Timing is Everything!

Weddings are supposed to be the best day of your life, but all to often I see tear-filled Brides stressed out for the last months leading up to their  Big Day. When a bride books their event at Le Jardin, we give them, among other helpful things, a checklist that maps out a stress-free event in 12 months. Here is a rough sketch of the wedding planning timeline that I like to call The Sanity Saver!

The 12-Month Countdown

6-12 Months Before Your Wedding…

• Decide who will pay for what, where you’ll get married and how expenses will be shared

• Talk to friends, family, bridal consultants or wedding coordinators to get the direction you need for starting an organization system

The Details

• Call your church or synagogue for an appointment with the Officiate. If you are in the Houston Area and not getting married in a church, I recommend Rev. Wayne Law as an officiant of your ceremony.
• Explore pre-marriage counseling
• Decide on what size wedding you want
• Consider and decide on wedding attendants
• Start a guest list for the wedding
• Begin determining ideas/themes/color schemes for your wedding and reception
• Select a reception location and a caterer if need be
• Consider reception entertainment
• Select a florist
• Together, shop for wedding rings
• Select a wedding dress, headpiece and schedule fittings
• Decide on the bridesmaids’ dresses

4 – 6 Months Prior To Wedding Date…

• Check details and requirements for marriage license
• Coordinate theme and color schemes with florist and decorator
• Decide on a gift registry and register your gift selections
• Order your invitations and other wedding stationery
• Shop for the groom’s attire and select what the men in the wedding will wear
• Select wedding ceremony readings
• Select wedding ceremony music. A great DJ in the Houston area is Lorenzo Cordero. Of all the DJs that have come through Le Jardin’s doors, he is my favorite!
• Decide and order wedding favors
• Select a bakery for the cake
• Arrange and plan honeymoon
• Review your agreements with all your vendors and service providers to insure you haven’t forgotten any details

2-Months… and Counting

• Mail out invitations
• Arrange and plan your rehearsal dinner
• Select and purchase your wedding day accessories
• Arrange attendant’s parties
• Coordinate and prepare accommodations for out-of-town guests
• Select a hairdresser and makeup artist and schedule those appointments
• Finalize those honeymoon plans

1-Month To Go!

• Last wedding dress fitting
• Final fitting for bridesmaids’ dresses
• Final fitting for men attendants
• Get marriage license
• Have your wedding attendant’s parties
• Shop and purchase your outfit to wear when you leave the reception
• Organize the final check list of wedding day events
• Confirm all the wedding day “accessories” are in order, i.e. rings, pillows, garter, etc.

2-Weeks Remaining!

• Finalize entertainment arrangements
• Go over and finalize music lists                                                                                                                                                              • Organize RSVPs and finalize guest count                                                                                                                                                            • Go over and finalize the special music events, i.e. first dance, dance with parents, etc.
• Pick up wedding rings, make sure they fit and review any engravings

1-Week Before Your Big Day!

• Review your marriage license to make sure it’s in order
• Prepare seating arrangements for ceremony
• Prepare payment envelopes for Officiate, entertainment and vendors and give to the person who will handle that
• Confirm honeymoon reservations
• Make necessary honeymoon preparations, i.e. bank, traveler’s checks, etc.
• Prepare and pack for honeymoon
• Confirm out-of-town guest accommodations and transportation
• Check in with the florist to confirm arrival time set up
• Have your wedding ceremony rehearsal letting everyone know what they will do on the wedding day
• Have and ENJOY your rehearsal dinner!

Your Wedding Day!

• Allow plenty of time for your scheduled hair and makeup appointments
• Allow at least 2 hours for dressing
• Bring the rings and marriage license
• And MOST IMPORTANTLY, take a long deep breath and relax and enjoy your day!

Hope this makes your wedding planning a little less stressful and more enjoyable. From all of us at Le Jardin Events, Happy Wedding Planning!

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Company Holiday Parties!

The Holiday season will be here before you know it, which means its time to start putting the finishing details on your company’s holiday party. This past week a Houston-based company came in to get some vendors’ contact information for their holiday party. With this in mind, here is a list of ideas to make your company’s holiday party an event that nobody will soon forget.

Caricature Artist-

Le Jardin has hosted several events that have caricature artists and they are a blast! Your guests will love having a souvienor to take home. I suggest putting your company logo on the corner of the paper so everyone will remember where their fun caricature came from. I’ve seen many caricature artists come through Le Jardin’s doors, but my favorite is Caricatures by Jody. She is very talented and loves what she does. Contact her today for your Holiday Party!

