Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ceremony - Why Do A Wedding Program?

Tell your guest what to expect on your wedding day by including:
  • The ceremony site
  • The date, time, and place of the wedding
  • The names of the bride and groom
  • The names of the bridal party and officiant
  • The names of the soloists, musicians, and pieces performed
  • The parent's names
  • Tributes to deceased parents, relatives, and friends
  • The words to readings, songs, prayers, and blessings
  • Foreign language translations, if needed
  • Explanations of religious or ethnic rituals, customs, and military traditions
  • Thank-you's to parents

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Hindu and Traditional Wedding Ceremony

Since I’ll soon be coordinating Shantel and Audel's Hindu/ Traditional wedding, I thought I’d blog about what I've learned for preparation of the Ceremony.

Marriage is one of a series of holy sacraments in the Hindu faith, just as it is in the Roman Catholic Church.  It’s believed that marriage has a purifying quality.

In India, the Hindu wedding ceremony, which is conducted by a priest, can usually last all day.  Here in the U.S. , the Hindu ceremony has been shortened by ninety minutes , even though cultural traditions surrounding the wedding can last several days.  It doesn’t have to be performed in a temple and is often conducted in a bride’s home.
During the ceremony, whether of a duration of ninety minutes or an entire day, the couple is instructed in lessons for married life.  There is a frequent chanting of mantras, or prayers in Sanskrit, which ask for blessings on the union.  A traditional Hindu mantra is “I am the word and you are the melody.  I am the melody and you are the word.”

The bride usually wears a sari made of a single piece of red fabric embroidered in gold. She is also adorned with 24-karat-gold jewelry, presented to her by the groom’s family.  The groom usually wears white trousers, a tunic, and a ceremonial hat.  However, since this groom is Mexican he will wear a Mariachi outfit.
At the beginning of the service, the bride and groom are seated under a canopy, which is called mandaps where garlands of flowers are exchanged.  After emphasizing the importance of marriage, the priest ties the couple’s right hands together with cord and sprinkles holy water over them.  The bride’s father then gives his daughter to the groom.  A sacred flame is lit, and the bride and groom make an offer of rice to symbolize their hope of fertility.  Here’s the most important part of the service, “The Seven Steps”.  The marriage is not completed until this has been completed.  The Seven Steps symbolize food, strength, wealth, fortune, children, happy seasons, and friendships.  Together the bride and groom either take seven steps around the sacred flame or walk around it seven times. Once married, the bride and groom feed each other five times with little bits of sweet food, and the ceremony ends with prayers and readings.

As a wedding coordinator, this is what I have to look forward to on July 23, 2011 with Shantel and Audel’s wedding.  Can’t wait!

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

7 Tips On How To Get Guests Involved In The Ceremony

  1. If getting married in a church, reverse positions with officiant so you and your groom face guests.
  2. Move the chuppah or portable altar closer to pews to increase the feeling of community.
  3. At a small wedding, have guests stand around the altar in a semicircle.
  4. Stand outside the church to greet arriving guests
  5. Welcome guests with bagpipers, saxophonists, or classical guitarists outside the ceremony site; a flutist or harpist can play indoors.
  6. Choose a prayer for attendants or guests to say in union.
  7. Ask ushers to distribute candles to each guests as they are seated.  After lighting the Unity Candle, the bride and groom walk to the first pew on their sides of the church.  With their own candles they each light the candle of the guest in the first seat of the first pew, who lights the candle of the person next to them, till all of the candles are lit throughout the room.

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Wedding Fashion - Shoes with Bling!

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
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Reception - A Place Setting That Sparkles

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tips: Creative Ceremony Touches

A wedding ceremony doesn't have to be the same old thing that you saw and your friends wedding.  Make your ceremony personal, about you and your fiance.  You should add your own special touches and be creative. 
  • Have children pass out candles, flowers, or yarmulkes (skullcaps) for a Jewish ceremony.
  • Print greetings, poetry, and tributes in your wedding program.
  • Hang a floral wreath on the door of the house of worship, announcing "a wedding is in progress".
  • Line the windowsills with votive candles; wrap greenery or tulle around columns.
  • Walk down the aisle on a hand-painted runner decorated with flowers.
  • The bride and groom walk down the aisle escorted by both parents--a Jewish tradition.
  • As the bride is escorted to the altar, she might pause at the first pew to give her mother a flower and a kiss; as she leaves the altar with the groom, she'd do the same for her mother-in-law.
  • Sip from two goblets of wine--a Jewish tradition--to symbolize the joy and sorrow of life.
  • Have bridal assistants ring bells, release doves, or blow bubbles as you emerge from the house of worship.
  • Travel to the reception in creative transportation--a horse and buggy or an antique car.

