To smash or not to smash...

That there, folks is the question!! There she was... a crying bride, blowing her nose as icing came out. True story. I can't imagine having the person that I vowed to spend the rest of my life with shoving icing down my nostrils. This, folks, is NOT charming... it's not cute... and more importantly... it's not respectable. I can see a little icing on the tip of his/her nose. I can see a cutesy finger of icing across his/her lips. I get it. What I don't get is the vicious smashing. I had a caterer once tell me that at his restaurant he charged extra for vicious cake smashings. I can see why. Cake icing eats the varnish off the hardwood floors. So if "to smash" is your answer please be respectful. There is a room full of paparazzi and they are documenting your time at your reception. The one thing you don't want people to remember about your wedding is; "did you see how violent they got with the cake cutting?" And believe it, your brand new spouse doesn't want to be the one at the receiving end. NO ONE wants to see it.


photo credit: Scobey Photo

And where are they now?

I recently found a manilla envelope in a desk drawer. When I opened it I realized that the contents came from a wedding show. The show was 8 years ago. 8 SHORT years ago. There was a stack of 53 vendors that I met that day. More than three quarters of those vendors are no longer in business today.I know I sound like a broken record but seriously... be sure that you're checking out your vendors and that they have deep roots. If more than one professional says "Hmm... I never heard of that photographer" do take heed. You may be headed toward a very upsetting and frustrating relationship with said photographer. Cheaper is not always better... and never forget you get what you pay for.

Self catered weddings

unhappy-bride.jpg Well, in actuality they're not "self catered" ... you know them..... they're the weddings where the bride and groom belong to a church and all of a sudden everyone wants to show the love. EVERYONE will be cooking something for your wedding because they're sooooo happy for you and the boo!! Ok... here's the thing... I totally get the excitement. I do. But when you have 10-12 church ladies cooking "something" for 100 people you're going to end up with enough food for 700 people! Add to that the fact that there's no real menu. Now you have enough food for 700 that looks like a church picnic. Trust me on this one. You won't be happy and neither will your hungry guests. But the most unhappy soul? That would be the "caterer" - that's the lady who caters at your church and is usually in charge of the kitchen at church functions. She's going to be frustrated and drained trying to "cater" your wedding. People will be asking her for things that she knows nothing about. (I have to add that the venue owner will be pulling out the little hair that she has left on her head, too.) There's a simple fix to this. Organization! Plan a menu, delegate said menu, delegate the dishes, trays and platters. You'll be happier. How can you be happiest you ask? I'm so happy that you did! This is so VERY EASY... hire a professional. Someone who does this week in and week out. Someone who is trained to address the worst of catastrophes. Pay them the dues that they sooo deserve. It's a tough, tough job and our caterers do it very well. They truly are worth their weight in hot potatoes!!


*photos courtesy of

Warm fuzzies...

I just LOVE getting notes like this.... Daisy

I just wanted to tell you how wonderful it was to have our daughter's reception at Perfect Settings. I would recommend PS to anyone - and I know it has such a classy elegant feel to it but really, it's you who made all the difference. You helped us (Erica) keep things organized, reminded us of things we never thought of, and went out of your way to make this a perfect day for Zach and Erica. Whenever something needed done, it just seems you "appeared" :). You really are very good at what you do.

I'm so glad I took the time to come and look at your building. It really was just "perfect" for what we needed.

It really is your professionalism that stands out and we got many compliments.

Take care, DH

*sigh* Carry on...

Fingerprint rings

I'm a sucker for sentimental things. I totally think that these rings are one of those things that you'll look back in years to come and say; "Boy, that was a great investment. I'm glad we did this." Not only is this sentimental it's also very ingenious! These rings can be used as wedding bands, anniversary rings, mother's rings and the list can go on and on... I'm hoping that my DH takes a great hint here for our 26th anniversary!

Fingerprint ring

Whose wedding is it anyway?