 

Magician/Comedian-

Everyone loves magic and bring a magician to your holiday party is a great idea! If some people aren’t sure if they want to come, a magician will make them excited to attend the party. I would recommend Amazing Adam; he has experience performing in front of A-list celebrities. Also, he is a stand-up comedian which means you can get twice the entertainment for the cost of one person.

 

Life-Size Stand-Up of the Boss-

Your employees will love having a life-size stand-up of the “big wig” of the company! It provides a great photo-op and will allow everybody to have fun at the boss’s expenses. Whether its a manager or CEO, this prop works for companies of all sizes. You won’t believe some of the photos that in the office the next workday!

 

Horse & Carriage-

Couples, friends, families and children will love taking a ride in a horse-drawn carraige. This is another great photo-op and entertainment for people of all ages. Le Jardin has hosted over 500 events and A to Z Events has always provided the prettiest horses and the most spectacular carriages. Another suggestion is to set up a scene with christmas lights, a christmas tree and other Holiday props to be used with the horse & carriage while taking pictures. Have your photographer designate 2 hours for these pictures.

 

Souvenior Ornmanets-

Of all the holiday favors I’ve seen at Le Jardin, my favorite are corporate ornaments. Holiday ornaments are great favors that are theme-appropriate and a gift that all employees will keep for a long time. Every holiday season, they will pull the ornnaments out of storage and reminense about the holiday party. If you make this a tradition, your employees will have a nice collection of corporate holiday ornaments. Just be sure to label the ornaments with the appropriate year!

Hope these ideas help you and your holiday party planning! If you haven’t found a venue to host your party, check us out at www.lejardinevents.com. We still have dates available.

 

Happy Party Planning!

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Emergency Bridal Kit- A Must-Have!

 

Yesterday was a rare occasion and one that won’t happen again in our lifetime. October 10, 2010, or 10/10/10, proved to be a popular day for weddings. More than 30,000 wedding were planned for yesterday according to Brides Magazine and online registries. I know Le Jardin booked 10/10/10 over a year ago and a bride came in a booked 111/11/11 over a year and a half in advance.

I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but I can’t help but imagine all the little, yet preventable, things that went wrong yesterday.  I’ve attended and helped coordinate over 500 weddings, and about 60% of my brides didn’t get the memo about the bridal emergency checklist. With a little help from The Knot, here is a list of things that the maid of honor should ensure that there are no stressful situations that arise on the big day!

Essentials

  • Aspirin (or pain reliever of choice)
  • Band-Aids
  • Bottle of water (a must for an outdoor wedding in Houston)
  • Chalk (to cover up any last minute smudges or smears on your wedding dress)
  • Clear nail polish (for stocking runs)
  • Corsage pins
  • Dental floss/toothpicks
  • Eye drops
  • Extra earring backs
  • Extra panty hose
  • Hair pins/ponytail holder
  • Hair Spray (for the awful Houston humidity)
  • Hand towelettes
  • Hem tape
  • Matches
  • Mini sewing kit
  • Safety pins
  • Scotch tape
  • Sedatives (don’t ask!)
  • Small folding scissors
  • Smelling salts (while we don’t expect anyone to faint, it has been known to happen)
  • Spot remover
  • Static-cling spray
  • Straws (so the bride can stay hydrated without messing up her lipstick)
  • Tide-To-Go Pen
  • Tissues
  • Tweezers

The matron or maid of honor should keep the following items on hand at all times in a small evening bag for the bride:

  • Blotting Cloths (for remove shine from faces for pictures)
  • Breath mints/spray
  • Cellular phone
  • Comb/brush
  • Cash (because you never know)
  • Hair spray
  • Linen handkerchief
  • Makeup (for touch-ups)
  • Mirror
  • Nail file
  • Perfume
  • Tampons/sanitary napkins

Optional Items

  • Granola bars or other easy-to-carry snacks (especially if the bride is diabetic)
  • Krazy Glue (for nail fixes, shoe heels, decorations, even jewels)

 

Hope this makes your special day a little less stressful!

 

For Better or For Worse, Le Jardin is Here from the Moment You Say “Yes! to the  Second Before You Say  “I Do!”

Happy Wedding Planning!

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Blog Comments

1. Son and Vienna Engaged by Polkadot Bride

http://www.polkadotbride.com/index.php/2010/10/02/son-and-vienna-engaged/comment-page-1/#comment-21557

10/3/2010-

Such a cute couple! Congratulations…

I love the idea of taking pictures with the dry-erase board! It would be a great idea to use this as a theme for the save-the-dates, RSVP cards and Thank you notes. I would have the couple pose a different way for each card and change the writing on the dry-erase board. This is also a very versatile idea. It could be used on the beach, in the snow, in the city or in a rural town.