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gown Preservation | Dry Cleaning

If you want your dress to last until your daughter grows up or to remain in perfect condition for sentimental reasons, take these protective measures:
  • Have your dress and veil cared for by a professional dry cleaner immediately after the wedding.  Point out where any sugar-based beverages spilled on the dress---it may be invisible later, but can stain later.
  • Ask the dry cleaner to test the beads and trim with solvent before cleaning.  Some dresses can't be dry-cleaned if beads are glued on; the glue may dissolve during the cleaning process, and you cold lose all of the decoration.
  • Remove protective shields and bra inserts because they can cause staining over time.
  • Have your dress hand-pressed and wrapped in an acid and linen-free tissue paper.  Store it in a box that's free of acid.  Use the acid and linen-free tissue paper to protect against creases and to puff up sleeves and bodice.  Avoid "vacuum-packed" boxes and cellophane windows what keep air from circulating and can discolor fabric.  Never wrap it in plastic.

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Wedding Cake | Tips and Traditions

Yes, there is proper etiquette on cutting the wedding cake.

  • Cut the cake just before dessert at a luncheon or dinner reception; just after guests have been greeted at a tea or cocktail reception.
  • Use a ribbon-tied silver knife--a Heritage Cake Knife set just received from your registry, with your initials newly engraved is a good choice, as is an heirloom knife, possibly one used by your parents at their wedding.
  • The groom places his right hand over the bride's, and together they cut into the bottom layer.
  • Traditionally, the bride and groom feed each other a taste of the first slice as a symbol of their willingness to share a household.  Try not to smash cake in each other's face.
  • The bride serves her new in-laws their pieces, then the groom serves his new in laws slices.
  • The rest of the cake is cut by the catering staff then served to all guests.
  • Normally the top tier of the wedding cake is saved and eaten on the couple's first anniversary.  Wrap the cake tightly so it is airtight, and freeze.  Or to make sure the wedding cake is still tasty, freeze it to share on your one-month anniversary and re-create a mini version of the original wedding cake for your first year anniversary.

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hollywood & The W Hotel Engagement Session | Shantel and Audel

I am so excited about working with Shantel and Audel on their July wedding.  The engagement photos taken by Harvard Photography absolutely tell the story of Shantel and Audel's personalities.  When I first met them, not only did I see the love between them, but the excitement and energy was overflowing.  Shantel plans to change her dress attire three times during the course of her wedding, first for their Hindu Ceremony, then for what she calls, “The White Dress Ceremony” and lastly for the Reception.  I can’t wait to share the wedding photos.  Thank you Shantel and Audel for allowing me to be  part of your wedding planning team.
Ceremony:   Pasadena City Hall
Reception:  Madame Tussauds Hollywood (first wedding ever to be done at this venue)
Proposal: Took place at the Taj Mahal in India
Style of Wedding: Contemporary, Family-oriented, Hollywood, Ethnic and Friendly
Wedding Color Scheme:  Ceremony: Blues and Teal / Reception: Silver and Black

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

The W Hollywood Hotel Engagement Session | Shantel and Audel

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bridal Bouquets | Red Roses with Rhinestones

The classic red rose wedding bouquet accented with sparkly rhinestones and a silk wrap.  The bright red against a gorgeous white gown is absolutely elegant.  Although the groom seems to be holding the bouquet more than the bride.  I guess this elegant bouquet can be worn or carried by anyone and still look classic.  

