"Let the fun begin!" Welcome Bag

Destination brides are always on the hunt for the "perfect" Welcome Bag!  Well this one comes pretty close...

The message says it all: "Let the Fun Begin!" This ivory and teal, machine washable bag is perfect for your wedding guests, as its fashionable embroidery and optional keepsake make it a gift to appreciate for years and years to come. It is also a perfect bachelorette or bridal shower gift.  

The bag can also be personalized which makes it even more special.  Bag measures 19" across by 12" tall and costs $12 + shipping.

Note: Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery of personalized bags. There is a 15 character limit on personalization. 

You can order it at My Wedding Favors...

Your wedding planner,

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What Is A Commitment Ceremony?

A commitment ceremony is often very similar to many other kinds of weddings. The difference is that rather than being a legally binding ceremony, it is simply a public affirmation of a couples commitment to one another. Generally, the couple is a lesbian, gay, or transgender couple, and thus are unable to marry under the law.
A commitment ceremony may be religious or secular, formal and traditional or loose and unstructured. The makeup of the ceremony will depend on the rules of the officiant/house-of-worship and the couple's own preferences. However, generally speaking, these are the key elements:

The officiant welcomes guests to a celebration of the love and commitment between the couple. He or she will probably also say a few words about their relationship, or about marriage/commitment in general.

This is the part where the couple declares their intent to be a committed or married couple. As in any kind of wedding, they will make promises about what that commitment means. They may promise to love in sickness and in health, in richness and poverty, till death do they part. Alternatively they may write their own vows.

A religious commitment ceremony will likely incorporate hymns and scripture readings that focus on love. (Many religious officiants will have a standard set of music and readings that are often used at commitment ceremonies and weddings.) A secular ceremony will usually also include music and readings about love, including poems, passages of literature, famous quotes, personal writing, pop songs, and classic wedding music. It may be gay/lesbian/transgender focused or very general, depending on the couple's personal preference.

Exchange of Rings
The couple exchanges rings, and says a few words about what these rings mean. It may be... With this ring, I thee wed I give you this ring as an expression of my love and commitment to you I'm honored to give you this ring as a symbol of the promises I've made to you today, and a proclamation to the world of the love I have for you.

Or anything else the couple wishes to say (working with their officiant to craft it - some religions may have rules regarding the ring ceremony)

Pronouncement of Marriage
The officiant announces to the guests or congregation that the couple is now married (joined/united/wed - whatever word you prefer to say) and invites the couple to kiss. Some couples may not be used to kissing in public and thus may only have a very small kiss, or forgo this part altogether. Others will relish the moment to have the opportunity to kiss each other in front of their loved ones, proclaiming their love, and pride in having that love.

Most couples will follow the ceremony with a reception of some kind. As with all weddings, there are no rules as to what this should be - it can be very formal and traditional, or as casual as a backyard picnic. It may include traditional wedding elements such as the first dance, cake cutting, and bouquet toss, or may just be an unstructured party. Generally the invitation will give some clues as to what it will be like (e.g. Please join us after the ceremony to toast the happy couple or A reception at the Springfield Country Club will immediately follow the wedding)

If you are a couple looking for the perfect destination site for your commitment ceremony... look no further!  

Contact me for further details.

Your wedding planner,

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Spotlight Venue: Grand Melia

Welcome to lush, vibrant tropical gardens, to Puerto Rican flavor with a Spanish flair, to modern accommodations and our exclusive attention to detailed service. Welcome to a Grand Experience, Welcome to Gran Meliá Puerto Rico.

With an idyllic location on Puerto Rico's northeastern coast in Coco Beach, Río Grande, Gran Meliá Puerto Rico brings the privacy and exclusivity you deserve and allows you the opportunity to escape from the rest of the world. From the moment you step inside this tropical oasis, you will be enveloped by the beauty and grandeur of Gran Meliá Puerto Rico. Boasting a world-class YHI spa, the nearby Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico and the best pool on the island with four integrated whirlpools, Gran Meliá Puerto Rico is the place to live the true resort experience in Puerto Rico. 

Contact me for wedding package details. 

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Ideas for Groom's Beach Wedding Attire

Many brides ask me "what should my fiance wear?".  My response is whatever he will be comfortable in while still looking "wedding" appropriate.  Read on for some groom wedding attire tips...

Deciding on the groom's beach wedding attire can be a bit tricky. But with a beach wedding, the number of options available to the groom increase and therefore there's much more flexibility.  So what beach wedding attire can your groom wear? The best advice for the groom's beach wedding attire is to follow the bride. If you're going to be formal in a gown, then the groom should go formal too. If you’re relaxed, then he should be relaxed.

Here are some of the options:

Going formal
For more traditional weddings back home, the usual wedding attire for the men is a morning or lounge suit. When you’re having a beach wedding, this type of suit will be difficult to transport and they won’t be easy to hire at your destination. They’re also a little impractical as your poor husband-to-be will swelter in the heat!