We all know who they are... "those people" who try to take over your limelight. Wedding pros call them wedding hijackers - and trust... they're just as annoying to us! Here's some really great advice that can help your anxiety level. Written by The Knot.

1. The Testy Bridesmaid The Problem: "I love my maid of honor, but getting her in a dress that wasn't black or covered every inch of her was a task. If we found a color or a print, she would tell me that she didn't want to take attention away from the bride." Our Advice: If one of your bridesmaids is a little nervous about showing some skin or wearing a bold color, it's better to find her an alternate option than to force her into something she's not comfortable with. For a modest maid of honor, make a strapless dress more conservative by incorporating a wrap, a fun cardigan, or a vintage bolero jacket in a complementing shade. Or play up your color palette in a subtler way with jewelry or hair fascinators. And look at the bright side -- compromising now will give you a little leverage when you serve as a maid in her wedding.

2. The Wedding Know-It-All The Problem: "My future sister-in-law is telling me I shouldn't wear a white dress because it would be too harsh with my skin tone, wants to register for gifts with me (as well as tell me what to register for), and is suggesting where we honeymoon!" Our Advice: When wedding suggestions cross the line from helpful to aggravating, it's time to redirect that input so that you don't end up arguing over something that might not seem so significant a few years down the line. Assign specific tasks to keep her busy but still involved, like helping you confirm orders with vendors or assembling favors.

3. The Doesn't-Know-Her-Place Wedding Guest The Problem: "One of our guests keeps insisting that we invite everyone on her 'party guest list' to our destination wedding -- I even found an open invite on her MySpace page!" Our Advice: Some wedding guests take it upon themselves to suggest a few invitees. And then some guests invite everyone on the Internet. Unless you want Tom from MySpace raising a glass to toast your union, make sure it's clear that there's only one guest list for your wedding. Luckily, rationalizing a small guest list is a lot easier when you have a destination wedding -- just explain that you're having an intimate wedding with close friends and family only (she should feel honored that she's one of them!).

4. The Over-Eager Wedding Guest The Problem: "A woman my mother works with wants to do my ceremony music, and a customer of my mother's always volunteers to help and acts like she is family. I hardly know her!" Our Advice: You know that expression about too many cooks in the kitchen? Meet its wedding equivalent. Having a lot of people offer to help you plan sounds like a blessing, but when assistance comes from left field, it can feel like more of a hindrance. If you feel like someone's eagerness is a bit more than you need, let her know how grateful you are for the offer, but that you're in great shape, planning-wise, and that if anything comes up that she could help with, you'll be sure to call.

5. The Children-Or-Bust Wedding Guest The Problem: "My husband-to-be has a niece and nephew (both under five), and his sister, her husband, and his parents said they would refuse to come if the children aren't allowed." Our Advice: A lot of couples choose not to invite kids to their wedding, but if you risk a boycott by some VIPs, find a way soothe the situation. Offer to hire a babysitter and set up a private area with games, coloring books, and a few comfy pillows for little ones to crash on if the reception runs past their bedtimes. Your relatives might even offer to chip in once they see how accommodating you're being, but if they don't, the extra expense will be worth bypassing the drama of a fight with your new family.

Knottie bride

Blog tag

Kim from Parisian Party tagged me for a blog post hoping to get me out of a blogging rut. When you've been blogging for 6+ years it feels like everything event related has been covered. It used to help me not to read my fellow coordinator's blogs but even that hasn't motivated me. I see their posts and think "yeah, I've covered that." Sooooo, here's a big shout out to Kim for calling me out on blast that I haven't blogged in 3 months... Thanks my friend. :)Rules:

1. You must post these rules. 2. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog. 3. Answer the questions the “tagger” listed for you in her post, and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer. 4. You must choose 11 people to tag and link to them in the post. 5. Go to each blogger’s page and mention that you have tagged them.

Kim asked me these questions: 1) The best gift you’ve ever received? When I was 13 my older sister gifted me a bright yellow hob-nob lamp that I simply adored. Somehow, unfortunately, it got lost in one of my moves.

