Category Archives: destination weddings

Sasha & Jason

We are over the moon with how adorable this couple is! Please meet Sasha and Jason! Sasha our super cute bride, came to us a few months before her wedding and asked us for some assistance planning her wedding. She envisioned a chic, casual, intimate and fun wedding celebration in Las Vegas, Nevada!  We love destination weddings and this one was no exception, we were delighted to help!  Thank you so very much for allowing us to be a part of your special day!

Photos Courtosy of:  Trent Black Photography

McCall & Ben

Back in January I had the sincere pleasure of attending one of my closest friends wedding in Charleston, SC. McCall and I met back in 2006 when we both moved to California. McCall actually attended The Southern California Institute of Architecture with my husband. We decided to catch a movie one night together downtown, and the rest is history! We have been very close friends ever sense. McCall is the sweetest and most loving person I know. She is a incredible friend and I am so lucky to have her in my life. I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to see her so happy. McCall and Bens wedding took place on Sullivan’s Island at the Church of the Holy Cross. It was a beautiful intimate ceremony and reception.

Below are some detail photos that I was able to take. This was a first time ever visiting SC, and needless to say it was just as beautiful as McCall described.

Professional images courtesy of : B. Mullinax Photography

Caitlin & Dan Philly E-Shoot

Caitlin and Dan!

I would love to introduce you to one of my lovely couples Caitlin and Dan. They are a adorable couple from Philadelphia, who have a super fabulous wedding planned for June 2011! We are very excited to be working with such a wonderful couple and the fabulous vendors they have selected. Way to go Julie from JP photography you rocked this shoot girl!
Congrats Caitlin and Dan!

You can always get it cheaper

Let Me Clarify – You Can Always Get It Cheaper…by Sasha Souza

I am a huge fan of Sasha’s work, when I came across this blog post of her’s I just had to re-post, because it is so very true and so well stated! Enjoy!

There’s one thing that I definitely know in life and that is you can always buy something cheaper – telephone service, flights, cars, office supplies, SEO optimization, wedding gowns, pharmaceuticals, wedding flowers, catering….wedding & event planners. You name it and I’ll betcha there’s somebody out there that can give it to you cheaper… I think that the question that people miss is: But Will It Be What I Want?

Let me give you a scenario that happened to me last year. I sent out a floral & decor proposal for an event that wasn’t huge and over the top. It was for a nice party and right in line with the type of events we do. Prior to sending it out, I had gone through and made a few things optional for the client so that they could add in some of the “nice to haves”. Exactly what I told them I would do when they hired me.

Then, the phone rings….it’s the Mother of the Bride. We’ll call her Carol.

Carol: “Sasha…in this economy how can you, in good conscience, send me a floral proposal THIS high?”

Please know that I had been through the proposal backwards & forwards and it met all of the required components that the bride simply HAD to have.

ME: “Thanks for your call, Carol, I sent it because I believe it fits the desires of Melanie (name of bride has been changed) and I did shave a lot off to try to meet your budget”

Carol: “But Sasha, how in the world do you expect us to pay for this? We have decided we don’t want to spend more than X” {this would have been nice to know at the beginning, by the way}

ME: “Please let me know what you would like to cut and we are happy to make any changes you like. We can switch from long tables to rounds & squares, change the design of the flowers…”{basically, I gave her 15 options to make changes}

Carol: “But Sasha, Melanie wants all that and we expect that in this economy people are hungry for business and would be willing to make a little less profit for the job”

{quizzical look which garners the side note that in this economy, business owners are more likely going to want a higher profit from each job, not lower to compensate for fewer jobs overall – thereby providing the contracted & paid for services ONLY and not over and above the contracted services}

ME: “Carol, I’m not sure that’s the case, but let me just say that I’ve found out something in life and in business…you can always get something cheaper but it will not be the wedding your daughter wants, it will only be the price you like.” {if you use this in your business, feel free to say “well, Sasha Souza says…”}

Why have I told you this story? Because it’s true and the statement that I made at the end is an important one when educating couples and ourselves on weddings and what we get for our money. It’s easy to say you want a centerpiece to be smaller or “not over the top” or “simple”. Let me give you a visual example. We have seen this image from the legendary Preston Bailey in our office many, many times. It’s gorgeous with hundreds of flowers in it and I’m sure the image does not do it justice to how grand it is in person:

