Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monster In Law or Mother In Law?

This is one question that continues to baffle me. I know that there are several of you that can relate to this. The one thing we hope for when we decide to get married, is that we can get along with his/her parents. Just because you fall in love with someone does not give the guarantee that your significants side will accept you and/or your ideas about this big day. Close knit families may not always be open arms immediately. The scary thing about the word "in law" is that they are going to be a part of your world for forever and a day. I can tell you, this is an area that seems to take over the planning BIG time. When I hear these horror stories, all I can do is listen. I try to be the unbiased party or devils advocate in some cases. While sitting back is sometimes extremely hard, I do have to put my foot down once in a while. How do you plan a wedding with a controlling MIL to be? Tread waters lightly. I have planned numerous weddings where the bride cannot work along with the mother of the groom because she's overbearing. Giving her opinions as though she's the only one that matters. How can you even discuss being civil when you have this demanding beast wherever you go? How does this work with your new engagement? Good question. I know that having someone like myself to vent to is good, but my question remains the same. What are you going to do about this? Truthfully, this can be the beginning of a great new life with a new family, or this can be your worst nightmare. Just because you say I do, doesn't mean things change. It's up to you to make the difference before hand. If you wait, you're only fueling the fire. Your going to harbor resentment for not saying something. This problem is so common, even celebrities who have recently gotten engaged have shared some scary tales. Lets take Ashanti and Nelly. Now this couple is ready to be engaged any day now. The problem is Ashanti's mom Tina Douglas, is a bit of a control freak. This has kept Nelly from asking those magical words. I think we can all say after dating someone for nearly a decade as mentioned in Star this could be the deal breaker. They even quoted Tina as "Mom In The Middle". If that's the deal breaker RUN NELLY RUN! Tina, Ashanti's mom looks over everything she does. Critical with career moves always wanting her daughter to do more. I'm not sure of anyone that is going to be good enough to reach her approval. But in the end, is it really up to someone's parents to decide what's right? As a parent, I want to the best for my daughter, but truly, I have no control over who she falls in love with. I only hope he has a job and aspires to be a good person! Heck, he could wear dreadlocks and believe that everything is Marly. I have also worked with couples where the grooms side is no piece of cake. I had this client who was married earlier this year. HIs mother not only took over my job 3 weeks before the wedding, but began to take over all aspects from both sides. I don't think she even asked the opinion of the brides mom. She just did what she felt was right. I know my bride was scared to death of her. I think she just let things fall by the wayside just to keep the peace. You could tell this couple was in love and that was wonderful to see. The problem was that this groom was a mommas boy. When I say mammas boy, I mean he called her mommy. A man in his 30's calling his mother "mommy" on his wedding day. When I heard this, I had to ask him, what did you just say? You didn't just call her "mommy" did you? He said yes, she's my mommy! Said it proudly! I was REALLY frightened for this bride. I mean he is a great guy, but she has no idea what's in store later on. So, the question is what can you do to work things out? If we use the Post advice on etiquette, she would suggest putting a meeting in order. Write down your concerns on paper and focus on the important points. Make sure you tell his/her mom things that are most important to you on the day of your wedding. Speak without tone, but express yourself in a manner where they understand. There's no guarantee this will work 100%, but at least you become the better person for trying. Now, if all fails, your last resort is to speak to your fiance. Keeping feelings bottled up inside are only going to cause problems for both of you later on. You don't want to take this route. TRUST me! If you are able to express the importance of issues at hand, they may be able to smooth things out without involving you. Don't doubt their ability to get what you need to calm the water per say. I know this may not be the easiest thing to work with, but look at it this way, it could be worse! I had a bride where the mother of the groom refused to meet her until the day before their very own wedding. This mother did not like the bride and had not even met her! I can already tell you, this relationship is going to have some HUGE obstacles ahead! Can you imagine meeting someone who you know doesn't like you the day before you get married? Talk about STRESS! I look forward to sharing other experiences with you! Dying to hear what you have for me! You'd be amazed how many others share your grief!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Offices Closed 12-21 to 12-27-08

This is just a quick note to let you know that Samantha Goldberg along with her team will not be in the office from Dec 21 through Dec 27th. If you have an inquiry about our services, please complete our questionnaire on line and we will get back to you as soon as we can. We'd also like to take the time to thank you for your continued support and for reading our blog! I hope the content keeps you on your toes and gives you a chuckle or 2! We have some great news for 2009! We have moved our office to 2 other locations! Our new address in Chester is 44 Main Street! This is located inside of Belissimo. Our new line Sassi Sammi will be available for purchase at this location as of Jan 20th 2009. We are also completing the paperwork for the move to our new design center in Summit NJ. This has been a dream of mine for quite sometime now! We will not only have state of the art showrooms, but a private theatre to give you the full experience of what's yet to come with your wedding! Stay tuned for more GREAT news ahead! Happy Holidays to all!!! Samantha Goldberg and Co.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How Do We Know They're The One?

I'm not sure why we always focus on what the girl thinks. Maybe we feel we are a superior breed. Now, I'm not denying it. Gals rule plain and simple. How many cool things we get to experience during wedding planning! The likelihood of a man telling me "Sam, this was exactly what I've been dreaming of since I was 4. I'd probably retire. I have sat through several meetings. If you want me to get into how many? I would say on average about 30 meetings a week. You'd think by the time I reach #30, I get a bit burnt. Well for me, it's the opposite. I just love people. Maybe that's why we just connect after the first meeting. I know it's not my verbal "drugging". Although, speaking of drugs, I have a funny story about a married couple. This couple is an older one. In their late 50's...Wife decides that husband is developing Bi-Polar tendencies and decides to lace his drinks with Zoloft. I have to mention this wife, had some MAJOR issues herself, but the drugging story I had to tell! Did it help? No. The wife ended up with divorce papers under her pillow last Christmas. Call it a gift. Maybe the Zoloft gave one of them some balls to end it. It was a lost cause. BUT the story, cracks me up. She said I was welcome to blog about it. Well I wouldn't have if she said not to, or would I? Anyway this leads into my gut and how I can tell a couple is not going to make it. I'm not saying I'm psychic, but come on, after meeting thousands of people, I do have an inkling of what is going to make it past the altar. I have had several couples that just love to argue. It's their MO. Is it healthy? No. But to sit thorough it makes me realize my arguments about boxers around the house is so minimal. Specific things I look for 1. Can they make solid decisions together about the planning in general. Does he cut her off, does she stop him from expressing his ideas? 2. Is budget the one area which rubs him/her the wrong way? I mean, how do you expect to have 300 guests with a $30,000 budget? If you break it down per person it may be $100, but is that enough to get you everything you need? Your going to have to cut something out. It's usually something on our end. Having KFC or Waffle House may work for some, maybe that's why the Colonel wore white right? Ha! Bet you never thought that! It's always the shoes! OK. I know $1000 for a pair of Manolo B's is pricey but heck your feet deserve to be pampered too right? I don't think he's going to complain seeing you in the after wear "sassy" with 4 inch heels. Instead he's going to forget about that price tag and reap the rewards. This is a VERY common problem. 3. You have one who likes to be in the lime light, and the other who wants something simple. Let's look at Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. They were together for 7 years. She is a very next door kind of gal (well she is great at faking it) Last night on Jay Leno, that gal had one hot body! And she flaunted it quite well. Several of our male friends were howling for her. I say good for Jenn. Librarian in person and temptress in the bedroom. But she's a simple gal and don't forget it! Brad on the other hand, likes to be in the light all of the time. I mean he did marry temptress Angelina. In my opinion, anyone with a name like that is going to be the center of attention! Who do you think really wears the pants in that relationship? This leads me to.... 4. Grooms that don't allow the bride to express her dreams. I know that most of our brides get carried away. I mean, look at all of the cool ideas out there. Endless details and so many choices. It's enough to make most crazy. I'm not saying grooms should allow every wish, but at least prioritize what makes the most sense. if you shut out all of it, what your doing is stealing her thunder. That's not only going to put you in the dog house, but may cut you off from other areas too. I'm not going there. Actually who hasn't been there? I know you have heard the saying... You give me big rock, and I'll give you a rock that you won't forget buddy! My suggestion before you get into this process is to find every one's priorities. No surprises. It's a much better way to start and guaranteed less stress. You know the drill folks, you have to have a plan. Start with a preliminary budget, guest list and wants vs needs. I know some may seem unrealistic, but once you hear their side it may not seem so weird. Trust me! Even my husbands obsession with Grey Goose seemed weird. I mean who cares! But it made him happy. I gave up the extra 30Ft of Venetian hour, but I gained a pain free process. I know he felt quite ill after indulging on a martini bar and will probably never drink that much again. See lesson learned! I was a happy bride! Have any fun stories to share? You guys are great at sending them to me personally. I like to share! But, I can't help others without your experiences. xoxox sam