On a more relaxed note, a good option for your groom's beach wedding attire is a less formal suit. A lightweight suit would be more practical in the heat and since it will be sunny, a light colour would go down well as well. A summer linen suit would be easy to transport and keep your groom cool. This would be suitable for the beach, overlooking the beach or a chapel.

A more casual look
For a really casual wedding, you simply could go for a casual shirt and trousers. This would be great on the beach and is certainly the cheapest route. A loose fitting linen or silk shirt and some loose trousers (or even cropped trousers) would look great.

Beware with silk shirts – if your groom gets hot, then silk will pick up the moisture and the shirt will stick to him! Not a good look!

Bright white is best for the beach and you’ll both look brilliant and stunning. Top it off with an exotic flower (matching your bouquet) for his buttonhole to add a bit of colour.

For shoes, opt for something that will keep your man cool. Perhaps sandals or even flip flops. Remember, the sand gets hot, so avoid bare feet!

Groom fashion advise 
Your Wedding Planner,

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Unique Invites Your Guests Will Love

While doing my daily research I found a stationary supplier that offers the most unique ideas for a destination wedding invitation.  The name of the company is Marsupial Invitations and I have never seen anything like their "Ticket" invitation.  This invitation features a classic, travel-document style folder with an airplane ticket! I absolutely love it!  They also have a passport (although no passport required for travel in PR:) which is such a fun way to invite your guests to your destination wedding!

Check out their website at Marsupial Invitations

Fun finds from
Your wedding planner,

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The Hindu Wedding Ceremony by Manisha Seal

Over the last year I have received several phone calls inquiring about Hindu (Indian) Weddings. Couples asking if Puerto Rico offers a variety of venues where couples can plan a 3 day celebration of marriage, love and family. I always tell these couples that Puerto Rico is a perfect destination wedding venue for a Hindu Wedding. There are so many wonderful resorts that cater to large parties who require a variety of sites to have welcome dinners, rehearsal dinners, wedding ceremonies, receptions and finally the post-wedding brunch buffet. Surprisingly, Indian cuisine is not hard to find on the island the key is to book your chef and menu selection in a timely manner. Just for the record what is most impressive about the Hindu Wedding Ceremony besides the delish food, gorgeous jewelry, impressive decor or the elaborate wedding attire is the celebration of love, family and commitment to marriage! The festivities go on for days (I thought Puerto Rican's could party) but the best part of the entire Hindu Wedding is the love and support the couples receive from their family and friends. 

If you are a couple seeking a perfect destination site for your Hindu Wedding contact me! I can certainly make your Hindu Destination Wedding Dreams a reality! 

Below is a description of a Hindu Ceremony written by Manisha Seal. It is a bit lengthy but oh so interesting... read on and learn about the wonderful Hindu Wedding Culture:

For our wedding we put together this "summarized" form of the Hindu wedding ceremony to help explain the intricacies of a traditional wedding to all our non- traditional friends and relatives.

Marriage in the Hindu religion is the 13th of the 16 ceremonies in a person's life. It is a sacrament and as such is solemnised in accordance with the VEDAS, the holy scriptures of the Hindu religion that date back several thousand years.

Hindu Ceremonies seem to last for hours, days or even weeks. Although the wedding itself is held on one day, there are a number of ceremonies that are usually held on separate days preceding the wedding:

Engagement ('Misri', the Ring Ceremony) 
This event is held to exchange the gold wedding rings. The couple welcome each other with garlands and sweets are exchanged between the two families. The engagement is often completed a dinner party for friends and relatives. Among Gujarati families the bride's family present the 'Matli', which consists of significant quantities savoury snacks and Indian sweets, to the groom's family.

Mehndi Party 
This is a festive occasion celebrated by the bride's family. The bride and close female members of her family have henna painted on their hands and feet while the rest of the family celebrate with songs. Mehndi signifies the strength of love in a marriage so brides try to leave it on as long as possible! Mehndi parties are often held at home and end with dinner for the family and friends.

Raas Garba (Sangeet Party)
In many families, the Sangeet Party is a much larger affair held as a separate joint event for both families. It is an opportunity to sing songs, eat, drink and dance the night away. Among Gujaratis, Raas Garba is a favoured alternative. These are held in a hall and involve traditional dance (Garba), and dandia raas (dancing with sticks). The Raas Garba usually ends with a light supper for all those attending.

Ghari Puja
This is a religious ceremony performed on the eve of the wedding day in the respective homes of the couple. The priest performs prayers with rice, coconut, wheat grains, oil, betel nuts and turmeric. During this event, the mother and close female relatives dress up in their finery. They carry earthenware pots of water on their head and plant a small stalk in their garden in celebration of the marriage. Nowadays, the Ghari Puja is often combined with the cleansing ceremony (Pithi) during which the bride and bridegroom are pasted with turmeric powder in a beautification process.

