Category Archives: Jackie Combs Lotus and Lily

The Five Biggest Wedding Planning Myths: Myth #5 – “I can DIY my entire wedding!”

By | 5 Biggest Wedding Planning Myths, Budget Weddings, DIY, Jackie Combs Lotus and Lily, Katie Robertson Photography, Los Angeles Wedding Coordinator, Los Angeles Wedding Planner, Wedding Budget, Wedding Coordinator | No Comments

Over the past few days, we’ve been breaking down the 5 biggest wedding myths. Today we’re tackling Myth 5: DIY/”Friend-or” weddings.

The DIY movement enpowers brides and grooms to add personal elements to their event, and fold in their buddies to the big day, as well.  We’ve had friends play guitar for the ceremony, or brides bake a grooms cake – small contributions make up for big, heartfelt gestures. But totally replacing a major vendor with a friend or your own DIY efforts? That’s flirting with – or hurtling headlong into – disaster.

One of the best examples of this myth is the “FRIEND DJ.” (Settle in kids – I’ve got a few fun stories for ya.)

Here’s the thing: music is inescapable. If the music is suddenly off, the WHOLE crowd notices. It’s also the international sign for, “Show’s over, Folks! Time to leave!” Unlike a drink that is a little too strong for one particular guest, or one centerpiece that is a bit wilty on a table of twelve, the music is everywhere and affects everyone, not just a handful of guests. Thus, your wedding tunes have a huge impact on the success of your event. At the end of the day, how much are you really saving?

A bride wisely provided her own lovely and easy to assemble candle centerpieces, but hired a professional florist (Lotus and Lily) for the more complex bouquets.

A bride wisely provided her own lovely and easy to assemble candle centerpieces, but hired a professional florist (Lotus and Lily) for the more complex bouquets. Photo by Katie Robertson Photography.

We no longer work events where a “friend is managing an Ipod,” and per our contract, all non-professional vendors are SOLELY responsible for the integrity of their work. For example, we’ve had a “friend-DJ” space out and not immediately turn the music back on after the bouquet toss, causing confusion and guests to start leaving. After our urging to get the music on, he panicked and had a hard time finding the next song – and by then, in just that minute or two that passed, we lost a dozen guests at a wedding that already had a low guest count. The wedding died out shortly thereafter.

At another event, a “friend DJ” did not know at all how to work the rental equipment, and had to use the one speaker on the venue’s property. This speaker was a low-quality piece of equipment that was typically used for the less complicated ceremony sound. So, it sounded muffled – like it was underwater: in a word, terrible. Even worse, this DJ started using an online song source ON HIS PHONE. The music stopped every time his phone buffered!

I mean it: Get a professional DJ, florist, officiant, – the whole nine yards. Also, most venues now require every vendor to have insurance, so right off the bat that takes away the option to involve an amateur.  Reserve friends’ talents for small touches, like providing the ingredients and recipe for their special signature cocktail, or to craft a lovely gift card box for you. Otherwise, let the pros safeguard your beautiful day with their savvy services.

Apply your talents to DIY touches you can do well before the event – like namecards, table numbers, or other printed goods.  Definitely don’t try florals – honestly, that’s a whole other blog post – unless you’re pre-building tissue or paper florals.

Make sure your vendors know your tastes and preferences so that the day is still all about you and your fiance’s personality – and then you, and your friends, can just relax and enjoy the day.  Happy planning!

Friday Finds: Cool Champagne Chiller, Sequins Galore, Christmas at Casa Del Mar

By | Don't Smile Now, Event Planner, Jackie Combs Lotus and Lily | No Comments

1. I was delighted to receive this gift from a dear friend for the holidays, and it’s a must-add to a registry: A decorative wine/champagne chiller, where you design the ring of ice around the bottle. Easy, cool (literally), and a big conversation starter.

From Williams Sonoma.com

2. All that Glitters: Clients are now entranced by sequins and glitter. I adore this movement. Where the recession seemed to coincide with a very rustic, almost spartan look in some circles, now brides want to celebrate with touches of gilt and sparkle. While not necessarily rare, sequin linens are still not mainstream among vendors or easily spotted on linen websites. A good event planner or rentals broker can give you the scoop on where to find the best options, and sometimes a discount as well.

3. Our last wedding of the year was a beautiful event at Casa Del Mar on December 21st. The bride and groom truly looked like a Princess and Prince Charming…and the ballroom was gorgeous. Graham from SilverTunes Entertainment, Jackie from Lotus and Lily, and photographer Shani Barel, owner of Don’t Smile Now, all did a marvelous job creating a magical night. Photos are here.

The ballroom at Casa Del Mar

Back in action in 2013 – Casa Del Mar festivities, and a new FAQ section to the site

By | Amy's Culinary Adventures, Bar Mitzah Coordination Los Angeles, Carly Cylinder, Day of Coordinator, Don't Smile Now, flour, Jackie Combs Lotus and Lily, Wedding Coordinator | No Comments

Just a little bit of ‘housekeeping’ here as I end a whirlwind year of events.

I fell off the blogging wagon just a touch (!) as we ramped up for holiday busy-ness. We coordinated a gorgeous wedding at Casa Del Mar, and followed that event up with backing up one of our favorite caterers, Amy’s Culinary Adventures, at a high-energy Bar Mitzvah. My day of rest? The 25th -Christmas Day. Then it was right back in action prepping for a large event, coming up the first weekend of the year.

The Casa Del Mar wedding featured the talents of Graham Silver from Silvertunes Music, the beautiful (inside and out) Jackie Combs of Lotus and Lily, and Shani Barel of Don’t Smile Now, once a fellow vendor and now a dear friend (fellow valley mom!) who took outstanding pictures. I’ve seen the previews and will post the real deal soon.

Quick shot of Casa Del Mar in its glory...can't wait for Shani Barel's photos (of Don't Smile Now Photography)

One of the changes I am making in 2013 is to the website – some revamping and tweaking, versus a big overhaul, and the first change I’ve made is the FAQ section. It has yet to have its own spot on the mast head (that’s for my web programmer to create) but you can check it out here. I feel it answers a lot of questions that clients ask at the beginning of the coordinator/planner search.

Another random note: I love vintage, I love rustic, but boy do I adore modern or baroque or mid century – basically, anything that represents dynamic, inspired florals and event design that doesn’t necessarily look like many other weddings featured on the ‘net these days. Or, in other words, everything that Carly Cylinder of FlourLA features on her new website, The Pollen Lounge. Daily inspiration right up my alley.

I can’t wait for the post-engagement rush…and excited for the new year. Happy Holidays!

Dee