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good Things To Know!

Right when you think you have a sane household with little to explain to a 5 year old, think again... First of all, it's COLD outside! Where did this crap come from and how do we send it back? I know the NYC folks say Chicago is SO cold...I have news for you, it's just as cold here. Actually it's warmer in Chicago than in the burbs. I gather it's the same story here. OK. So tonight, we have a lot going on, husbands getting ready for a test, and he's putting Sydney to bed. I can't help but to look in on them as he is tucking her in. I'm feeling nostalgic peeking in, and Andrew begins to tell our daughter the story of Chanukah. I'm not sure where the story started, I just heard him telling her about the part where the Romans were chasing after the Jews (he mentioned later it was good I did not hear about the crucifixion). STOP...Is it just me, or is this like showing her Friday the 13th episodes? Best part, tonight I agreed to have her sleep in our room. What was I thinking? I am going to be climbing the walls tomorrow. This has been one wacky day. Not that any of my days are normal, I don't want you to get the wrong idea about me. I'm just as abnormal as the rest of you, if not more so. Highly comical and lots of room to imagine I suppose. I read this article on line tonight...It was what men don't like to see or hear. So men, don't like to see too much crack? I'm saying crack in the tush ladies. I guess those low riders are going too low for some of us. I have to agree, I would not be turned on by seeing plumber tush. Even if your my best friend, I'd have to tell you it's just not right. OK. So if low riders are not attractive to you, then why did you design them? And furthermore, Victoria Secret has low rider panties? Come on, we are trying here! Next on his list of dislikes...Clutch purses instead of totes? Like a guy really cares what we carry? Half the time, we are carrying his crap and when you have a kid you have more chachkas so what is our alternative? If you have a slim bag for credit cards, this may work for some of us! He also doesn't like flat boots, he'd rather see you in boots with heels or open toe boots. Well Mr. Man...I'd like to see you walk in these cha cha boots. Some of them are really high and if you can't pole dance, your going to look like Lucy Riccardo. I can't walk in heels over 2 inches. With the snow we are expecting unless they are like 5-7 inch heels, you might as well just wear the UGGS. I think UGS are super sexy and really cozy. Ladies if you have a man who wants to wear some boots with heels, I need to see this one. No to grandma underwear and YES to SPANX? Have you guys ever tried to put on SPANX? I know the name sounds kinky, but I don't see the word sexy in SPANXS. I see deception of real weight! If you have muffin top...This could do the trick. However, I don't see this as a quick fix for brides. I have stories that will make you rip out of your SPANX from recent brides who have worn them. I think we should have a comedy show about brides getting out of them after the wedding. I'm kind of envious of the SPANX I have to say, when I got married, I just had to suck it in physically. At least you have nylon doing it for you this time around. Maybe you could save the after wedding "CALI FORNICATION" until the next morning? JUST asking!!! RELAX! Now wait, NO to low rise and YES to high rise? I cannot even fathom putting on high rise. It's like pulling your pants too high on purpose.Camel toe might even add into this equation! Have you tried going back to that look? It's MOM jeans! Do you want to look like MOM at 20? Sorry guys, this one I'm putting my foot down. Last but not least...NO to black lipstick and YES to red. Who ever thought black lipstick is hot? I mean if your into the whole goth thing, I get that, but black lipstick? Picking up your kid from school in black lipstick? Do they even sell this stuff? Halloween yes...But everyday wear? Red lipstick, I have to say, SASSY! Sadly enough for me it makes me look like the Jecklers wife...I have tried every shade and well, it's not going to happen. I don't think there is anything sexier than a bride in white wearing RED lipstick! It's hot..and leaves a bit of imagination for her groom! DEFINITELY COUGAR MATERIAL! You won't have to worry about getting out of those SPANX ladies if you go with the RED lips....Sure cure for any groom whose had way too much Johnny! OK. Who ever started this article must have found men in places we just don't go. I just thought you might like to see what our typical train wreck of a man likes for us.. Ha! I hope you are all having a great week...I hope to find some interesting feedback on this one...I know I might have gone a bit overboard. I am dabbling remember? This is what writers do! xoxo Sam

Monday, December 15, 2008

Style Network New Episode Tuesday Dec 16th 10pm!

