Wedding Planning Mistakes You DON’T Have to Make

December 18th, 2015

Planning a wedding is a lot like steering a small boat through a stormy sea. It is stressful, and there are plenty of things that can go wrong and mistakes which can be made by even the most vigilant brides and grooms. If you are not careful, you can easily be steered off course, and find yourself trying to navigate your wedding plan out of a snarl. Use this article as your guide, and you will be ready for the mistakes that will inevitably crop up off the port bow.


Research and Budgeting Are Your Friends


When you first begin planning a wedding, the temptation is to jump right in and get started. However, this is not a good idea. It is important to do some budgeting first. This way, you know what you can and cannot afford, and how much money you can spend on each task or item. A spreadsheet or chart can be helpful here. That way you will have your information spread out in an orderly fashion. Then you can research to see how much things actually cost and adjust the budget accordingly.


Choose Your Guest List First


Some brides and grooms think that picking a venue is the first step in wedding planning. After all, venues fill up fast, and it is important to reserve quickly, right? Wrong. While venues do quickly become unavailable, it is much more important to pick your guest list first. Many venues have nonrefundable contracts. This means that you will be stuck with a venue that no longer fits the size of your wedding party.


Give Yourself A Break


The temptation is there to constantly focus on the wedding, to be crunching numbers and thinking about the guest list even while at dinner with your fiancé. This is not a good thing to do, and you will only end up stressing yourself out more. Take one night a week off to relax. That way you will not wake yourself up talking in your sleep about whether you ordered enough flowers for everyone in the bridal party.


Your wedding should be a time of joy. It is your day, and it is special. And now that you have some idea of the mistakes you can encounter in the planning stages, you can sail through your wedding and have the day you have always dreamed about.

Event Planning Challenges

December 24th, 2014


People always ask me what my biggest challenge was an event planner. I once did an event in an underground subway station with no electricity, running water or cell service. When same sex marriage first legalized in New York I planned a wedding for a couple in forty eight hours. And on November 22 I conquered a new challenge: I had two weddings that I planned happen simultaneously at the same time.



First I met Nancy and Bobby who’s wedding took place at Industria Studios in the West Village. Coming from different cultural backgrounds, this couple skipped the ceremony, went to City Hall, and then had a big reception to celebrate. Towards the end of their engagement they also moved to San Francisco, so they wanted their wedding to serve as their farewell to New York City. We worked together to design something that was their style as well as an iconic nod to Manhattan. Taking place in a studio normally used for photo shoots we kept the industrial aesthetic, served an Indian meal family-style, and lit the space that prohibits candles with neon lights and Edison bulbs.



After I had agreed to work with Nancy and Bobby I met Matt and Arielle. They came to me as friends of the executive chef of our company. I told them from the beginning that we had another wedding scheduled for this date. Knowing our Chef was going to create a brilliant, custom menu for them, we agreed I would work with them to plan all the other details. They also opted for a private ceremony, and they wanted the food and fun to be the highlight of their reception. It took a while for me to get Arielle’s design aesthetic clear…this was a bride who chose to wear black…but we eventually landed on some of her top Pinterest choices. We designed a rustic, modern garden feel without fall colors to make the Altman building come alive.



I worked with both of these couples for several months on adding a lot of detail to their vision for each of their special days. Both couples also knew about one another. It was so important to me along the way that neither felt like they didn’t have me by their side 100%. Two weeks before this date I happened to take a little tumble on the ice and break my left wrist. As double wedding Saturday approached I also went through it as a one armed wedding planner.



While both venues are raw spaces that required bringing everything in, I knew Industria would be a greater challenge. The Altman regularly does social events, and my company was doing in the catering. I had employed trusted colleagues to be dedicated at each event so I could float between the two without worry. Here was how my day went:




Arrive at Industria.

Supervise load in of all furniture and installation of family photo wall.

Check in with florist, lighting company, and catering manager.


Call my team at the Altman to learn they’re doing fine.