Another element of this photo-shoot that I love is the different backgrounds. Some photos have colorful leaves, but the next picture there are no leaves.

Great job on adding variety to an engagement photo shoot!

2. Raising the Bar:: Coffee/Espresso Bar! by Adventures in Wedding Planning

http://masterpieceweddings.blogspot.com/2010/04/raising-bar-coffeespresso-bar.html

10/19/2010-

What a great idea, especially for a winter wedding!! Of all the weddings I’ve planned, not one bride has thought of a coffee bar. Many brides choose a candy bar but that becomes a huge expense. Most of my brides choose to do an ice cream sundae or float bar. It is less expensive and a crowd pleaser. I’ve also had a couple of brides do a potato bar. Basically, you have martini glasses filled with mashed potatoes and self-serve toppings such as bacon bits, cheese, sour cream, chives, butter and barbecue. This idea is a little more formal than an ice cream sundae or float bar.

Overall, I think bars a growing trend in the wedding world. I can’t wait to see what kind of bars will be thought of next.

Happy Wedding Planning!

3. Non-Floral Friday: Candy Apple Centerpieces by Budget Bride

http://budgetbride.tumblr.com/post/143523160/non-floral-friday-candy-apple-centerpieces#disqus_thread

10/25/2010-

I love the candy apple idea! The best part is that there are really formal apples or fun, informal apples.

I’ve even seen them as favors instead of centerpieces. All to often, I’ve seen favors that are knick-knacks that no guest is going to appreciate. Apples are a unique favor that every guest is sure to enjoy. You can even get custom wrappers made so that you can personalize a message to your guests or simply put you and your groom’s monogram and wedding date.

Another idea I’ve seen is a candy apple bar. Have apples with sticks set out for your guests to cover in chocolate or caramel and then have a variety of toppings that guests can use to complete their apple. If you really want to step it up a notch, provide personalized boxes with you and your groom’s monogram and wedding date for guests to put their apples in. Even though it gets messy, your guests of all ages will love this unique activity.

4. Handmade Amor: Getting Ready- The Details by Wedding Planning With Joy

http://kenandjoy.blogspot.com/2010/10/handmade-amor-getting-ready-details.html#disqus_thread

10/25/2010-

I can’t stop looking at these pictures! I can’t even imagine the number of hours you put into your wedding. If you are not already, you should definitely go into the wedding business. You have an eye for fabulous wedding details and the talent that could send any event over-the-top. I encourage you to keep blogging and perhaps tell everybody how to make some of your things like the bouquets and boutonnieres. I’ve seen many weddings over the years, but none of my brides have put in even a fraction of the work you did.

Congratulations on a beautiful wedding and I wish you the best of luck in your new marriage!

5. DIY Flower Suggestions by Miss Fancy Pants (the bride)

http://missfancypantsthebride.blogspot.com/2010/07/diy-flower-suggestions.html#comment-form

10/25/2010-

I love this post! Great idea and an easy way to save money. One of my favorite flowers that is not used a lot is fire and ice roses. If you don’t know what that is, it is a white rose that fades to red at the end of the petals. I’ve seen a few weddings with these beautiful flowers and the bride chose to have bridesmaids carry red roses and her bouquet was the fire and ice roses. It’s a great way to make the bridal bouquet stand out from the others. For those brides using red as their wedding color, be sure to check out fire and ice roses!

6. Edible Eye Candy : v25 {pinkalicious drinks} by Brenda’s Wedding Blog

http://www.brendasweddingblog.com/wedding-edibles/2010/10/15/edible-eye-candy-v25-pinkalicious-drinks.html?lastPage=true#comment10296795

10/25/2010-

I love the idea of pink drinks! I planned a sweet sixteen that was completely pink. We had pink lemonade, pink jelly beans, watermelon, pink feather boas, pink cupcakes, pink invitations, and all guests were required to wear pink.

I’ve also seen a wedding that had pink champagne. It was a fun way to add more pink to a wedding without adding much expense. It also made really terrific pictures.  I wish I knew where the bride found it because that company makes champagne in every color. It’s tiny details like this that make a wedding for event one of a kind.

7. C is for Cinderella by Wedding on a Budget

http://budgetdreamweddings.com/2021/c-is-for-cinderella/comment-page-1/#comment-3322

10/25/2010-

Love the links! I love the idea of being a princess on your wedding day and I’ve seen hundreds of weddings that have achieved this. Many brides have a horse and carriage take her and her father to the aisle and then use the carriage for her and her groom after the ceremony. It is absolutely beautiful and makes for beautiful pictures. Also, as the horse is making its way to the aisle, the DJ plays the Cinderella theme song

I’ve also seen personalized napkins with Cinderella and Prince Charming and the bride and groom’s name.