I have been waiting for this show for a long time. I'm not sure why I call this show "CLOSURE" for me...But it is. I want you all to have the "ah ha" moment...All of the emails I have received through the years, especially this year, will finally be answered. Maybe you will change your mind about us, the show or just weddings in general. It's all good, positive and I think Style is great for doing this. We finally get to speak to viewers about some of the more controversial episodes. Call this a "behind the scenes" special. There are several planners involved, but what's interesting is they allow planners to comment on each other's shows. I can only imagine what some say about mine. Again, understand some of these planners only know what they viewed. I'm excited for tomorrow, but also a bit nervous. I think we all get this way before an episode airs. We wonder if people in 40 countries will view us differently. For most, they keep in mind it's just tv. For few, it's scary guys, they believe in everything they see. Why do you think we have some zany fans? For those of you who have inquired about my staying on television since the last epoisode of season 7 or what's next, I have a lot to share. Television is still happening! I've been working with another great production company for my own show. I know some rumors have passed about whether or not I will stay with Style or move on, I'm not going anywhere as of yet. We have had some offers and well, I'm not in a hurry. I think Style is great. I have been with Style for 6 seasons! More News... I'm going to be the contributing editor for Bridal Guide on line!I couldn't be more excited about this partnership. BG is one of the first magazines I contributed to 4+ years ago. Since that time, I have worked with BG on an ongoing basis. I will continue to give great advice and maybe spice things up a bit. The launch of my BLOG with Bridal Guide on line should appear this week...Everything takes time! It has to be just right! I do have to warn you, this first post is a good one, but it's just a warm up for what I have in store for 2009. I could not be more humbled by their trust in me to give their viewers the best information possible! Thanks Bridal Guide! This has been a really great year overall despite the road blocks earlier on. I've written in many magazines, newspapers, blogs and have done numerous interviews on television. This has been GREAT experienece as you know how I love to write about weddings! SOMETHING NEWS WORTHY! Sassi Sammi my new line, should be ready to go at the Behind the Veil show on Jan 18th 2009. The show still has openings I WILL have the feather bags at the show! They are ready! I also have the T-shirts... Some of your quotes are going to be on them too! Wait until you see the merchandising of the booth...So cute! And, I have some fabulous news about the Behind The Veil show! I will have some of my favorite peers from Whose Wedding with me on stage! Stella Inserra, Linnyette Richardson Hall, Mark Kingsdorf, James Tramondo and maybe a few other surprises! They are as excited as I am about the opportunity to share great stories and just tips about the industry in general. I could not be more excited about the great things ahead for Gold Events and Sassi Sammi! I look forward to your emails about the show tomorrow night! Fingers crossed at 10pm ET! xox Sam

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Going Back To The Basics With Etiquette TOP 3 ISSUES 2008!

I have to say this year has been an exceptional one when it comes to wedding etiquette. The numerous emails and conversations I have had with brides/grooms and their families about the "proper" way to express our concerns and ideas. I'm going to be frank here...I feel like some of us have become a little "George Bush" making up our own rules and words as time goes by. Things have definitely changed since the 50's and well it's not always "smelling like roses" if you know what I mean. I'm the first to say the wedding is all about the bride and groom. I know the families are involved, but it really is about the 2 of you right? Call it selfish? I don't think so. I have seen people that take the whole "us" thing to another level. Tomboy episode on Style Network; Yes, I was thinking of that one. But I have had others. Just not as strange. OK. So let's get started shall we. I am going to cover the basics, but the REALLY important basics that will answer your questions and maybe set some thoughts at ease. Or NOT...I'm following the post girls on this one. I have not picked up an Emily Post book in years. I was just given a copy of her 5th edition as a gift and maybe as a bit of a joke...We've really taken etiquette to another level ladies. It's as though we want to push higher every year. I'm taking notes on all of your posts and emails. You betcha this is going in my book! How far can we go??? ADULT RECEPTIONS I've covered this subject in numerous articles and conversations with clients. The question is always, how can we do this without hurting or angering someone? I'm going to be honest, once you delve into this area, your going to piss someone off. It's just going to happen. You can't please everyone no matter what you do. I know you guys try so hard to keep everyone happy, but it's just not always as simple. You allow the ring bearer and the flower girl, your sisters newborn and your own children. But your other sister has 2 kids that are 12 and 13. Now why do they have to stay home, but your allowing your other sister who just had a baby to bring her newborn? Good question. You're not going to like my response, but if you say NO children, you have to stick with the rules or you will have some "side" effects. Decide if you want to go down this road. While some may be OK, you may start a ruffle. Can you deal with it? You're going to have to. It's a road most don't want to travel, but to get what you want, you have to go there. What to write on the invite? NEVER write adult reception on the invite itself. Not only does it look tacky, but it's not proper etiquette. If you want to "sassy" someone off, this could be a good way to do it. The RSVP card is the way to go. You can add to the top of the card "Adult" reception to follow at the "ABC Club". You may also want to spread the word under the table per say with letting your friends know, this is an adult only reception. I always say, talk about the things to others in confidence that you WANT everyone to know. Do you have any friends/family who have what we call "diarrhea" of the mouth? Tell them first, the message is sure to be on the front page of the Post by morning. FIRE AN ATTENDANT OK. This is a touchy subject, but if Peggy covers it, you got to know it's good. Peggy suggests a more politically correct way of saying it " Asking your attendant to back out"...Hmm...There is NO way that asking someone to step down is going to look pretty. I don't care how you do it. Not even a 4 carat Tiffany diamond is going to make it better. It may mask things, but come on, this is DANGEROUS waters. I want to tell you as a planner and as a bride, I had to do this. It was not with friends but with family. I can't think of anything worse than to ask someone to step down. This subject just sucks and well, what can I say? But here's the question you have to ask yourself. Do you want this person to be in every photo and a part of your important day? Can you work things out or are you willing to lose years of friendship and or family communication? That's the BIG question. Once you ask the question, you have to be willing to deal with the consequences. Many emotions fly high when you ask your nearest and dearest to stand up. Some may be friends while others might be family. How do you weigh it out? Some of these attendants may be that "type" that somehow becomes envious of your engagement and happiness and they may go ballistic. They may blow things off. They may be the only one who refuses to wear the same dress. YUCK. WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE! Do you know what Peggy says? Attendants role at the wedding: Attends the rehearsal and dinner, bridesmaids luncheon if applicable Supervises the children in the bridal party if applicable Assists the bride at the reception as requested Participates in activities such as the line-up or bouquet toss Gives an individual gift to the couple or contributes to the couple with the rest of the bridal party. Did you READ that? I have to say, I've stood up in 13 weddings. I've never had this expectation. So remember what I said about etiquette? Gals, we have not been living up to our part. I think the maid of honor has kind of taken over all of this... What is the maid of honor's responsibility you ask? Helps the bride select the BM's attire Helps address invites and place cards Organizes the bridesmaids gift to the bride and often organises the luncheon for the girls. Holds the grooms wedding ring and the brides bouquet during the ceremony. Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate Helps the bride during the reception(gathering guests for the cake cutting, dancing and bouquet toss). Snap Snap on this one... Helps the bride get into her going-away clothes and takes care of the bride's wedding dress and accessories after the reception. Have you guys done this? I'm not trying to start trouble, but if Peggy says so... I'm not even getting into the role of the best man, you guys would laugh. The list is even longer than the maid of honor. I swear it! Do you have any good stories about asking someone to step out or possibly step in at the last minute??? The LAST ISSUE...ARE YOU READY! COMMITMENT CEREMONIES I know this is good right? I have picked some pretty good subjects this year! So, the times have changed and well, you can play old school, but if you do play it, play fair. You can't say NO to one subject and yes to another especially if you are talking about what's right (What society thinks)or what you think. Here's the deal, society places these thoughts of what is socially acceptable. Doesn't mean it's right. The truth is SAME SEX MARRIAGE is being approved monthly in different states. For those who don't agree, keep your thoughts to yourself. If you were made to make these decisions for all of us, heck we'd call you G-D. I'm not sharing my thoughts on this board, I don't agree or disagree. It's not my place. You can't help who you fall in love with and that's just the way it is. There are several NON GAY friendly places out there what can we do? I just received a call from a fan Saturday who mentioned she was having a great time planning her wedding, but her cousin who is gay was already being turned down by venues. They told her once she completed the paperwork that "they don't do that sort of thing". I asked her what sort of thing was she doing...She said nothing she wants to get married? Robin, forgive me for my anger during our call. I was completely taken off guard and completely appalled that some of the venues you mentioned were also venues that we recommend. I don't know what to say. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be judged for my preference on sex, color etc...My only piece of advice is tell your cousin there are several gay friendly locations and I will personally see to it that she finds them. Call me back! Peggy "posts" that this is the way to go. There is no law that states you have to announce your type of relationship with a venue or vendor. How extensively you go into it is your decision and not mandated by law. But sadly these venues can decide whether or not to partake in this type of ceremony. You can waste your time and make yourself unhappy just by fighting it. I know it's wrong, and I know these "folks" need to wake up cause it's the year 2008! That saying you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, may still stand with this one. In time, this is going to change. Hey look at this, we have our first African American President. I know several people who disagreed with this, but it happened and well, it's time to move on. Speaking of moving on I have to go....Santa is infront of our house on a firetruck and our nice Jewish home needs to get a glimpse of the other side! Ho Ho! Sam