Can every bride afford it? No. But those that value it will seek it & Preston out to design for them and will be thrilled with the results. Here is how we used his inspiration for a bride who loved the look but couldn’t pay the price tag for the flowers:

Could the bride have gotten even this arrangement cheaper? Yes! Absolutely but the structure of the piece, the height, the design would have been vastly different. More like this:

While still pretty, it doesn’t emanate the same feeling – BUT it IS CHEAPER! So, if it’s cheaper that they are looking for then this would work out perfectly but the expectation can’t be for the gorgeous images above.

Another example…Is the peony any cheaper because of the economy? No. So, we offer alternatives and often we substitute with garden roses. Is it the same? No. It’s just cheaper and different. Some brides are OK with that and others REALLY want the peony and are not going to compromise for anything less. The decision is only theirs to make.

Carol did go on to pay the bill for the flowers when she understood that what she would get by going elsewhere wasn’t what Melanie would have wanted. We were very willing to make changes to the event to get them closer to their described estimated expenditure but they were unwilling to make any changes whatsoever and simply wanted it to be cheaper. period. just. cheaper.

That isn’t how this works, people. If you go to the gas station to fill up your car, you make a decision on the name brand station that you go to, how much you want to pay per gallon & the octane level of the gas you want.


You can go down the street to the gas station without all the special additives. Will your car run the same? Maybe. Maybe not. My car happens to like Chevron Techron 89 Octane or better. I put anything less in it and I’m bummed by the lack of power and performance that I get in my car. I can’t go into the clerk and ask them if instead of $2.99 per gallon I can pay $1.49 per gallon and expect the exact same quality & product. If you want me to shave $100 off an arrangement, you’re going to lose $100 worth of flowers & design time.

So, when you’re visiting with your vendor
s and you ask them to reduce their price please be sure that you are getting the same exact thing – because if you’re trying to compare apples to apples and one person says they can do that Preston arrangement for hundreds less than the other person – chances are you’ll be left with arrangement #3 on your 72″ round seating 12.

Ceremonies within a Ceremony

For those of you that might be looking for something a little different than the Unity Candle.
I met with some of my clients the other night and was reminded that not everyone knows about all the ceremonies out there! A ceremony, depending on who performs it (churches are more restrictive), can be completely personalized. There are several small ceremonies that can be preformed within the ceremony to give the ceremony a special touch. Here are a few of the examples and a little bit out them. (thank you to Andrea Wiseman & Shandro Photo for the photos below!)
Ring Warming Ceremony This is a fabulous way to get your guests involved in your wedding. At the beginning of the ceremony the officiant will make an announcement about the rings and their meaning. They are then passed around to each guest for the guest to hold and say a prayer or blessing over the couples rings. To prevent any misplaced rings, you could put them in a sheer bag or have someone monitor the rings – especially if you are outside!

Rose Ceremony After the announcement of husband and wife, two roses are give to the bride and the groom and then they each exchange the rose with each other as their first gift as husband and wife. The rose is special because it is the symbol of Love. Wording Examples
Hand Tying Ceremony (Handfasting)A unity ceremony this ceremony has the bride and groom join hands while a strip of fabric (a cord, a ribbon, a sash, etc.) is wrapped around their hands. The Officiant will then speak about the importance of the marriage and how the bride and groom have become one. Wording Examples
Sand Ceremony This ceremony symbolizes two people becoming one. It is that the bride and groom were individuals and going this day forward they are one and that the prior individuals no longer exist, and cannot be separated and poured back into their original containers.
There are two containers of colored sand plus one more container sand is poured in to the third container alternating layers of colored sand by the bride and groom – or the parents of the bride and groom and the bride and groom. Wording Examples

Unity CandleAgain this one symbolizes unity; two separate candles are used by the bride and groom to light the middle candle symbolizing that they have now become one. Wording Examples

Wine CeremonyThis couple did something a little bit different. Similar to a rose exchange the couple exchanged boxes with a bottle of wine with a personal note – to be opened on their 25th wedding anniversary – How awesome is that?