Outfits & Jewelry

The bridal outfit consists of a red and white sari heavily embroidered with gold thread. The white signifies purity and the red signifies fertility. It is customary for the bridegroom's family to gift the bride a wedding sari, so she may actually end up wearing two saris! The first, a simpler silk sari given to her by her maternal uncle (mama), and covering her head, a heavier embroidered sari given to her by her husband's family. The groom also wears white (ivory or beige). His outfit can be a traditional Sherwani (long tunic embroidered with gold thread) worn with Kurta pyjamas, or a simpler dhoti and tunic. Both families use the occasion to wear their finery and much of their traditionally ornate gold jewellery. This is not custom, so much as fashion!

The Wedding Ceremony
The wedding day usually commences with a fast for both the bride and groom. The groom will leave his house accompanied by his best man and one of his younger female relatives whose job it is to keep the groom awake by shaking a metal pot filled with a few coins and a betel nut over his head. The history behind this curious custom is that weddings in India were traditionally held in the evening at which time many a groom might succumb to slumber!

On leaving his house, the groom's car may be impeded by the younger female members of his family who demand a "gift" in exchange for allowing him to leave for his wedding ceremony.

The majority of the wedding ceremony will take place in a Mandap (the four-pole canopy at centre stage). The sacred fire in the Mandap symbolises not only the illumination of the mind, knowledge and happiness but is also a clean and pure witness to the ceremony as it progresses.

The ceremony itself is a collection of rituals performed by the bride, bridegroom and their respective parents and close relatives. The priest chants "mantras" from the Vedas that were originally written in Sanskrit. He will also use the following in his ceremonies:

Fresh flowers - to signify beauty;
Coconut - to signify fertility;
Rice, jaggery and other grains - to signify the food necessary for sustenance of human life;
Ghee (purified butter) - to feed the sacred fire;
Kumkum (vermilion) - red powder used for marking the forehead to signify good luck and to say that your soul (husband) is with you.
The major stages of the Hindu Ceremony:

Ganesh Puja
The wedding day starts with a prayer invoking Lord Ganesh whose divine grace dispel all evils and promotes a successful and peaceful completion of the ceremony.

Grah Shanti (Worship to the Nine Planets)
This is a prayer to the nine planets of our Solar system. Ancient Indian studies indicated that various celestial bodies have an influence on the destiny of every individual. The effect of the nine planets is meant to be the most profound. During this puja the Gods associated with these planets are asked to infuse courage, peace of mind and inner strength to the bride and groom to help them endure life's sufferings.

The Welcome (Parchan)
The bride's mother welcomes the bridegroom with a garland and she then escorts him to the mandap. The father of the bride washes the right foot of the bridegroom with milk and honey. At the end of the welcome, a white sheet is held to prevent this bridegroom seeing the arrival of the bride.

Arrival of the Bride
The bride is escorted to the mandap by her maternal uncle (Mama), female cousins and friends. In some wedding ceremonies she may be carried in a small carriage to the mandap.

Kanyadaan (Entrusting of the Daughter)
Consent of the parents is obtained for the wedding to proceed. The bride's parents give their daughter to the groom by putting the bride's right hand into the groom's right hand (Hastamelap, joining of hands) while reciting sacred verse. The curtain separating the bride and groom is then lowered and the couple exchange flower garlands. The elders of the house place an auspicious white cotton cord around the couple's shoulder's to protect them from the evil influences. This also symbolises the couple's bond. The groom holds the bride's hand and they both take vows to love cherish and protect each other throughout life.

Ganthibandhan (tying the knot)
The priest ties the wedding knot as a symbol of the permanent union between the bride and groom as husband and wife.

Agni Puja (evocation of the holy fire)
The priest sets up a small fire in a kund (cooper bowl). Agni (fire) is the mouth of Vishnu and symbolises the illumination of mind, knowledge and happiness. The remainder of the ceremony is conducted around the fire.

Shilarohana (stepping on the stone)
The bride places her right foot on a stone. The bridegroom tells her to be as firm as the stone in his house so that the can face their enemies and the difficulties of life together.

Laja homa (putting parched rice into the sacred fire)
Three obligations are offered to the sacred fire. The brother of the bride puts into the bride's hand parched rice, half of which slips into the bridegroom's hand. Mantras are chanted. The bride prays to Yama, the God of Death, that he grant long life, health, happiness and prosperity to the bridegroom.

Mangalfera (walking around the fire)
The couple walk around the sacred fire four times. Each time they stop to touch with their toe a stone in their path. This symbolises obstacles in life that they will overcome together. These four rounds stand for the four basic human goals:

Dharma - righteousness
Artha - monetary accomplishment
Kama - energy and passion in life
Moksha - liberation from everything in life.
The groom, signifying his contribution in helping the union to attain dharma, artha and kama, leads the first three rounds. The bride signifying their continual journey spiritual liberation leads the last round.

Saptapadi (seven steps)
The bride and groom take seven steps together around the fire. It is said in Hindu philosophy that if two people walk seven steps together then they will remain lifelong friends. They exchange sacred vows at the beginning of each encircling walk. At the end of each walk, the open palms of the bride are filled with puffed rice by her brother signifying wealth and prosperity. The seven steps and their promises are:

1.Let us take the first step to provide for our household, keeping a pure diet and avoiding those things that might harm us.
2. Let us take the second step to develop our physical, mental and spiritual powers.
3. Let us take our third step to increase our wealth by righteous and proper means.
4. Let us take out fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love, respect and trust.
5. Let us take the fifth step so that we may be blessed with strong, virtuous and heroic children.
6. Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity.
7. Let us take the seventh step to be true companions and remain life-long partners by this wedlock.