Friday, December 12, 2008

Whose Wedding Is It Anyway New Show! Tuesday December 16th 10PM ET

Hello WWIIA Fans! This is a show you won't want to miss! Here is the description below: Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?: 20 Most Outrageous Whose Wedding Is It Anyway Moments Relive twenty of your favorite moments from the first eight seasons of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? and get the inside scoop from the planners who lived them. Remember Missing Pieces? I will have some behind the scenes on TV of where I really was and what really happened. Tom Boy Wedding? Remember the couple who would not cooperate with me on where they wanted that silly library? Sam's Biggest Fan...The Bride who felt as though we were soul mates? Any many more from some of your favorite wedding planners! I look forward to seeing the show! I have not been able to see it yet and am very excited to hear your response! Love ya Sam

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Behind The Veil Expo Jan 18th 2009

Aspiring planners! We are working on our next class for Feb 2009! The location has changed to the Mezzanine in Newark NJ. It's going to be a fab class as always! Please call us to inquire. The fee has been dropped to $700 for those who do not want to work an event with us! We accept PAY PAL now too! I also have GREAT news! Please sign up for Limited space available. I only have 200 Sassi Sammi bags to give and we have over 200 Brides signed up already! Get on that list ladies! Join myself along with some of my peers from Whose Wedding! We are going to share our experiences from being on the show. Some of my peers such as Linnyette Richardson Hall, James Tramondo, Stella Inserra and Mark Kingsdof will be there to name a few! We are going to have a blast! There will also be several give a ways like a FREE engagement party with Frungillo's Catering worth over $5,000 and other vendors.... More to share later! Sign up today! I want to see you there and I want to meet the winners! Love you guys! Sam

Monday, December 8, 2008

So What's 2009 Going To Bring For Us? A Free Wedding?

Each day I watch the news and wonder, what's this industry going to do for so many brides who want the dream and now have to wait? I've always told myself it's not about the flowers or dress but more so about why we were getting married. I got married to improve who I was, to be a better parent than what I had, and to allow the next 60 years to be better ones. While I'd like to believe this is going to be enough for some of you, I know your dream is to have your nearest and dearest with you as you walk down that aisle. So, I have a question to ask, if you have little funds to make this happen, what are your priorities? I mean if you couldn't have the $5K dress or the abundant centerpieces, what would you REALLY want? What would be enough to make the dream happen? What are you willing to give up? That is if you had to. I know this is a hard question to ask of you, but I have very good reason to do so. There is a special group. Let's call this group a foundation. This "foundation" has been very fortunate to have thriving businesses and want to give back. But not to just anyone. They want the right reason. Every reason means something to someone. But what makes your reason enough to get the dream? What would be the right reason to give one deserving couple the day they have longed about for quite sometime? I know each day we receive several emails from Brides who have $20,000 to plan a wedding. While I think $20K is a lot of money, I see the guest count of 300 and I tend to have a few panic attacks. How do you expect to have that many people with a budget that will not allow for this? Remember almost 45% of that budget goes towards catering. I do understand that some have large families. I wish I had that problem. I have a very small one. And sometimes, a REALLY small one if you know what I mean. I'm taking a stab at this, but isn't it most important to have the ones you love and closest friends with you on this special day? I know you want to invite the many people who have been there during the many phases of your life. But realistically, isn't this new life with someone special that's most important? I mean this is a new start, a new direction for you and your families. Right? I am looking for that couple. I seriously mean this. Why is your dream any different than what we get everyday? What is this dream going to do for you long term if it does come true? Will you be forever freed of hard times, and will this day help you endure the many obstacles that come your way? Let's be honest, a wedding cannot help with this... If you can email your story by the end of Dec 2008, I will make you a promise. I have provided the foundation, it REALLY exists. But I need you, to make this reason strong enough to make your dream come true. If you don't respond to this post, some other couple with reasons less than yours will get this opportunity. Is that ok with you? You ask, what am I looking for? Just pure truth, a reason and maybe a dream? I may be foolish in thinking this exists and I am hoping you can prove me wrong. But I feel deep in my heart this story is out there. I do believe in fairy tales and I do believe that family and friends together can conquer anything. I want to be there with you to make this happen. This is one of my dreams. I know I share this thought with may vendors. That's what we are doing this...Theres no catch but just that.... The contestants that are chosen must be present during the on Jan 18th 2009. You must sign up for the show. I want to be able to read your dream to the thousands that will be listening. If you are OK with this, I'd like to post it. Photos would be nice also. Be true to yourself. It won't matter who agrees with this story. It's your story. If you don't win, let us try and help you make it happen...It may not be as lavish, but it will be as lovely as you thought it could be. Remember, I do not put my name on anything that looks cheap or without thorough thought. I finally have an amazing team of planners and vendors who want to help! So let us! If you are a vendor and want to participate in this adventure and chance to give back, please inquire with Samantha Goldberg at I have to thank the many vendors who have reached out to us in hopes of assisting brides who have lost jobs, family members and maybe all expenses to pay for their wedding. There maybe a few that have just lost hope...I can tell you hope is always right around the corner. I hope one of you, reads this and knows, something special is right around the corner... Guidelines....Dates for venue will be given to contestant upon receipt of contest. No portion of package can be returned, exchanged or gifted. All portions need to be used at one event and must be used during the times and or locations allotted in 2009. I look forward to giving away something very special. This is truly a gift... Amazing how one day a group of my favorite vendors sat around and wondered what we could do to give back? I love this industry! You believed in me and in us, now we want to give back... xoxooxox Sam

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Engagement Time!

