A Bar or Bat Mitzvah on a Budget?

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I am asked this question about budget all the time and the answer is a resounding YES!…but it takes some research, the assistance of family and friends and being very creative, however it is absolutely doable to have a gorgeous memorable celebration on a budget.

Continue reading A Bar or Bat Mitzvah on a Budget?

How to Choose a Stylist for Your Wedding

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Choosing a hair and make-up stylist for your wedding can be a daunting task, so I did quite a bit of research to help brides with this process and asked my colleagues in the wedding industry whether they had any recommendations. That was when I found Salon Nuuvo and the delightful owner, Raychel Harrison, the founder and artistic director. As she came highly recommended as one of the best in the industry, I decided to interview her to ask especially, how to avoid last minute disasters, which has been the concern of most of the brides I have worked with.

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Croatia: A Trending Wedding Destination

Croatia weddings venues

Whenever destination weddings come up in conversations with my wedding clients, the countries that usually pop up first are Paris or Italy which are known as the most romantic places for lovers and are the usual Countries that inspire romantic visions. Lately though, couples have been asking more about off the beaten track destinations which got me doing some research about the latest trends that are NOT France or Italy of course, and Croatia kept popping up as trending. In case you were wondering… The country is situated just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. It’s no wonder that it has the perfect climate for making wine and olive oil! Well there is no better way to get the down low about a country, than from a dynamo travel agent with many years of experience and hails from Croatia!

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Ideas for Hosting a Wine Tasting!

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If you enjoy wine, then anytime of year is a good time to have a wine tasting and hanging out with good friends. If you also enjoy entertaining, then this will be nothing but fun for you! However, if throwing a wine tasting party seems a little intimidating and/or expensive, don’t worry! This is about having fun not breaking the bank! I have some ideas to throw an easy and inexpensive wine tasting at home.

The Wine
It doesn’t have to be expensive. You could host a party with a collection of inexpensive wines just to see which ones taste the best and you might even find a wine that could end up a favorite. You can choose from red (Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Red Zinfandel,) or white (Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvingon Blanc, Riesling.) You could have different varieties such as comparing Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s Central Otago, California’s Russian River Valley, Oregon’s Dundee Hills, Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits, or California’s Sonoma Coast or stick to a specific region. Taste through a series of similarly styled wines for example, select an array of “crisp, dry white wines” or “rich, bold reds” or “dessert wines.”

Continue reading Ideas for Hosting a Wine Tasting!

Destination Weddings; why or why not?

wedding marrakechAs this is engagement season, as well as the time that many people travel  for the holidays, I thought this would be the perfect time to write about weddings at faraway destinations. As a travel addict myself and destination wedding planner, this is one of my favorite topics!

So here you are: she, or he said YES and now you are discussing where to have the wedding! How exciting and congrats! I am sure many emotions will be bubbling up right about now as you may have dreamed of this day for many years and you want it to be perfect! If getting married somewhere NOT in your area or even country came up in the discussion, or if you were born in different countries and would like guests from both sides to attend, a destination wedding somewhere in the middle wedding on the beachmay be the way to go, making it easy for both sides of the family and friends to attend. You may be considering a destination wedding due to the love you share for travel and discovering new countries or cultures and decided to combine the happiest day of your life with what you both love to do. Continue reading Destination Weddings; why or why not?

“I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine”

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This week, on Erev Rosh Hashanah I want to write about something a little different but still wedding related. Even though the heading refers to the month of Elul and preparations for Rosh Hashanah, we can apply some of the same principles in our personal lives and especially to our close relationships during these months.

According to the Rabbis, Elul is the time when we attempt to come closer to God and establish that relationship of intimacy in preparation for the Days of Awe that follow in the month of Tishre and they believe that we cannot simply enter that period without preparation and expect the Days of Awe to be meaningful. As we prepare for our wedding we often become so bogged down with all the details that we forget that we cannot or should not enter into a marriage without preparation and expect it to be meaningful. We should not lose sight of the fact that this is not just about the celebration but also about the many years ahead of us.

Continue reading “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine”

Backyard weddings never looked this good!

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In the last post I wrote that having a backyard wedding could be one way to save quite a bit of money but received a few comments that the idea of a having a wedding in someone’s backyard didn’t actually conjure up exciting images so I decided to do a blog post showing just how magical a backyard wedding can be.

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The Wedding Budget!

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For the couple on a tight budget!

Now that you and your fiancé have decided on your vision and the most important aspects of the wedding, the next step is the budget. A realistic budget that will allow you to choose most of the must-haves for your special day. In order to do this well you should know approximately what things cost in your area. You don’t want to spend time creating a budget only to discover that flowers cost twice as much as you had hoped to spend, so do the research. When you have info on most of the costs, you can look at the available funds and figure out what kind of wedding you are going to have. If needed and possible, ask your parents if they are willing to help in some way – whether by paying for some aspect of the wedding or just adding funds to the budget. Have a discussion with them and share your wish-list so that they know the scale of the wedding (and also so that they don’t try to pressure you into having the wedding of their dreams!) With open communication, parents can tell you how much they were planning to contribute. If you want their help financially you’ll get much better results when you invite parents to participate and allowing them to state what they’re comfortable with. Show them your priority list and share your excitement about the wedding planning process, rather than just telling them what your dream wedding is going to cost or trying to guilt-trip them into contributing more than they can afford. Never compare what they are contributing to what the in-laws are! If you initially told your parents that you are paying for the wedding yourself but after a period of time expenses have piled up and you now need help, just be direct and ask whether the offer of financial assistance is still on the table. Just FYI – couples typically spend between $20,000 and $33,000 but, it is possible to spend less than $10,000 and still have a fabulous wedding.

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A Jewish Wedding in Morocco

 

A Jewish Wedding in the Ochre City

Destination weddings are a great way to ensure you have a wedding that is completely you. At a typical wedding, you are often on the run meeting guests and welcoming out of towners but destination weddings are pure vacation time. You arrive a few days early so by the time your wedding day arrives, you’ve had two to three days of fun and site seeing with family and friends. How often do you have the opportunity to spend no-rush quality playtime with dear, far-flung friends? This is it!

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Among the most spectacular destinations, the winner is the congenial sun-soaked Morocco; truly the perfect destination. The scent of rose petals is everywhere and there is this constant feeling that you are part of an Arabian Nights story. This ancient, exotic, mysterious and beautiful country is becoming an increasingly popular choice for couples and is also very hospitable. If you follow my Instagram account you have definitely noticed the vibrant colors I post from the rich and ornate colored buildings and interiors of the stunningly beautiful hotels and riads often and aptly called palaces, to the souks where you can get lost in the sights and sounds that is Morocco. The possibilities for the color palette for a wedding here is endless! No matter what your religious observance, there are many local traditions that you can add to your wedding. The pre-wedding parties are legendary and a wonderful way to embrace the culture. There are hammams and henna painting which are part of a bridal experience and the tradition here adds that special touch which will ensure an unforgettable experience.

This post is provided by Morocco Quintessentially! Please click here for the full version as well as stunning pictures!  https://moroccoquintessentially.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/weddings-quintessentially/

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Planning your wedding – the most important decisions.

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When you have nothing other than “we want to get married”… which is of course the most important part, it has to feel pretty overwhelming! Just know that the first decisions are the hardest. As you go along everything will start to fall into place and it will get easier. If you decided on a long-ish engagement it will give you time to get everything done without any (or too much) panic. Continue reading Planning your wedding – the most important decisions.