Saubhagya Chinha (blessing the bride)
The bridegroom blesses the bride by putting kumkum or sindhur (vermilion powder) at the parting of her hair (or on her forehead) and by giving her a sacred necklace (Mangal Sutra). The Mangal Sutra represents the couple's togetherness, love and sacred union.

Haridaya-Sparsha (touching of hearts)
The bride and bridegroom touch each other's heart reciting promises to each other.

Chathurthi Karma
The bride and groom feed each other four times for nourishment of the bone, muscle, skin and soul.

Aashirvaad (blessings)

The priest blesses the bride and groom. Flower petals and rice are given to the guests to shower them on the bride and groom with blessings. The wedding guests can then give their individuals blessings to the bride and groom and once completed, the marriage ceremony ends. Guests are invited to enjoy a sumptuous meal with the newlyweds.

Viddai (Bride's departure)

The farewell to the bride by her family and friends is a very emotional episode. The bride is leaving her parents home to build a life with her husband and his family. She leaves with tears of joy and sorrow.

Before the wedding car departs for the Hindu temple, the priest will place a coconut under the front wheel of the car and wait for it to be broken by the weight of the car. The historic significance of this is that in the old days the couple would use a horse drawn carriage and the breaking of the coconut ensured that the vehicle was roadworthy for the journey.

Hindu Wedding Enlightening,
Dhanyavaad, Your Wedding Planner,

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Friday Funny :) The Perfect Dress...

Maria's wedding day was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement -- not even her parents' nasty divorce. Her mother had found the PERFECT dress to wear and would be the best dressed mother-of-the-bride ever! A week later, Maria was horrified to learn that her father's new young wife had bought the same dress as her mother! Maria asked her step mom to exchange it, but she refused. "Absolutely not. I look like a million bucks in this dress, and I'm wearing it," she replied. Maria told her mother who graciously said, "Never mind sweetheart. I'll get another dress. After all, it's your special day." A few days later, they went shopping and did find another gorgeous dress. When they stopped for lunch, Maria asked her mother, "Aren't you going to return the other dress? You really don't have another occasion where you could wear it." Her mother just smiled and replied, "Of course I do, dear. I'm wearing it to the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding." :)

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Rincon, Puerto Rico "The Town of Beautiful Sunsets!"

When you're nicknamed "the surfing town" and the "town of beautiful sunsets," you better live up to the hype. Rincon, on Puerto Rico's tropical West coast, does. With little fishing villages, a surfing Mecca who's hosted the World Surfing Championships, inexpensive, small, and luxurious government-owned paradores, small seaside restaurants serving garlic-drenched steaks and fried plantains, and some of the best views in the Caribbean, little Rincon might be the jewel of the Puerto Rican travel experience.

Approximately a two to two-and-a-half hour drive from San Juan and the international airport, Rincon is easily accessible via car or tourist bus. Much of the drive is along the Puerto Rican coastline, usually populated by surfers and beach lovers making the trek to the Puerto Rico's best surfing and diving and snorkeling beaches. The discount airline Jet Blue has excellent prices to Puerto Rico. If you book in advance, fares between San Juan, Ponce, and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and New York City for as little as $139 each way. Aguadilla, a gorgeous beach town in itself, is only a 35 minute drive to Rincon.

A good place to start your Rincon experience is at the official website of the Tourism Association of Rincon. The site lists everything from history to activities to places to stay to simple and easy driving directions to Rincon from all major Puerto Rican cities. The "Activities" section of the website has information on horseback riding, bike rentals, hand gliding, skate boarding, and surfing.

Whale watchers should take note that whale watching is a winter pastime in Rincon. Every year, the Humpback Whale migrates just off the coast of Rincon. From the perch of Lighthouse Park, you can watch the whales frolic in the Rincon waters. February is high-season for Rincon whale watching, and you can even see the great humpbacks from your spot on the beach. Day trips on charter boats and sailing vessels can get you almost as close to the whales to touch.

The charm of Rincon, however, is in its peace, quiet, and endless miles of beaches not burdened by gigantic resorts. Hotels are small, and even guesthouses, bed and breakfasts get beachfront property. From Spartan inns catering to the nature-loving surfing crowd to romantic beach boutique hotels attracting honeymooners and couples, there's a variety of lodging to choose from when visiting Rincon. The Village Cofresi and Restaurant is a quaint, small, friendly hotel located on the beach. Rates start at just $115 for a standard room. For couples or families traveling together, a two-bedroom suite or apartment that sleeps up to six people with a full kitchen starts at $140. The hotel has a game area with several pool tables and a beachfront restaurant specializing in Puerto Rican cuisine. On Saturday's, the hotel bar gets lively with local bands. Free breakfast is included in the price of the room. The hotel's beach is unspoiled with soft, white sand.