It's that time of year! Those who are married probably know it well, and others who are in the process are anxiously awaiting that ring! I remember when I got engaged, I wasn't expecting it! That's how it's supposed to be! But as women, we are so darn impatient we want it when we say it's time. I never gave the ultimatum. I just knew in my mid 30's I didn't need to date someone for 5 years to determine our making it to the altar. It was either there, or it wasn't. I'm not sure if statistics will interest some of you, but did you know that 19% of Americans get engaged between Thanksgiving and New years? This number has been pretty consistent for many years. I know this because our phone along with email goes ballistic with inquiries! I do have to apologize this year, I was away with family in Chicago during the holiday and decided I needed a break just being "me" for a few. I'm sure you are savvy with needing "me" time. I want to give those of you who have just started the process some sound advice. Each year I take away many new experiences. They are not always favored, but yet I know I need to change certain things. Call this my NY resolution list. The list is too long this year, let's stay away from that subject! For those who have begun the process, I know your first inclination is to find the dress. I guess you can call this the kick off. For some, this may be stressful because you have searched for quite sometime for the perfect design only to realize it's just not you. I've been there gals. Trust me. I remember taking a few friends with me to try on gowns, and thought the sheath dress was the one. Low and behold, I got this "Yuck, that's so not you Sam" look. I think I heard them say it just by the look on their face. I was SO disappointed. I finally figured out I needed to be about 5 inches taller to pull this off. I knew there were not cosmetic procedures to help me with this feat. I also knew that lifts (what men use to appear taller)was a no go. I tried what I call pole dancer shoes, honey if I can't pole dance or make it two inches without wobbling, this was not going to happen either. So what did I choose you ask? I found a happy medium, A-line. Always a good choice! No, it did not have feathers! Although if I wanted to have them, I could have pulled it off. I think. The dress is so little compared to the many difficult decisions you will need to make. Just know that every decision is going to take time. I hope you will all take it. It goes by REALLY fast! I have watched over 60 brides this year, make decisions, change their minds and then go back to the same choice. It's funny! I think as I get to know my brides, I already know the process and don't want to spoil it...So I play along. I will only tell you after the wedding what I knew while we were planning. One area that is most sensitive with regard to decision making is the invite list. It starts with engagement parties, showers, sassy girls night, and the wedding. Wait, let's not forget the breakfast after the wedding. I'm going to speak from the heart with this one, while playing with etiquette just a tad! Big question, if you invite someone at the beginning of the process, does it mean you have to invite them to everything? The Post gals would say yes. In fact, if I take us back 50+ years, anyone would say if you don't invite consistently, your considered rude and well that was just not even a consideration for brides back then. What do I think? I think you have to do what feels right. The engagement party is again, the kick off for your friends and family. It's a time where you get to celebrate a new phase in your life with the ones who have been there since you were born or those you have invited into your world along the way. It's also considered the introduction to your significant's world too. Ahhh, you didn't think about that part huh? Yes. This is the part which can be somewhat scary. You may not like everyone whose invited, but this is how it works. This is how the rest of the process works. Some of the people at this event, may be there for a long time. Maybe not on a daily basis, but you're going to see them during the holidays, special occasions or maybe a Sunday dinner. Get used to it! So while you are thinking, OMG, is this what marriage is about? If you want to focus on the things that you have no control over, then your going to make yourself nuts. This is about you and your other half. No ones family is perfect. While some may be easier to deal with then your own at times, look at it as a bonus. When it comes time for you to get the invite list ready, I want you to keep this one piece of advice in your pocket. Think of it as a gift. I promise this one will keep giving even after you get married. Your going to have many events that surround this new part of your life, especially for those marrying into a different culture. Your going to want everyone from your past and future to be there each step of the way. While some will be able to make it, some may not. I have watched brides feel so abandoned from friends or family who say they can come, and something comes up and they can't. It's hard not to take this personally. I understand this more than any of you will ever know. It happened during my wedding too. It's also happened after. But the one thing I have learned is that it doesn't have to take away from the event being special. I'm getting very close to the 1,000Th wedding mark in my career, and I would say 900+ are in the category where we always have conversations about attendance. I have watched that place card table like a hawk at many of our events, ensuring if there are several no shows, you'll never see it. One of the things I asked our planner to do was to hide the place cards that were left over until after the wedding. I'm glad that I asked her to do so because we had a total of 20 people who did not make it for various reasons. Some were totally understood. While others, no reason, no call and well we just knew that was the breaking point. I think for us, the part that hurt the most is that we didn't even get a call afterwards. Things happen and sometimes you can't control the reason. And sadly these events can change our relationships. I wish I knew the answer to why this happens, again, I think it's learning to adapt. My goal as a planner is to assist each couple with the several events that occur and to prepare them for what's ahead. I know what each of you goes through. It's a process. There are so many things we need to change, adapt to and accept. Again, I don't have all of the answers, but I do know that life has a funny way of working things out. I turned 40 this last week! My husband threw an amazing party for me. I was so proud of him and his ability to orchestrate such a memorable affair. I'm sure for those who are planners, giving up control is hard. You want to assist, it's just in our nature. Again, I walked away from this milestone learning many things. There were people who could not make it for many reasons. It hurt because it wasn't just my 40th, but a celebration of what this year has been like for myself and my family. What has it been like you ask? Some great things and well you watch tv, other things not so favorable. I'm moving on... I do have great things to announce about my company, career and what's she up to lately?? Shortly! I have little patience, but don't have a choice with some of the things I am dabbling in. I guess it took a year like this to bring these things out...Like I said, everything happens for a reason. Gals, if you know in advance you are on a ride with many surprises and experiences( I am being politically correct here) ahead, you may find your planning process to be much easier! Take my word for it! You know I'll always tell it like it is... Sam

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Excitement Never Ends After Marriage!

