find something that fits the theme of your wedding. Some rental companies offer a few standard boxes but go unique and you can keep it as home decor after. This also needs to be set up by you.

8. Any additional decor items- In the Pinterest world we live in today, it is typical for couples to find all these little add ons to decor that they want to buy instead of rent. This is a great addition to your wedding decorations, typically cost effective, and looks great. However, any of these items will also need someone to set up. As a wedding planner I will be honest to say there hasn’t been a wedding yet that I have planned that the bed of our truck wasn’t filled with extra things the couple had for their wedding. I am not saying all planners are open to sharing their spare room with items you mail to them but I am very considerate of out of town guests and I don’t mind having items sent to the house. I love helping set up the room and making it just as you wish.

It is very important to keep these things always in the back of your mind throughout the planning process. Keep notes on everything you buy for your wedding and what you need to bring so you don’t forget. Create your own checklist with these items and I would even assign someone you trust to keep them all together. I know I am a wedding planner but even if I wasn’t, I highly suggest hiring a day of coordinator to put everything together.  Many of the venues you use have coordinators, however, their job doesn’t include setting up your place cards, DIY decor, and table numbers.  It is best to hire someone so that you do not have to have your family members or bridal party set up before the ceremony. I have had lots of requests for day of coordination lately but I think many couples are confused at what this entails. We can’t come right before the ceremony and leave after your first dance (at least I do not). We are there hours before setting up the space, making sure all your vendors know what they are doing and arrive on time. We set up all your DIY stuff and extra decor. We have to be in contact with you and your vendors at least a month prior to make sure everyone is on the same page. You can hire a coordinator that may only show up for your ceremony but why even hire them. Research exactly what you are getting before you book anyone, including all vendors and venues. There are tons of people out there who give great breaks on pricing but just remember, you get what you pay for. Desirable Events by Desi goes above and beyond expectations because we want you book many more events with us.

Engaged or planning an event? Please contact me at desi@desirableevent.com or (248)836-8605 for more information. I also would love to meet in person or through Skype for a free consultation.