The Coconut Palms Inn is a guest house also located directly on the beach. Rates start at around $75 for a standard room with one-bedroom suites going for $100 to $125 per night. During high-season from January through mid-April, a one-week minimum is mandatory. The hotel boasts a Hertz Rental Car desk with cars available for $28 dollars per day or $173 for the week for hotel guests. The cars can be picked up or dropped off at any of the larger Puerto Rican airports. The incredible beach sunsets (and they really are some of the best in the world, rivaling even the sunsets from the Grand Canyon's Southern Rim) can be enjoyed with a drink in hand from the hotel's beach or the second floor veranda. The friendly hotel staff can arrange any diving, snorkeling, or inland trips as well as give surfers tips about where and when to find the best waves. In the spirit of Rincon, this inn is so laid back they even let you cook your own food on one of their outdoor barbecues.

Another hotel which happens to be my favorite in Rincon is the Lazy Parrot.  Owned and operated by a couple who have paid close attention to detail.  The Lazy Parrot is nothing to write about home from the outside but pure oasis on the inside.  The grounds are gorgeous and although not located on the beach, the 5 minute trek to the beach is well worth it to stay in such a peaceful, lovely and modern facility.  The restaurant Lazy Joe's is YUMMY!  I tried just about everything on the menu and was pleasantly surprised by the portions, gourmet flare and surprising reasonable prices. And did I mention the beds are heaven on earth! Starting at $139 per nite it's a steal! Tell them Lisa the Wedding Planner sent you for a little surprise.

If you're looking to splurge a little for the amenities of a big resort and white glove service, The Rincon Beach Resort  is a large hotel with several restaurants, a stretch of a sandy beach, a swimming pool and most water activities known to man. Rates start at $230 per night during the high season and drop to around $185 during the summer months from April 16 to December 20, 2008.

Just to let you know, the surfing beaches at Rincon are showing waves of up to four feet during the summer and 30 feet during the winter, and the temperature is hovers in the mid-80s. You can rent a surfboard and get information on surf lessons from the folks at the El Rincon Surf Shop .

My opinion is that Rincon is a magical experience!  We met so many people who went on a vacation to Rincon and never went back!  That says a lot about a place.  If you are thinking about a great wedding ceremony site, honeymoon or just a great vacation give Rincon a try... you won't regret it!

Good vacationing advise from,
Your wedding planner,

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Top Ten Wedding Sites for 2008 as per Wedding Click

#1~Las Vegas, Nevada: With over 144,000 weddings each year, Las Vegas is undoubtedly the top wedding location. Whether it be a an entertaining Elvis-themed ceremony or luxurious wedding in one of the top hotels in the world, Las Vegas offers a multitude of options to suit all types of couples.

#2~San Juan, Puerto Rico: Its renowned sandy beaches and close proximity to the States makes Puerto Rico an ideal wedding location. Known as “The Island of Enchantment,” Puerto Rico is a vibrant bilingual city where no passport is required with exceptional accommodations for your dream wedding.  (US Currency) 

#3~Key West, Florida: Key West is often described as the paradise of the continental U.S. due to its turquoise sea, countless palm trees, and exciting water activities. If you’ve always imagined a sunset wedding, the Key West will exceed your expectations.
#4~Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: Couples are instantly drawn to this splendid Caribbean island for a tropical wedding. The scenic ocean makes a beautiful backdrop for the ceremony, and the relaxed setting provides a stress-free environment. You easily create a vacation here for you and your guests.
#5~Maui, Hawaii: This exotic location is famous for its breathtaking beaches, lush greenery, and unique culture. Couples here usually opt for a casual beach ceremony, adopting ancient Hawaiian traditions such as exchanging leis.
#6~St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands: Running on “island time,” the Caribbean island of St. John is a tranquil destination for your wedding. Its emerald cays and panoramic beach views are absolutely spectacular. It is a small and quaint island, making it an intimate and upscale location.
#7~Acapulco, México: With a multitude of glamorous resorts to choose from, you can plan a stylish wedding on pristine beaches. The crescent-shaped bay and mountainous terrain will provide a picturesque wedding venue. Acapulco also has a booming nightlife, sure to create fantastic outings.
#8~Walt Disney World: Orlando, Florida- Quite unlike any other place in the world, Walt Disney World is the supreme location for a fairytale wedding. The extravagant Cinderella castle and horse-drawn carriages provide for an elaborate and magical celebration.
#9~Sandals, Jamaica: With a multitude of glamorous resorts to choose from, planning a wedding in Sandals is simple with their all-inclusive packages. Known for their exemplary customer service and exotic accommodations, Sandals is a wonderful spot for your wedding.
#10~Margarita, Venezuela: The Venezuelan island of Margarita is located in the majestic Caribbean Sea, earning it the title of “Pearl of the Caribbean.” Its pleasant tropical climate, warm people, and world-class beaches make it a spectacular wedding location. On your fee time you can explore the Amazon jungle, climb waterfalls, and even go piranha fishing.