For those of you who fear that after you tie the knot the fun is over, you may want to wait on that thought. I think I've heard the "ball and chain" comment way too often. I still laugh because I know this is so far from the truth. But I do like to watch the fear in a grooms eyes as he takes the plunge! Hey, I know it's bad, but I can't help myself! I think the one area where I see the most anxiety for the bride, is the walk down the aisle. I've been at the end of a line-up hundreds of times where the bride takes that DEEP breath and it's like she's walking down the aisle to an exam at college! Well brides, I have news for you, the groom is twice as nervous as you are. He has to wait at the altar a lot longer than you, and people STARE at him. It's like they are waiting for something to happen. Is he going to run, pass out, vomit..I know it's sick, I know it's truly hard to believe that people actually wait and hope for some kind of drama, but it's true. I just can't lie about this one. You can't tell me you haven't thought something like this, especially if the groom looks nervous, is running late or needs to have a seat... It's only natural that we would think MAYBE something could happen. Let's be honest, most of the time, nothing does. One another note, when I say the excitement doesn't end after the wedding I mean it. I've been married for 7 years. There is always something happening in our relationship. An occasional argument (I mean discussion, sorry), a crazy week with work, someone falls ill, someone snores too loud and etc... When you have children, that's the icing on the cake. You actually can't act like a kid anymore because you now have to raise one. I would like to think I can still act like a 21 year old on occasion. I just can't do this in our home. Our daughter Sydney is turning 5 this year. It's hard to believe I've raised anything for 5 years. I thought keeping Sea Monkeys or goldfish alive was difficult. Someone should have told me. My mother may have mentioned the "just wait Sammy" comment a few times, I probably ignored her like most teenagers do. I try once a month to do a "mommy and Sydney" spa day. We usually get our nails done and pick out a new outfit to match our new nail color. Well, she gets the new outfits and I come along for the nails. It goes something like this. Tonight was "our" day to hit the spa and shop. This night is one I know I won't forget. I know this because she is going to remind me of something I said after we finished with our nails. She was so impatient while allowing them to dry, and I knew others around us didn't want her running around them. I respect that this time for most women is to relax. So I grabbed her and we left. Next stop was "The Children's Place". For those of you who don't have children yet, this is a somewhat sassy store for children. Glitzy and sparkly fun clothing. I wish I had this growing up. I would have put the character "Fancy Nancy" to shame. I have to admit while trying to find the right outfit, I did put a few larger shirts against me to see if I could squeeze into one. I'm so disappointed for one, but REALLY embarrassed that the clerk caught me. She chuckled and said she had wished for one in her size too. I'm not alone! Well after 30 minutes of trying to guess what she wanted, we finally found the right outfit! She picked out a fabulous hounds-tooth dress with silver buttons. I attempted to put her into it and SMUDGE! The beautiful nails I had were destroyed. I don't get my nails done but once a month. So this kind of stinks! Here's where I bit the edit button, "I said, Oh crap, I screwed up my nails". My daughter said let me see. I showed her and she said "Mommy, you didn't screw up your nails". I said "yes, mommy's thumb is bad news". It wasn't even 2 seconds later where she is screaming "look mommy I screwed my nails up too!" She adamantly runs around the store yelling "I screwed up, my mommy screwed up, we're twins now mom"! Everything for that LONG 40 minutes was REALLY screwed up. The new word of the day is "screwed" and I'm responsible for it. The word "screwed" doesn't sound so good coming from a 5 year old. I try so hard to say the right things, and yet still there's always something that just destroys my hard work. In conclusion, when I said things always stay active, I really meant it. I can only imagine what Sydney will bring into her classroom tomorrow. I only can pray it's a new book. Stay tuned...I may have to stand in the corner this time.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Planning Course CAES 100 series! December 18th 2008!

I'm going to blame this last class on Jennifer Orsini. G-d I do love that gal, but she makes me give in on my one weakness and that is, I love teaching! It's in my blood! I know I've mentioned a few times about my going to college to become an Elementary Ed teacher and ended up planning events instead. I knew at some point in the future, I would revisit my passion for teaching and allow it to work it's magic within this career! So as they say in Hollywood, "One more time!" Last Call For 2008! Please join Jennifer Orsini along with yours truly for our last planning course for beginners 2008! Date: Dec 18 Location Springfield NJ Time: 9:30am-3:30pm Content: The class will entail how to get into the business, stay organized, how to market yourself, networking and how to find your special niche. We will also cover how to close each client and make your programs stand out! We will supply you with the proper tools to get started. Such as, spreadsheets, questionaires, budget guidelines and etc... Class is a 1 day seminar and will include lunch. Longevity: Approximately 6 hours. **Class is also great for brides who want to plan ther own wedding but just need to get organzied. We will teach you the skills to negotiate! The fee of $900 includes all materials such as questionaires, copy of contracts, vendor lists, Budget Spreadsheets, time-lines. and much more! You will also have the option to work with Jenny or Samantha hands on in the field or in the office. This is an option and is not mandatory with recieving your certificate. For those who are traveling, we will gladly extend consultations over the phone in place of field experience. If this is of interest to you and you would like more information, please contact us at or call (908)450.9766. Cash, Personal Check and Money order accepted. We are happy to announce we now accept Pay Pal as another option for payment. (there may be a small 1-3% service fee). HOLIDAY PROMO! GOOBLE GOOBLE...For those who sign up before Thanksgiving, we will offer you a $50 early bird discount! No pun intended!Ha! When I say this REALLY is the last class of 2008 I REALLY mean it this time! Unfortunately based on space, we can only accomodate 12 students! I can't push my contacts on this one sorry! I hope to see you soon! Sam

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Contest! I need your help!

While working the wedding industry, I love taking the time to figure out new ways to make the business both fun and exciting for both the planner and the client! I have EXCITING news to share...With few details I cannot "talk" about just yet...The name of my company! It's like the best part too! I am in the process of being branded! Not with a metal rod that tells one what number I am either! For those who were aiming for this, sorry! This is an area I have dabbled in for quite sometime. Even when I worked in the professional beauty industry I had always hope to come out with the miracle cure for acne or frizzy hair. Well, we already know many companies have come out with spectacular products for hair and acne. No miracle cure for the zit of the century yet. I would imagine this is right around the corner. My thoughts would be to design things that make people smile, have fun and also attract some attention! I know that some would feel people get enough attention during the planning of any event. I say, you can never get enough attention! I was approached by a few companies 2-3 years ago who asked for me to carry their crazy bags on television. I am always willing to try anything that's fun. Let me tell you, the purses/totes that were sent DEFINITELY FUN. Somehow this is how I've been pegged! The lady on television who carry's the fun feather purses! Some of my peers, hate these bags. I won't mention who, I want to save them from being embarrassed! But every time we are out, someone always comments on the bag. The good news is that I have decided to take up one of those designers on developing my own line of accessories and bags. This person who is the MOST fabulous person ever has been watching the show, along with other forms of media I have participated in. She has taken my "quotes" from shows that made her laugh and turned them into cute t-shirts and the totes into something more eye catching than I could ever imagine! Bottom line...We need your help to come up with one more eye catching phrase for the t-shirts. The line will be released for the first time at the I will also be giving out a fabulous feather purse to the first 200 brides who either sign up, or are registered at the door. As of now, I was told we are expecting over 600 attendees. Which means I am looking for the first 200 brides to walk in the door! You must be engaged to participate. The value of this bag is at $30! It's a cutie! I look forward to the many fun names/slogans for the t-shirts...One hint to get the juices flowing... Do you remember the episode on "Whose Wedding" where I walked off the set because the couple would not tell me WHERE they wanted this crazy couch? Well, one name of the t-shirts someone suggested and I am using this... is "WHERE do you want the couch? This participant took the misery of the show and turned it into something really funny! You have to be a fan of the show to understand this one... I will keep you updated with my top 3: Let's get started! Sheri C Northern Jersey "Shalom Sassy" Lisa L Chicago IL "Complexly Simple. If you have to ask; you just don't get it." I REALLY do LOVE this one! Allison M South NJ "I'm a magnanimous woman" Best of luck to you! Contest rules: Each participant may register multiple times. Only one phrase or word will be chosen. The winner will receive credit via nationally, a t-shirt with their phrase and a crazy feather bag! Contest winner to be announced January 18th 2009! I would love to include your idea when we launch the line! May the winner wear it proudly! Have fun! SG!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I just wanted to share some of the fun I had in Boston during my photo shoot with an amazing person and artist. I was having such a crappy week and while I wanted to get this done, Eric made me forget my troubles... If you are looking for great headshots or more of an "urban chic" style for your wedding. This is the person you should be talking to. He not only can take amazing headshots which is VERY hard for most photographers, but he grabs expressions at the right moment. To me that is someone who knows their camera! Thanks Eric for an amazing shoot! I look forward to seeing the other crazy things we did that day! Linking..