Receive pics of set-up there and am pleased.


Go through checklists for both, get a re-run of some damaged furniture, and receive cake delivery. Photo booth company and cocktail musicians arrive.


Outside caterers arrive and get them situated in kitchen. Sound and lighting check.


Nancy and Bobby arrive earlier than expected to practice first dance with choreographer.

I get out of my jeans and put on a suit with a French cuff shirt… the only thing I could find would fit over my cast.


Complete safety and fire walkthrough with venue manager.


Food and drinks start being passed to guests.

Check in with Nancy and Bobby. They’re thrilled. Head to Altman


Complete walk-through of Altman with my team.

Check in with Matt and Arielle. They are thrilled with décor!


Passed bites and drinks begin. Make sure service is going well and head back to Industria.


The cocktail hour musicians are wowing the crowd. I’ve never seen so much dancing at a cocktail hour. I find Nancy and Bobby… still thrilled. I let them know that shortly we’ll be hiding them to get the guests into the reception room.


Escort guests into reception… no one wants to leave cocktail hour. Families introduced. Bollywood style surprise first dance pulled of brilliantly by Nancy & Bobby.


Family style meal served

Check in with catering team at Altman and find out dinner is a huge hit. Phew!




Wheel the cake through the sweaty dance floor for the cutting and toast.

Get the report everyone at the Altman is dancing the night away!


Make sure the take-away favor table is in place by the exit.


Cue the late night pass-a-rounds of vodka mango lassies and patron xo.




Nancy and Bobby finish the last dance and before heading to their after-party thank me for what they feel is “the best wedding ever.” I head to Altman.


Matt and Arielle are still going strong on the dance floor with their friends. I find both sets of parents who felt the night could not have gone better.




They finish their last dance. We hug and make drink plans for after their honeymoon. I give some break-down instructions to my team at Altman. I head back to Industria one last time.


Load out is complete. I sign off on walk through with venue manager. Reflect during taxi home on the happy couples and how amazing my teams were to help deliver two amazing events.


Anatomy Of A Whirlwind Wedding

March 10th, 2014

This week our infographic addresses the topic of planning a wedding in just ONE MONTH! Whew. Just thinking about it makes me break a sweat.

Zhena’s Wellness Tea for Brides-To-Be

March 2nd, 2014

Planning a wedding can be very stressful, especially when it comes to making sure you look your very best for the special day. But what if keeping off the weight was one less stress you had to worry about? With ZHENA’S New Slim Me Tea you can now go about planning the perfect day worry free of gaining weight by just adding ZHENA’s 100% all-natural weight loss tea into your daily diet.

You may recognize ZHENA’S from the shelves of Whole Foods or from its features on Dr. Oz, Oprah, Rachael Ray or Good Morning America. Healthy living is trending and tea is a frequent topic of discussion among doctors and nutritionists because of its wonderful health benefits. Replacing sugary drinks with tea is one of the easiest and safest ways to monitor weight gain while managing the stress of planning a wedding.

ZHENA’S Slim Me Tea is especially unique for a few different reasons:

· Can be served as a hot or iced-cold brew.

· Helps increase metabolism and energy levels without the jitters of caffeine.

· Promotes healthy digestion assimilation and elimination.

· Helps suppress appetite.

· Does not require any dramatic diet or lifestyle changes.

· Includes 10 natural herbs renowned for weight loss such as Raspberry Ketone, Green Coffee Extract, Garcinia Cambogia Fruit and African Mango Seed.

Simply throw the long lasting hemp bag in your water bottle or travel tea mug while you’re on the go. You can enjoy a refreshing iced or hot brewed tea in one of four delicious flavors: Raspberry Mint, Cranberry Ginger, Peach Vanilla, and Superfruit Mixed Berry. Each ZHENA’S Slim Me Tea tin contains 30 tea bags and retails for $9.99. The tea is now available at Rite Aid Stores nationwide or online at

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