Facts from
Your wedding planner,

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Perfect Flower Girl Attire :)

“keiki lei tutu”
If you are having a flower girl at your destination wedding here is a must have for the little princess.  This gorgeous tutu has a fluffy tulle skirt with a tropical flair while beautiful orchids and plumeria trim the hem of the skirt.  It is simply perfect for a laid back yet impressive look!  The skirts can be paired with a white leotard, ballet shoes or just bare little piggies in the sand...
 just ADORABLE!!!
(flower girls pictured are wearing keiki lei tutu in azure color in an Aruba beach wedding)

Click on
to place your order.

Happy Tutu Shopping from,
Your wedding planner,

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Eye Makeup Do's and Don'ts...

Ok, I will disclose something about myself and my previous career that I have not mentioned... before becoming a wedding planner I was a NYC Professional Makeup Artist for over 25 years.  I know, I know how lucky can a girl get, two fun and exciting careers in one lifetime, I must say it was... I traveled, met supermodels, celebrities (Ok I'll name-drop just once, Trudy Styler, Sting's wife I had the pleasure of going to their outrageous apartment in 1986 or so and doing her makeup for Pre-Grammy parties. Sting was not there but I swear I could smell him:) and I was also lucky to attend numerous NYC Fashion shows throughout the years.  But after 25 years, marriage and a baby girl I was ready to slow down and start researching another career that had always attracted me, Wedding Planning.  

As you can imagine, as a makeup artist I was also surrounded by brides for many of those years and I always found myself admiring the Wedding Planners. They were just so cool, calm and collected.  They brought such peace over the brides and managed to make the wedding day seem effortless.  And in the end... they would have the brides in tears thanking them for all their hard work and dedication... no one ever thanked the make-up artist in their wedding toast, although they should :) But seriously, I did admire them and when I was ready to make the change I went full force and never looked back.  I must say it's been a great ride and now I feel the same joy and excitement I felt when I started out (so young and bright eyed) as a pro-makeup artist. Yes, I am a very lucky lady to have been able to fulfill two career dreams in one lifetime! 

Now onto the real reason I disclosed my secret... take my advise brides I have seen the good the bad and the ugly when it comes to makeup and you sure don't want to be in the latter of the three on one of the most important days of your life! 

You will be photographed on your wedding day more than any other day of your life. Make sure you look picture perfect with the right eye makeup. Make numerous appointments with makeup artists. The companies I would recommend are M.A.C. (I was on their first team of makeup artist back in 1984) I still LOVE, LOVE, LOVE M.A.C.! My makeup case is still overpowered by them.  Next, Bobbi Brown (love her natural palettes so easy to work with) and last but certainly not least Trish McEvoy (her brushes are the absolute best nothing like them. Spend the money on them I have had mine for over 13 years and they are like new). Also, don't feel pressured to buy everything, as a courtesy buy a lipgloss we can never have to many of those. And live with what they did for the day.  If by the end of the day you still love it, it did not cake up and you feel like yourself only prettier, go back and pickup the essentials or ask that artist if they do free-lance work and would they be available for your wedding day. 

To sum things up, research your wedding day makeup as much as you research everything else.  It is a very important part of your day and read my eye makeup do's and don'ts list below to ensure that your bridal makeup will end up looking flawless.

  • Think seriously about hiring a makeup artist; everyday makeup is different from your wedding day needs.
  • Take time to try a few different makeup artists and choose one who understands your personal tastes.
  • Use eye drops if your eyes look red or tired on the day of (but stick with a brand you've used before to avoid unwelcome surprises).
  • Get as much sleep as possible the night before the big day.
  • Apply a light concealer to banish dark circles under your eyes.
  • Use matte eye shadows (they won't reflect light or look too shiny).
  • Use an off-white matte shadow along your brow bone if you have light skin, or peach if you have dark skin, to illuminate your eyes even more.
  • Blend well, especially at the corners of your eyes, since cameras pick up visible makeup lines.
  • Define your brows with a pencil or powder that matches your hair color.
  • Wear at least two layers of waterproof mascara.
  • Use an eyelash curler before and after applying your first coat of mascara.
  • Prevent makeup meltdowns by using a smudge-proof or waterproof mascara. (If you really don't like its look or feel, use one coat of regular mascara overlaid with a light coat of waterproof mascara.)
  • Buy a new mascara for your wedding day, but test it a few days before the wedding if it's a new brand.
  • Wear too much eye makeup: You'll look like a drag queen.
  • Change your eye color with colored lenses (unless you always wear them).
  • Try to be too trendy (that glitzy silver shadow may look silly ten years from now).
  • Use an under-eye concealer that's too light for your skin tone (you'll look like a raccoon).
  • Experiment with eye products you haven't tried before.
  • Wear dark shadows like charcoal or dark brown (you'll look like you've been punched).
  • Wear frosted, shiny, sparkly shadow (It creases easily and will reflect camera flashes).
  • Forget about your eyebrows.
  • Tweeze your brows at the last minute on your wedding morning.
  • Wear false eyelashes if they're not 100% comfortable and you're not 200% confident they won't fall off.
  • Two final tips: DO have a fabulous wedding. DON'T forget how gorgeous you are.
Good makeup advise from
Your wedding planner,

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Spotlight Venue: El San Juan Hotel & Casino

I have to say that I am very lucky to live and work in paradise.  And when my family and I decide to take a vacation we don't even have to leave our island.  Puerto Rico has an abundance of wonderful sites to see along with magnificent hotels that offer what you want the most on your vacation... beautiful beaches, great pools, fun atmosphere, a variety of restaurants and a clean and comfortable hotel room.  

