Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Postage to Increase: What to Do

Alright, most people have heard this but I just wanted to confirm it for those who don't know.
The US Post office will be raising the cost of stamps in May 2009, so prepare yourselves for a $.02 increase (FYI, it's $.42 right now to mail a letter; it'll be $.44 after May). It's crazy how much mailing a simple letter is now-a-days, especially if you still do direct mail (and every business still does)!!
I did get an inside scoop from my post office guy that I definitely wanna share: it's all about the "FOREVER" stamps!! Buy the ones with the little bells on it with no actual cent amount printed on it. You buy those and they will last, well, forever! No matter how much you bought them for at the time vs. when you actually use them, they will work without having to add any additional postage.You would think that everyone would only be buying these Forever stamps all the time, right? Why even bother printing any other kind!?
Anyway, there you have it! So if you know a bride or a party host that will be sending invitations after May 2009, you've been warned but can save them with this loophole!
Now go enjoy all the $.02 you save per invitation and buy yourself something nice!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Attending my first ISES LA Event

I went to my first ISES event with another event planner Marianne on Wednesday at the beautiful and impressive Bel Air Bay Club in the Pacific Palisades. It could only be rented by members only but have recently opened it up to the public, so definitely check the wonderful beach views and historic building if you get a chance.
The patio area was very nice and members and non-members mingled and had appetizers (which were DELICIOUS!). As a first-timer, I had to wear a "First-Timer" ribbon on my nametag so I was a little nervous about eventually hearing the ISES pitch over and over again, but to my surprise, no one mentioned anything! Everyone was very friendly and welcoming as they introduced themselves and chatted about what they do in the industry, what I do, and exchanging information.
There were tabletop displays and a cake donated by Cake Divas which was also beautiful AND delicious; I especially loved the white chocolate pieces that covered the entire cake.The meeting itself was also very casual. They had a few announcements regarding upcoming meetings and events and then immediately started on a "Speed Networking" game. It was a great way to meet almost every single person there! There is a ridiculous number of people who find crazy niches in the industry. I definitely tip my hat to those who are innovative and creative in what they sell/rent/design.
The evening ended with dessert, coffee, and music from DJ Nahchey. It was probably one of the most efficient 3 hour events I have ever been to! I look forward to attending more events and seeing what ISES is all about!

Friday, February 13, 2009

4 Last Minute Valentine's Ideas!

Okay people, if you're scrambling for some last minute ideas, here are some easy ones that still show a lot of love:

1. Homemade Cards.
I think everyone loves them! Even if it's out of construction paper, or you draw a picture or glue a photo of you and your Valentine on the front, it shows that you took that extra time to be creative and personal. I personally LOVE those big gigantic cards, so I got one this year and made it fun by editing the poem inside the card to fit my Valentine better.

2. Fortune Cookies.
How cool is it to personalize fortune cookie messages to give to your Valentine? Buy fortune cookies at any specialty supermarket (always buy more than you need, some will break!). Make sure you've already typed and printed up your "fortunes" on little slips of paper (they could be quotes, poems, just cute sexy messages, etc.).
Put one fortune cookie in the microwave for 20 seconds. As soon as it's done, it will be really soft but really hot! Carefully open it up, removing the old fortune and replacing it with one of yours. Then carefully close it up and fold it back to its original shape and let it cool.

3. Cook Dinner.
This one is easy! How many of you forgot to make reservations until the last minute and are now eating dinner at either 4pm or 10pm? And restaurants love to make a killing on how money extra money you'll have to spend on a Valentine's Day dinner. I suggest making them a special dinner at home. Light the candles, use the fancy china, have some wine and dessert ready, and enjoy a special evening of wonderful food without spending half as much.

4. Go Somewhere Random!
Everyone thinks they have to be romantic for Valentine's day, but really, it's just a day where each couple should get to do things together, romantic or not. Spice it up by going somewhere random and fun! Have you been to a museum lately? Go Kart racing? Mini golfing? As long as it's something special (you've never been or haven't done it in a long time) and you have fun, it can still make for a memorable and special Valentine's day. I love checking out www.seemyla.com for all their upcoming events and free stuff to do all around LA, and I would definitely recommend www.goldstarevents.com for discounted tickets from comedy shows to plays and spa treatments.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

9 Wedding Trends for 2009

There's a great article on theknot.com about the 9 New Wedding Trends for 2009. Even if you're a bride who doesn't care about the current trends and fashions, it's just nice to know what's out there for ideas and inspirations.