2) Something that everyone seems to love, but you don’t (i.e; a film, book, actor/actress, food or beverage, etc.) Ice cream. I hate to even say it having been married to a dairy guy for a quarter of a century.

3) Number one on your bucket list? See Europe.

4) Name your Junior High School crush? Let bygones be bygones...

5) Why did you start blogging? It was a way for me to connect with my clients before we even met. Is blogging a thing of the past? - I've been wondering that for quite some time now.

6) Cupcakes or Macarons? Definitely, cupcakes!

7) Your daily source of inspiration? Pinterest. I'm sorry to say since it's saturated right now.

8 ) What’s your family nickname (what do your parents/siblings/relatives call you)? Dase.

9) Paris, Vegas or Paris, France? Are you kidding me? Definitely Paris, France!!

10) Who’s the most famous person that you follow on Twitter? Good ol' Martha!

11) What do you hope to be doing (professionally or personally) this time next year? Not being laid up because I fell 8 1/2 feet and hurt both of my legs. That's personally. Professionally I'd like to be a name well sought out after.

Dear Kim, I hope you're happy. Dase

Here are my questions:

1) Vanilla or Chocolate?

2) Better to give or to receive?

3) Truth: Have you ever danced at an event that you were working?

4) Where is your #1 vacation spot?

5) Outdoors or indoors kind of gal?

6) Movie at home or in the theater?

7) It's Friday night... what are your ideal plans?

8) When I die I want to be remembered as _______________?

9) If you could cure one social injustice what would it be?

10) What's your favorite part of owning your own business? Your least favorite?

11) The first thing you'd do when you find out that you're holding the winning lotto ticket? ("call Daisy" should be right after that!)

Ok... I'm tagging:

Leslie Weeks of Leslie-Manning Events

Isis Petrie Williams of Posh Events

Jeannie Ward of Wedding Jeannie

Randi Hayes Martin of Always Fabulous Events

Linnyette Richardson-Hall of Premiere Events

Elizabeth Bailey of Elizabeth Bailey Weddings

And not least of all

Mark Kingsdorf of Queen of Hearts Weddings

Christmas List

My list never changes from year to year... here it is:No more lives torn apart, and wars would never start, and time would heal all hearts. Ev'ry one would have a friend, that right would always win, and love would never end: This is my grown-up Christmas list. Amy Grant

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Here, drink this... it's from the fountain of couth.

We've been super busy with weddings and have only have had 2 weekends off this whole wedding year. We're in the middle of the second wedding season and it's been a whirlwind. But in the middle of all of this busyness I MUST take a moment to share this in hopes that you don't fall prey to the humiliation of this...Several weeks ago there was a wedding here. The Bride and Groom decided on a sweetheart table. Would you believe a couple came in and planted themselves there right before the introductions? What the Bride and Groom had decided was to go straight to the table and get ready for the toast. So instead they walked past the table and came to the bar. It was pretty awkward for everyone. I thought about telling the guests to move but the bride thought the guests would be mortified (as they should have been!) so they sat there all night. The champagne toasting flutes were on the table and it was pretty obvious to everyone else that they were at the wrong table but them. When they were leaving the guest came over with her husband and said; "Daisy, what a lovely space you have... and that tiny little table was so quaint, we loved it." So my peeps, if the room is set up with large tables of 8 or 10 and there's one little table set up for 2, please know that this table was NOT set up for you. It was a detail that was important to the bride and groom and they're hoping they can get a minute during dinner to actually enjoy each others company. Sweetheart Table

Make up tips for the summertime

Bronzer "Basic Summer Makeup Tips for Every Woman"

By Nicole Lundy

Summer is probably the most fun and enjoyable season for a lot of people because this is the time when they can do a lot of outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, picnicking, sailing, and so on. You do not want to be cooped up inside your house when the sun outside is shining brightly and the temperature is too hot. And since you are always outside your home, you should always try to look beautiful by wearing summer makeup.