On that note, I would like to recommend the El San Juan Hotel & Casino as your destination wedding camp as well as for your ceremony and reception. The minute you walk in the doors, old world class hits you in the face, gorgeous, extravagant chandeliers, an eclectic mix of furnishing including animal print rugs and chairs, intricate detailed moldings and paintings adorn the walls and most important the staff are extremely professional, greet you warmly and make you feel welcomed the minute you step in the lobby.  

The only downfall at this hotel and many other establishments on the island is that everything runs on what I call "island time"... they can wait a bit long to wait on you and to get your drinks and food to you, but that is an island state of mind.  It happens just about everywhere and me being a New Yorker I always have to remind myself, I am not in a hurry :)  I live on island time now!

Below is a description and some detailed information on the ESJHC, e-mail me, call me or fill out my detailed contact form for rates and package deals I can offer you and your guests.

The vibrant pulse of Puerto Rico beats long into the night at the elite El San Juan Hotel & Casino. Located in the fashionable Isla Verde district, our charming San Juan Puerto Rico hotel is nestled along the most beautiful beach on the island and surrounded by 15 lush acres of landscaped grounds - perfectly blending tropical splendor with old-world sophistication. Spend your days relaxing on the white-sand beach. Explore the thrilling nightlife of the city. Or test your luck at the on site casino. Retire to your spacious, elegantly appointed guest room or suite - the ideal retreat. Whether traveling for business, or for pleasure, this beachfront San Juan hotel offers a little piece of island history shrouded in a legendary island setting:
  • Beachfront location in the Isla Verde district of San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 15 minutes from the shopping, entertainment, and history of charming Old San Juan
  • Minutes from fine dining, renowned attractions, and hot nightspots
  • A short distance from Plaza Las Americas, the Caribbeans premier shopping mall
  • Five minutes from Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
Your wedding planner,

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Sometimes, Less is More...

I often have brides contact me who have an abundant budget for their wedding day... money is no object!  But just because you can afford it, does that mean you have to spend it? Sometimes you can go less and no one will be the wiser for it but you...

Here are some tips that will save you lots and lots of $$$...
  • You’ve always turned to J.Crew for everyday classics, so it’s no surprise that their gorgeous wedding collection offers the same easygoing sophistication. Take the Isla embossed beach gown, for example. Designed in pure cotton, this beautiful gown drapes elegantly, is lightweight and flatters practically any figure. This is a perfect (not to mention affordable) gown for a ceremony in the sand and on sale for $99.
  • For your beach wedding, create an inexpensive centerpiece that will bring an inviting glow to the table. Blumen Design arranges tea lights or votives in large glass cubes and then layers pale-colored sea glass, shells and sand between the candles. The textures of the sand and the sea glass beautifully complement the warmth and light of the candles. Check their website out for inspiration.
  • Mountain Cow has hundreds of ingenious ideas for inexpensive save-the-dates and invitations. You can purchase software, fonts and paper to customize your own stationery affordably. There are many different styles that are perfect for a beach-themed event — my favorite is the green-and-blue sand dollar.
  •  Checkerboard has a large variety of "beach" theme invitations at reasonable prices. The invitations are handsome yet relaxed. Details like a ribbon sweeping across the paper and tucking neatly between the layers give it a "luxe" detail at an affordable price. They offer many blue-and-chocolate palettes which is a nice change from the usual pastel-colored beach theme and on a personal note my favorite.
  • You can always find the cutest things from Sundance, and for an inexpensive beach-themed accessory, look no further than their Website. They have a good-luck sea horse necklace, handcrafted in sterling silver and then dipped in gold, it is simply adorable. Legend has it that good luck will abound when the silk thread from which the talisman hangs finally wears away. This necklace adds subtle beach charm to your big day, and is perfect as a gift your lucky bridesmaids will love to wear.
  • Check out Bliss Weddings Market for tons of great wedding favors, wrappings and gifts like these little pretties. Palm-size starfish soaps are lightly scented and finely textured. Your guests will even love the packaging — a crisp white box with sheer organza ribbon and a starfish gift tag. It's almost too perfect to open.
  • When you think of a beach-inspired cake, seashells and fancy pearl detail surely come to mind. The ladies at Frosted Art created this cake with just those features. This three-tiered masterpiece is adorned with white-chocolate.
  • This Cotton Cady Claudine tank dress is a crisp cotton with a fitted bodice and and full skirt. It would compliment just about any body type or shape comes in gorgeous bright yellow, green or chocolate brown. The full A-line skirt drapes beautifully to the knee. The dress is available only through J.Crew.com
  • Keep friends and family hydrated and happy with bottles of water that are customized with labels from MyWeddingLables.com. Personalize a message or include a photo, and then choose from dozens of patterns, fonts and colors to create sentimental and practical refreshments your guests will love.
  • When it gets a little cool out, we know you don't mind borrowing a cute guy’s tuxedo jacket, but with her Chilly Jilly wrap, designer Jill Boehler may have made that tradition a thing of the past. For any beach wedding, you’ll want this must-have cover-up once an offshore breeze joins the party. Made from a silky fabric, it offers the perfect amount of warmth, folds down to purse size and yet somehow never wrinkles. Check out her site you can buy one for yourself and give it as a gift to your bridesmaids.
Now don't you feel great that you saved so much money! And furthermore now you can afford a wedding planner :)