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bloomingdales Boston and Cosmopolitan Magazine is Out!

This week has been a rough one, both with Binky passing and travels to Boston for a great event with Bloomingdales. The store was absolutely amazing. The guest count was fantastic and I had fun speaking as well as mingling with brides. We decided to change the format of how I gave the presentation and made it more interactive. Dana Marcos Events was the floral artist behind the show. Dana is amazing. From the first time we spoke on the phone, he was exactly on the same page with me regarding decor. We decided it would be fun to mimic a celebrity wedding I did against a less costly version. We then asked the brides to guess which table was the celebrity and the "just like celebrity version". When we completed this activity, we had each person guess the price of each centerpiece! We had 2 RIGHT ON THE MONEY winners! They both walked away with gifts from Waterford and Lalique. Now that's a GREAT take home prize! Some of the brides thought the celebrity centerpiece was over $3000...Little did they know that even my A celebs this year are cutting back on guest count but are staying lavish on detail. Interesting huh? I have to tell you, I don't blame any of my SS clients for wanting something intimate. Why should they spend millions just because they have it? We are all on the same page with that comment right? I will post the pics as soon as they come back from the photographer. Thanks Dana! You made this event awesome. I look forward to working with you VERY soon! Even better news....Cosmopolitan Magazine Dec issue is out! I was like a kid in a candy store yesterday at the Boston Airport. OK. I got REALLY carried away. I saw the December issue and bought SEVERAL copies. The cashier asked why so many? I said ummmm, I just love Cosmo what can I say! The article is called "Confessions of a Wedding Planner". You will find it on pages 166-168 YES 2 full pages and a great mug shot! I love the article and am so excited that they chose me for this piece! Thanks Cosmo you could not have come at a better time. Let me know your thoughts please! I also finished taping the pilot for my own show today! We have been shooting for 3-4months now. I think the first round is about a 10 minute version. We then have to go back for more footage once they take out what they don't want. All I can tell you, it's hysterical, it's me...and NO DRAMA! Well fun drama and certainly not leaving you wonder if it really happened!I wanted to add humor and that's exactly how it appears. I may be able to post some raw footage on-line soon. Tomorrow is going to be a tough day for me. I bury Binky along with the remains of Sheiba my other baby we had to put to sleep 4 years ago. They were best friends. I know now, they can finally play again. Thank you to everyone for the cards and special emails. It kept me strong when I felt like this week could not happen. I had so much to do and had no heart left to complete my tasks. But I did. I know life goes on, I just wish it would slow down so I can catch up. Binky's photo is attached this was taken a week ago. Shows you just how young he looked and still perky.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Binky Goldberg May 1993 to November 4th 2008

This blog entry is very painful to write. But I wanted to inform everyone who has been a part of my best friends life in person and on television that we put Binky to rest today. He was suffering with renal failure and was slowly disintegrating. I know this was the right thing to do but I am so beyond words right now. Sometimes when I write, I can work out painful things. I don't feel so relieved right now. He was not in any pain and kept eye contact with me while going to a better place. It's almost as if he knew I could only handle this if he kept his focus on me. I loved him so much. I will always love him and I know several of you loved him too. Binky was a dog with a lot of character. He would walk up to big dogs on the street and try to tackle them. I don't think he realized how small he was at 4 pounds. He had a sassy attitude (like his mother) and was very protective of me in general. He was called my assistant on television and my partner in crime. How lucky does one get to have their dog as a celebrity? He really was. If anything, Style has given me some great shows with him... We are trying to work out burial arrangements and will have a private service for my friends and family later this week. I am not sure if any site or casket can show just how much he meant to me. After almost 16 years, I want him to go with dignity. He gave me such wonderful memories. I hope he made you laugh a few times too! Binky, I will always love you. You are still my best friend and family member...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and are ready for trick or treats. We were ready, but more than half of our candy has been eaten. I guess we will be the neighbors at an early hour with light off and an empty candy holder on the door this year! My daughter has announced she would like to be a pig. I know this is not very "kosher" in our world, but she's 5 and well she even named herself Bacon NO JOKE!How do I tell her that one of her favorite things to eat is what she is for Halloween? I'll wait until she's in HS. Ha! I have some fun things to share...This video is wedding related of course...It was posted by one of my peers at Whose Wedding...If I had a choice in location, I would probably pick IHOP. I like fancy tasting syrup on my cakes! Yes...When your jaw drops, this really happens in the good ol' USA...Brides on a 10,000 this and you will feel 100% better! SG

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bloomingdales and Behind The Veil Expo!

Yes, I am on the road again with Bloomies!! I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting various brides all over the tri-state area and am very excited to move on to Boston! On November 5th, I will be the celebrity headliner for Bloomingdale's in their Chestnut Hill MA location. Please check their website for the timeline! I will be discussing the newest trends in wedding design and showcasing the "celebrity style centerpiece" along with some fantastic alternatives. I have the honor of working with one of Boston's hottest floral designers! Just wait until you see the masterpiece we are working on! It will blow you away! It's just HOT! Who said you have to be a celebrity to have the "celebrity style wedding"? You certainly did not hear it from me! On another note! BEHIND THE VEIL!!!! I am honored to be the celebrity headliner for one of the newest and hottest bridal expos in NJ Jan 18th 2009! Location: The Double Tree in Fort Lee NJ. The vendor participation is fabulous! Bloomingdale's, Fortunoff's, NJ Bride, Macy's, several local businesses and decor from Props For Today that will blow you away! Talk about swanky lounges!!! I was told that some vendor areas have been filled...If you are a vendor who would like to participate please sign up ASAP! I want to see you there! I want to show the tri-state area just how incredible the new trends are! I want to dance and give prizes! Are you ready for a great time??? Maybe some of you would like to join me on stage for some great give-a-ways? Maybe some would like to know some behind the scene info of the Style Networks "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway"? I may even have some special guests from the show! I won't kiss and tell! You will just have to attend to hear the latest and greatest! Until then! Cosmopolitan Magazine is out Nov 11th! Look for the article "Confessions of a Wedding Planner"! This is the December issue...It's juicy and well, lets just say I have learned some interesting things about couples during my career! I hope to see you soon! SG

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Did you ever notice??? Old loves come back, when new ones are in our lives?