The kind of makeup that you wear in summer is a lot different than the makeup you wear in other seasons like winter, spring, or fall. This is because in summer, you have to consider the hot temperature and the dryness or humidity, depending on where you live. However, it is important to always look your best especially in summer season because this is the time when you are invited to a lot of parties and activities.

It is important to apply primer before you wear makeup and after using moisturizer on your face. Wearing primer holds your makeup in place even after wearing it for several hours. People who are active in the summer like volunteers or camp counselors are advised to wear primer to keep their makeup intact all throughout the day.

When summer comes, you have to switch to light makeup. You do not want to wear tons of gunk on your face that will make you look like a clown and will be too hot and heavy for the weather. Keep it light, just like what you do with your clothes. Moreover, keeping it light will prevent your makeup from becoming cakey because of the heat and humidity.

Applying bronzer is also the way to go when summer comes. You do not want to look pale and sickly while everyone else look tanned and healthy. Make sure that you add color to your face. It does not only make you look more attractive and healthy. It also gives you that fun and sexy look, which is popular in summertime.

DIY Invites

Invitephoto courtesy of DIY Wedding Blog

Recently I asked fans of my Facebook and Twitter page what they preferred; DIY or store-bought invites. There was a resounding response to DIY. There is so much you can do with a do-it-yourself invite that can express who you are and what your event is going to entail. That's what I loved about this DIY Wedding Blog. It not only gives you step by step instructions, there are awesome pictures that follow. Check it out for yourself... then call me and tell me how wonderful your invites are!

Web Server

Hello all,Over the last week I've been trying to transition to a new IP server. Can I tell you how painful this has been? The transition didn't go as planned. After having lost, gained, lost again and regained my web service (and telephone service!!), I'm back. Unfortunately, I think I may have lost - forever - any emails within the last week. They've been floating in the abyss while I was told that I could reach out and pull them in... it didn't happen. Soooooo, my apologies. Even after taking all the safety precautions as a business owner things still went painfully wrong. Please resend any emails, inquiries, questions and ideas to

Finding a venue with catering in mind

5 points to keep in mind when catering is that deciding factor.lemon-butter.JPG

1) Research Your Venue’s Preferred Vendor List: There’s a reason caterers make a preferred vendor list but that doesn’t mean all the homework is done for you. Take the time to research each company, talk with their catering department and brides that have used their services. Get a feel for who fits your style, personality and budget best. Make sure you check that their company is licensed and insured. This means they will have a business license, be licensed with the health department, have a health department approved production facility and be insured against any unforeseen damages that might occur during an event or production.

2) Space: When checking out possible venues remember that you’ll need space for both your guests and for your caterer to work. You don’t want to try and squeeze 300 people into a venue made for a max capacity of 150 and you also don’t want your caterer to be serving food from a broom closet. That being said, most caterers will not need an on-site kitchen to work in; however they will need adequate room to move around in, plate food, set up/break down etc and good lighting.

3) Service Style: You’ll also want to tie in the venue with the style of food service you desire and the formality of the event itself. Will your venue be large enough for a plated dinner or will passed hors d’oeuvres work best? This definitely ties back in with the space issue. If you’re having a lot of guests in a smaller venue, a reception where they can mingle and move around would work better for both the guests and the service staff than one in which they are seated for the majority of the time. Different food items will also change the look and feel of a venue (think passed sliders vs. plated salmon). If you keep this in mind when checking out venues, putting a menu together for your reception will be super simple!

4) Site Visit: Make sure your caterer will do a site visit to your venue before the event or has previously catered events there and knows the layout of the venue. A good caterer or one who is part of a preferred vendor list will already have done this, but it doesn’t hurt to double check!

5) Bar: Ask your venue manager whether or not they will allow you to bring in your own alcohol or if you have to use their in-house services. If you can bring in your own beverages, talk with your caterer about organizing the bar setup for you. An experienced caterer will help you coordinate everything from providing certified bartenders to bringing mixers, ice and glassware.