Good saving advise from
Your wedding planner,

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Ice... Ice... Baby...

I remember shopping for my wedding accessories and the hardest decision was "what jewelry should I wear?" I looked everywhere for the perfect look including Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, Lord & Taylor and even Zales. But I needed something elegant, classic and not overwhelming.  I was having a beach ceremony and wanted the jewelry to reflect the laid back feel with an elegant touch.  What attracted me the most were diamond studs, about 2 carats or so. But unfortunately, I did not own a pair or on my tight budget could I splurge and buy myself a pair either. So I settled on CZ's which looked great! 

Fast forward to the year 2008 and whaalaa... some genius realized that if I bride could get her hands on real diamond pieces for her wedding day (like celebrities do for most events) and then return them after they would have a thriving business... and so 
Adorn Brides was created!  It is similar to the website Bag, Borrow or Steal. Where you rent designer handbags, sunglasses etc. at a weekly rate and return them when you are either tired of the look or see something else you have been salivating over .  Back to Adorn Brides, they have a huge selection of earrings, necklaces and bracelets in every style, shape and carat size you can imagine.  The way it works is for a fee you can rent the jewelry of your dreams for a day and return it within a specific time frame.  Some pieces are valued in the thousands... how fun to be able to wear a $15,000 necklace... especially on your wedding day.  Take a look at the site and have fun deciding "should I wear the $12,000 earring studs or the $25,000 diamond chandeliers!" And the best part is no one needs to know how, when or where you got them... 
SHHHH, I'll keep your diamond secret!

and just for the heck of it... Bag, Borrow or Steal

Happy borrowing!
Your wedding planner, 

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Destination Wedding Checklist

Wedding planning for a destination wedding doesn't have to be hard. And hiring a professional wedding planner makes it a whole lot easier. I have many partnerships with hotels and resorts that offer me complete wedding packages that include nearly everything except for you the bride and groom. But, if you decide to attempt to plan the wedding yourself, here is a wedding checklist to get you started - and when you start to feel a bit overwhelmed just get on your computer and shoot me an e-mail lisaprweddingplanner@gmail.com and I will take it from there...

  • Buy a date book or wedding checklist planning calender to help keep organized. Mark it with the dates that you want to have certain tasks accomplished by.
  • If you're inviting many guests to your wedding destination, be sure to send out a "Save the Date" announcement several months in advanced. This will give your guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements. Look into group travel arrangements as soon as possible.
  • Carefully consider the language in your invitations when planning a destination wedding. As mentioned above, sending a "Save the Date" announcement should be the first step. But, since many people may not be able to attend a wedding in an exotic location, a wedding announcement, with a follow-up reception once you return home, for unlikely attendees may do the trick. Just be careful not to offend anyone either way.
  • If you're planning on getting married outside of the U.S., make sure you research and understand the local laws and regulations. This includes things such as: will the marriage be recognized in the U.S. (in PR YES!), what documentation do you need to bring with you(Birth Certificate & Passport), are blood tests required (syphilis, clamydia & gonorrhea), what license fees does the country impose ($20)?
  • Check with the local Visitor's Bureau for help finding facilities, ministers, photographers, bakery, wedding planners, etc.
  • Make sure you get detailed contracts from anyone that you work with concerning your wedding (photographers, planners, wedding chapels, etc.). And be sure to confirm everything well ahead of time.
  • Consider putting together a loose agenda for you guests for the days before and after your wedding that they may be in town. You'll also want to send them hotel, travel and even tourist information well ahead of time.
  • Since a wedding far from home may limit your guest list, make sure your guests know that you won't be upset if some can't make it. Always make group hotel reservations and/or air booking when possible. Your guests will appreciate it! Make these reservations well in advance (ASAP).
  • Consider how you will get your dress and other wedding "supplies" to your destination. Consider shipping them well ahead of time to avoid having to check them at the airport.
  • Since your destination wedding may be small with a limited amount of guests. Plan a reception after you return home for everyone else to attend. Consider having a friend or relative who wasn't able to attend the actual wedding plan the reception with you. Make sure separate invitations are sent for the event.
On the other hand, you can contact me and I will do it all for you :)

Your wedding planner,

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