If you are really a Cinderella bride, you could use pumpkins as centerpieces. I’ve seen pumpkins painted white to add a more formal feel or carve the newlywed’s monogram into each pumpkin.

Just a few more way to feel like a princess on your special day!

8. Chime In: How Long Is/Was Your Engagement? by $2000 Wedding

http://2000dollarwedding.com/

10/25/2010-

I’ve helped plan hundred of weddings and I’ve had brides that had just gotten engaged three days before our meeting and I’ve had brides that have been engaged for over a year. From experience, I will say that the planning process is more enjoyable and less stressful if you give yourself about a year of engagement/planning. Granted, I have put a wedding together in six days, but everyone’s hair turns gray in the process. With a longer engagement, brides can search around for the exact details that will make their wedding day as special as it should be. Also, for the financial side of a wedding, brides are far-less stressed if they don’t have to pay a huge chunk of money at once. Spending money over time will allow brides and fathers of brides to actually enjoy the wedding planning process.

In summary, I understand there are circumstances where a quick engagement is necessary, but I encourage people to take their time and enjoy planning the biggest day of their lives.

Happy Wedding Planning!

9. Halloween Themed Wedding by Bridal Bar

http://bridalbar.squarespace.com/new-blog/2010/10/28/halloween-themed-wedding.html?lastPage=true#comment10346378

10/28/2010-

Wow! This post proves that a Halloween theme can still be beautiful and classy. I’m blown away by the attention to detail that was put into this wedding. Usually, when I hear a bride is having a Halloween theme, I think gothic and costume party. However, this wedding has convinced me that a wedding can still be sophisticated, yet spooky. My favorite part is the table overlays that resemble spider webs….awesome! I also love the volume of red roses. It adds a romantic touch, yet fits the theme perfectly. For any couple who wants a Halloween wedding, this is the event to look up to!

Congratulations on a beautiful day!

10. Fabulous Fall Beverages by Wedding Fanatic

http://www.weddingfanatic.com/fabulous-fall-beverages/comment-page-1/#comment-927

10/31/2010-

Great Ideas!!! The things I like most about these recipes is the low number of ingredients. Most brides don’t think about the staff members that have to follow these recipes and how much time they don’t have to refill the urn or punch bowl. At least with the events I’ve worked at Le Jardin, my staff members find it almost impossible to follow the “family” recipe that has a lot of ingredients and steps. The staff members have a lot on their list and they are happy when stuff is simple and easy to follow. Even if you purposely make it easy on the staff working at the event, you certainly did and it is very much appreciated.

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Fall Wedding Ideas

IT’S OFFICIAL…FALL HAS ARRIVED! Welcome to October, the third most popular month for weddings.

Fall weddings are a great opportunity to get creative with favors and incorporating element of the Fall season into your wedding. I’m not talking about having spider webs draping your cake or your bridesmaids wearing witch hats, I do, however, think it is a good idea to have a tasteful touch of Fall somewhere in your wedding. This creative endeavor will keep your guests talking about your wedding for months. Here are several ideas to bring the season to your special day:

 

 

~ CANDIED APPLES AS WEDDING FAVORS

Apples can be decorated in any color combination and will look great on the table. With a ribbon that matches your wedding color, these delicious favors will tie your wedding theme together.

Here is a candied apple for a formal reception done by Berry Beautiful Creations.

 

 

~Instead of Punch, Serve Cider

Cider is an inexpensive item, but a great way to incorporate the Fall season. To add a touch of your wedding colors, tie ribbon around cinnamon sticks and place them by the cider bowl. Your guests are sure to enjoy the seasonal treat.

 

 

~Monogrammed Pumpkin

These are a unique way to tie the knot between the season and your wedding. They are versatile and can be included in a pumpkin display on your sign-in table, placed on the bar or next to the cider bowl. For a fall-themed wedding, use pumpkins as centerpieces.

 

 

~Jar of Homemade Jam with Custom Label

Your guests will love a sweet treat that will last through the season. If you have a secret family recipe, this is a great way to let your closest friends experience a family tradition. Wrap the jar with a tied ribbon in your wedding color and add a personalized label. The label shown below is produced by zazzle.com

For more ideas on Fall weddings, visit my friends at The Wedding Firm.

What other ideas or tips do you have for a Fall wedding?

Happy Wedding Planning!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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