By Ashley's Bride Guide

Wedding Myths

This post was right on. I kept cheering while reading. I hope you find some value in this too. Take a few minutes to see the pearls of wisdom in this by Lauren Grove of Every Last Detail. After writing last week’s Thursday Tips post about why weddings cost “so much“, it brought something to my attention- that there are a few myths that continue to be perpetuated about wedding costs. When I say “wedding costs”, in a nutshell I mean budget and/or pricing. And now I would like to attempt to dispel these myths. Why? It’s what I do. ;) And I want you all to know the truth- because I didn’t know when I was planning my wedding!

So what exactly ARE these myths that have to do with budget/pricing?

Wedding cost myth #1: You should barter and/or ask wedding vendors for discounts.

I’ve SEEN this said on blogs and forums before. The only way that a barter miiiiight work is if you own a company that the vendor could SERIOUSLY benefit from. (Like if you’re a floral wholesaler and you barter with a florist, or if you own a camera company and you barter with your photographer.) My question for you is this: do you straight-up ask your server at a restaurant or your doctor for a discount? Or tell them you’ll give them (insert-your-product/job/hobby/whatever-here) in exchange for food or a blood test?

[Personal wedding experience side note: The funny thing about this is that in looking back on planning my own wedding, I seriously asked my dad (who is a dentist) if he would barter veneers with my event decor company. The event decor company of course said no, because nice teeth don't translate into anything beneficial for flowers or rentals. OMG, so embarrassed. I totally forgot about this!]

Wedding cost myth #2: Things are marked up just because they have the word “wedding” in them.

Ah, I was a believer in this one. Wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, wedding cake, etc etc etc. And I also have seen this one- plus a viral video or two- perpetuated among brides. The truth is, it is what it is- and it’s also what you’re asking for. A venue is perhaps cheaper to rent for a meeting because that meeting is occurring on a Wednesday, not on a Friday or Saturday. And that said meeting isn’t consuming as much food and beverages as a wedding does. Or a wedding cake- it might not be the same price as the cake on the shelf at a bakery, but that’s because that cake is literally just cake and icing and a single sheet. Chances are that wedding cake you’re wanting is probably a few tiers, has all sorts of designs, and requires hours of work. I could go on and on with this one… perhaps I need to just do a whole separate post just for this myth?

Wedding cost myth #3: It’s cheaper if you do it all yourself.

Okay, SOME things are cheaper- but keep in mind that you’re also paying someone to do it FOR you, thus paying them for your time. That’s why it’s cheaper to do it yourself. Just ask yourself how much of your own time you actually want to take up doing things yourself to save a few bucks. (Note: I’m not hating on DIY, just stating something.)

[Personal wedding experience side note: I wanted to make my own menus. Because I was clueless and ordered run-of-the-mill invitations from a big giant book and didn't have someone custom design paper products for me. And I did make my own menus- until about 3 am the night before my wedding. When I had to wake up at 7 am to start getting ready. Missing out on those hours of sleep during my 18 hour wedding day? Um totally would have PAID someone to do them.]

And here are a few more myths that fellow wedding professionals shared with me via my lovely friend Twitter… (names have been withheld juuuuust in case…)

“That you can save a ton of money by having Uncle Charlie photograph the wedding with his new Canon 7D!”

“Spectacular weddings for 150 or more being $5000. Total.”

“You need to spend tons of money on the venue! If you are creative & stick to your wedding style you can have a gorgeous wedding in a reasonably priced venue!”

“(MYTH) Catering over $50/person is a rip off – I can go to Outback for $50/person!”

“You can get a good wedding videographer for $500″

“That invitations should be $1 (myth) yet you pay $4 for a crap card from Hallmark.”

“Rent a linen for $50? I can buy one for that!”

“That beautiful flowers for ceremony and reception are only $1500 ….”