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Camarillo House Wedding | Diana and Daniel

Planning Diana and Daniel's wedding at Camarillo House was very exciting.  Not only did we have the opportunity to hire our own fabulous vendors, but to work at a historical venue. Camarillo House is a Queen Anne-style Victorian house and a fantastic wedding location in Camarillo, California, just outside of Santa Barbara. Built in 1892, the 6000 sq ft house was designed by architects Herman Anlauf and Franklin Ward. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The estate provides various indoor venues perfect for elegant wedding reception halls, banquet areas, and dance floors. If you prefer some fresh air, the are also vast lawns and gardens that create beautiful sites for outdoor wedding ceremonies and/or outdoor receptions. Gloria Mesa Photography did such a wonderful job at capturing the ambiance and style of the day.  Thank you Gloria.

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Hollywood Engagement Photos | Shantel and Audel

Due to Blogger maintenance problems, I’m re-posting Shantel and Audel's engagement session.  The engagement session was taken in Hollywood, which makes sense since their wedding reception is taking place there as well. As you can see from the photos, Shantel and Audel lit up the streets of Hollywood.  I can’t wait to share the wedding photos with you.  Thank you Harvard Photography for sharing such awesome photos.

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Monday, May 9, 2011

Responsibilities Of The Best Man

Advance Help
  • Hosts and coordinates the bachelor party for the groom
  • Arrange fitting sessions for ushers and groomsmen
  • Attends pre-wedding parties
  • Attends the rehearsal dinner
  • Picks up the groom's formal wear prior to the wedding
  • Handles the toasts at the rehearsal dinner
  • Assist the groom by confirming travel and honeymoon for the couple on the day of the wedding

At the Wedding
  • Transports the groom to the ceremony location
  • Assist the groom with dressing for the wedding, and makes sure personal items are returned to the groom's house afterward
  • Signs the marriage certificate as a legal witness
  • Walks with the maid of honor in the recessional
  • Responsible for safe keeping of the bride's wedding ring
  • Helps to organize groomsmen for formal photographs

At the Reception
  • Stands next to the bride in a very formal or formal reception line
  • Mingles with the guest at the reception
  • Dances with the bride and with the maid of honor
  • In charge of toasting during the reception
  • Assists the groom with the tossing of the garter by encouraging the single men to take part in the activity
  • Makes sure that the suitcases are loaded into the vehicle
  • Makes sure the groom has all tickets, hotel information, traveler's checks, itinerary etc. for the honeymoon.
  • Makes sure all men's formal wear is returned to the rental shop following the wedding
  • Has the groom's attire cleaned and returned to the groom's home

  • Pays for his own formal wear and accessories
  • Pays his own way to the wedding as well as hotel costs if necessary while he is in town
  • Attend several pre-wedding parties, only one shower gift and one and one wedding gift is expected
  • Covers the costs of the bachelor party or share them with the other groomsmen

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Thursday, May 5, 2011

11 Tips To Make The Groom Feel Special

  1. Order a Groom’s cake, but make it really unique to him.
  2. Let him pick some of his favorite songs for the DJ or band to play at your wedding.
  3. Do something unique with the “garter” – use his favorite scent or put a special treat in the garter for him to find.
  4. Have snacks and drinks for him and the Groomsmen before the ceremony
  5. Direct questions to both the Bride and Groom – ask questions specifically of him when profiling
  6. Let him give suggestions and incorporate those ideas
  7. Pick some part of the reception or ceremony and ask him to “surprise you” with his own idea. Let him design it and put his ideas into play! You may be surprised!
  8. Send a gift to his hotel room the night before your wedding or to him the morning after his bachelor party.
  9. Let him pick the menu – the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, after all!
  10. Send his parents or his mother flowers and a card thanking them for raising such a wonderful son.
  11. Send him a sweet text before the ceremony
Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Langham Huntington in Pasadena | The Royal Tea Party

Last Thursday, the day before The Royal Wedding, I was honored to be invited to sip Tea with E at the Langham Hotel Pasadena.  Most of the invitees were wedding coordinators.  It was a nice  change to be treated like royalty since we spend the majority of our time treating others like royalty.  It was a wonderful afternoon and I can't wait until the next one.  Thank you Eddie!

Event Designer: Revelry
Photographer:  Marianne Lozano
Custom Invitations: Creative Works Designs
Party Rentals:  Classic Party Rentals
Entertainment:  Brenna Whitaker
Spanish Classical Guitarist:  Brandt Jacobus

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698