1. Outdoor weddings: Rustic, homey, intimate. Everything is becoming very laid back and fun now.
2. Jewel Tones: Bright colors, Jewel tones, more natural colors instead of dark browns, and black is back!3. Pattern prints: fun fun patterns really make everything pop! It adds to the colorful colors.
4. Ball gowns: big is back, and it's all about the fabric this time.
5. 2-tiered wedding cakes: cupcakes are on their way out and now it's all about the cakes, but not too big. Use the 2-tiered cakes as the centerpiece mixed with dessert/snakes like cookies, pies, etc. around it. At one of the TSE parties, they had a station making little mini donuts that were so cute!! And man, the smell wafted throughout the party the whole night!6. New centerpiece vessel: It's all about the big or interesting floral vases. Ceramics are also in.
7. Chandeliers and creative lighting: as centerpieces and to really help set the mood using lighting.
8. The updated photo booth: The updated photo booths are bigger and better, with fabric in the background, furniture and props, and enough space for large groups. Two companies that I really like are Catch the Moment, who use various backgrounds to play with, and LA Photo Party, who use just a white background but have tons of props to play with and dress in.
9. US Honeymoons: No more need to travel out of the country for a great honeymoon. People are looking to spend their money within the US and travel to wineries, hot hotels, and cozy lodges as their intimate getaway.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

TSE Wedding and Party Trends!

After a fabulous girls movie night out last Friday (I lovedlovedloved "He's Just Not That Into You"!!!), a couple of my friends stayed afterward so I could show them some of the new trends and ideas I picked up from TSE. They were really impressed with all the new info, so I thought I'd share them here with you!

Tips and Ideas from TSE:

Make it Personal: Couples are getting married later in their lives, so they tend to share costs more and make their weddings more personalized. I found great vendors at TSE who can personalize small things at any party: One is Photofetti, where they print your photos on confetti, and the other is PicPlates, a company that will print your photo or logo on a plate that makes great party favors, gifts, or even table numbers!
How cute are these bride and groom personalized chairs?
Save on the Flowers: Flower designs now are all about big, but not in the amount of flowers. Think vertical, horizontal, or diagonal in design, super creative, and big flowers, leaves, or vases. Clear vases, pottery and natural ceramics are in. Everyone is using water pearls or water cubes, which soak up water and can last for hours at a time, and are completely reusable! A great vendor of both vases and water pearls is Accent Decor, though you will have to purchase them (no rentals).
It's all about the vase in this picture, with minimal flowers.
Here are some of the water cubes up close. You can use waterproof LED lights in the flowers to create a nice glow.
Linens: I learned so much about linens, it's fascinating!!! You can easily dress up any room with the kinds of linens that you use, so you can go smaller on the centerpieces if your linens are really going to stand out. In the end though, if you can't afford fine linens for everything, go for the "money shots." That means that although guests will be sitting at their tables eating, hardly any pictures are taken of these tables. You want to make sure your nice linens are in the pictures that count, like the cake table, the sweetheart table, the bridal party table, even the place card table and gift table. Easy ways to make linens stand out: Start with a base cloth and layer with another accent color. Don't forget to accessorize!
Green Weddings: As people are becoming more eco-friendly, couples are trying to be more green. Whether trying to stay away from using too much paper or using real flowers or trees as centerpieces and decor, being conscious of reusing, recycling, and trying not to waste is the key.
The food display was very "natural." Everything here is organic from Specialty Produce.
Simple decor was used here with real fruit in tall clear vases filled with water.
Fancify the Food: People mostly come for the food, right? So why not dress it up? It's all about being creative, from hot ladies standing by the food to entertainers passing appetizers around the party on a movable table.

This woman was painted in brown to match the chocolate station.
The table surrounding her has appetizers that she offers to guests as she wanders around the party.