These are all myths, being spread wrongly by inexperienced people. Don’t believe them! They could be true in some cases, but that chance is very slim. Slim meaning that if we’re talking percentage, it’s a single digit. And I will have you know that I myself thought of and/or said every SINGLE one of these things when I was planning my wedding. Now you know, and it’ll save you a lot of heartache, pain, blood, sweat, tears, hemming, hawing, etc etc! If you have any other things that you’ve heard that you might think are myths, put it in the comments! I’ll let you know! :)

Green Wedding

Just in time for St. Patty's day. My friend and colleague from across the wide pond, Kim Petyt, is the contributing writer in this month's eco-beautiful weddings magazine. Kim owns and operates Parisian Events in Paris - I'm so jealous. She contributed ideas for a "Green" wedding.... which is another kind of green but green in any event. Here's where you can find the article in the oh-so-beautiful magazine. Eco-Beautifulweddings. You can find her info on page 22.Magazine

Great advice

Here's some great advice by Suzanne RoseHow to find an inexpensive but good reception hall for your wedding

Even if you do not have a big budget, you still deserve a great reception hall for your wedding. The following are some strategies to find the perfect setting to your fairy tale.

Ask for recommendations

One of the best ways to find an inexpensive but good reception hall is to get a recommendation. If you know someone who has been married in recent years, then you can ask them about the details about their hall. Also, if you have attended any weddings at a reception hall, then you can find out how much they charge.

Compile a list of other possible locations

You will want to come up with a list of possible reception halls for your wedding. There are many places where you can find potential halls. A lot of times they have local wedding guides, where people advertise their reception halls. You can look at an online source such as You can look at the phone book. There are many places that offer space for a wedding such as hotels.

In addition to the typical places, think of other places that might be a good place for a wedding but less money. For instance, a lot of parks have reception halls that you can rent. These are beautiful and surrounded by nature, and are often much cheaper than their counterparts at swanky hotels. Also, there are often government places that might be much cheaper. For instance, the city might have a room that you can rent. You can look at community centers as well.

Visit the locations that meet your budget

The best way to ascertain the quality of a reception hall is to actually visit the reception hall. You should go and get a feel for what the room is actually like in person. You might be able to take a peek in when an event is actually going on or see one that is at least decorated for an event. You will also want to go in armed with a list of questions. Find out details such as what is allowed and what is not allowed such as candles, decorations, etc.

A reception hall can play a big part in your entire wedding. With enough time and effort, you should find one to give you the wedding of your dreams, even if on a budget. Consider the above tips to help you achieve this.

I just love how realistic this advice is. Happy searching and remember; most venues are booked 12-18 months in advance. Make sure you reserve your date early!

Oooo la-la!


DÉCOR: Never before published Fall/Winter ceremony sites, tabletops, lounges and after-parties. We still want to see your incredible, over-the-top designs, but we are also interested in more modern and simplistic designs. *submissions should be emailed to or mailed to either address below on a labeled CD/DVD.

CAKES: Never before published Fall/Winter wedding cakes, groom’s cakes, macaroon towers, chrochenbouche and miniature cakes. We are still looking for classic, romantic cream and white cakes, but we are also interested in ethnic-inspired designs. *submissions should be emailed to or mailed to either address below on a labeled CD/DVD.

WEDDINGS: Never before published, $100,000+ weddings that have taken placed from March 1, 2010 to the present. *emailed submissions will not be accepted. Please mail a CD/DVD with 50-100 images along with a brief blurb on the couple, how they met, vendors, etc. or they can be sent through Two Bright Lights.

DEADLINE: All submissions are due by Monday, March 14th, 2011.

NOTE: All images must be able to be printed at 9.5x12 inches at 300 dpi if chosen and you must be able to provide vendor and photography credits, as well as a brief description upon request. Due to the volume of submissions, only those chosen for inclusion will be notified. Anything submitted must be with the permission of the couple, vendor, etc. Furthermore, any image used is on the premise of credit and no usage fee will be given; likewise, no fee is required to be considered for editorial inclusion.