I know all of you at least once in your lifetime have experienced a call from an ex while dating someone new. It's like they get a call from g-d saying, call Samantha, she's happy with someone else now. Test her and see if she is really happy. One conversation I seem to have with most of my clients before they tie the knot is about the guy who didn't make it to the finish line. This awesome man who was so fabulous with romance, saying the right things and made us laugh so hard is gone? But now he's back? Why must I be tested? The sad thing is these men who we have always put high on a pedestal always find their way back to us when we are most vulnerable. Why is that you ask with a smile? You know what, I have no idea. I know I have been there. I may be married and happy, but even as a married woman I still have the occasional ex find his way back to me. It is SO weird when I tell them I am married now with a daughter etc....I think the weirdest feeling was seeing my first boyfriend at a reunion and telling him all about my life today. It felt good and totally WEIRD at the same time. He did look amazing....But that was my 15 year old heart speaking to me. I loved those days! I had a recent bride who flirted with fire before she tied the knot. She received a request on Facebook from an old boyfriend. Actually, this was the guy who she was VERY serious with before she met the man she was going to marry. So as she and I are tying up loose ends before the big day, she decides to meet this ex for coffee. I try not to get involved with any ones private life during our business relationship. It always finds a way to get in before the end! So she told me about this meeting and wanted to know if this was a sign that she was marrying the right guy? You can only imagine the position I was in. So what did I tell her you ask? I told her to follow her gut. It's hard to say follow your heart in this situation. The emotion and the mind..Oh so different. I have been where she is. I can only tell you, she made the right decision. She saw the ex and told him this was her goodbye. I think she needed to gather why this person was so intriguing to her. Marriage is scary, it's change. Several men and women are scared of change. So we find reasons to avoid it. That's why we always look back to the "way things were". It's safe...It makes us smile. Even as a planner, I still have days where I wish I could have the life I had before marriage. But then, I would not have all of the great memories I have now with my daughter and my husband. It's a catch 22. I guess I am just grateful in the end that I have such wonderful memories. I've met some great people in my life. Some ended on a bad note which made it easier to forget, but some just ended. At the time, I never had a good enough explanation of why, so I held on to this person for the wrong reasons. Still to this day, I do not have the answers for some. I still have the wonderful memories. In the end, that's all that matters. What I wanted and where they were, it would never have worked. Life has a funny way of working things out right? I know this question comes up more often than we want to admit. I just wanted to share this story for the gals who question the relationship towards the end of the engagement. It's ok to be scared. It's ok to question about making the right decision about marriage. It's change. And change can be really great! Only you will truly know if this is the type of change that will make you a better person right?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reality Check About Weddings and Marriage!!!

So is marriage the fairytale after all???? (Posted In Redbook) You're smart. You know life is no storybook. But admit it: Somewhere deep in your subconscious lurk romantic visions of Cinderella, or maybe Julia Roberts. The images may be sketchy and a little outdated, but you can still make out the silhouette of the bride and Prince Charming riding off into the sunset. In real life, sometimes your Disney fairy tale ends up feeling more like a Wes Craven horror flick — and you're the chick who keeps falling down and screaming for her life. I've been there. Let's face it, marriage is not for the faint of heart. You want to believe your pure love for each other will pull you through. And it does. But it ain't always pretty. That may sound grim. But here's a secret: Sometimes it's the least romantic parts of marriage that have the most to teach you about yourself, your partner, and the nature of love. Read on for some simple truths that will unlock the surprising treasures and pleasures in your imperfect, unstorybook, real-life love. 1. You will look at the person lying next to you and wonder, Is this it? Forever? When you get married, you think that as long as you pick the right guy — your soul mate — you'll be happy together until death do you part. Then you wake up one day and realize that no matter how great he is, he doesn't make you happy every moment of every day. In fact, some days you might wonder why you were in such a hurry to get married in the first place. You think to yourself, This is so not what I signed up for. Actually, it is. You just didn't realize it the day you and your guy were cramming wedding cake into each other's faces, clinking champagne glasses, and dancing the Electric Slide. Back then you had no idea that "for better and for worse" doesn't kick in only when life hands you a tragedy. Your relationship mettle is, in fact, most tested on a daily basis, when the utter sameness of day-in/day-out togetherness can sometimes make you want to run for the hills. That's when the disappointment sneaks in, and maybe even a palpable sense of loneliness and grief. It's not him. It's just you, letting go of that sugarcoated fantasy of marriage that danced in your eyes the day you and your beloved posed in all those soft-focus wedding photos. You're learning that marriage isn't a destination; it's a journey filled with equal parts excitement and tedium. Waking up from a good dream to face the harsh morning daylight may not seem like a reason to celebrate. But trust me, it is. Because once you let go of all the hokey stories of eternal bliss, you find that the reality of marriage is far richer and more rewarding than you ever could have guessed. Hard, yes. Frustrating, yes. But full of its own powerful, quiet enchantments just the same, and that's better than any fairy tale. My sentiments excatly! SG

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Breast Enhancements and Botox .... You Game?

Botox and Boobs.... You would think that someone would come up with a way to give a shot which causes one to have a breast lift! Now that would be great right? I have written so many articles on this subject as it's very popular now. Instead of sharing the weekend with your friends at a spa or in Mexico, you share the pain just to get beautified before the big day. I'm not against the idea. I think to each their own. So tell me, is it wrong to enhance before romance is the question??? What are your thoughts? Would you change something surgically before the big day? Ok. For those who say the money should go elsewhere.... Or just be happy with what you have... Let me pose this question, if someone offered you a FREE boob job or Botox treatment would you do it then? See the video below...You may have watched this on the news. I am not even sure when it aired to be honest! I've just received the copy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Press Late Release Sorry!

I have been REALLY behind with releasing press... Thought this may help with the jitters for those getting ready to tie the knot! Modern Bride Wedding Copycats??? I know several of you are always worried about others taking your ideas. Read on! Cosmopolitan Magazine! Bridal Guide CBS TV Lot's more advice on it's way! Happy Planning! SG

Engaged? Lost???

You're Engaged Now What? While getting engaged can be exciting it can also become very stressful if you do not have a "plan" while you are planning. There are a few important steps to take while planning your special day. The primary portions that need to be addressed are your budget, guest count, the date and location. Destination weddings are becoming more popular these days and it may be that your wedding is the destination for many. Giving your guests ample time to plan would be quite thoughtful and practical! The more flexible you are with dates and location, the likelihood of your finding something affordable and perfect for your special day will become apparent. If you decide to have your ceremony at a place of worship, park or sentimental location you may need to be flexible to ensure you have both the wedding and reception locations open on the same date. Some brides may find having both at the same location to be less stressful and financially in line depending on your budget. Speaking of budget, this is the largest most important part that determines what type of wedding you can have. While some would love to invite all family, every acquaintance and friend, the budget and location may not allow this. That is why it's crucial to make a preliminary list of guests prior to your visits. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a venue that only houses 160 and your guest list is at 200. Having to cut important people out after you have tempted your fancies with a venue can be both frustrating and not productive. This is the one area most people forget to focus on. The stress from this alone can cause you to run to the Justice of The Peace! Once you have completed this portion of the planning, you can then begin to choose the vendors that complete the affair such as photography, video, entertainment and floral. Remember not to put the horse before the cart! You can't give any information to any vendor unless you have your date or location. Work with the larger budget items at hand. The other items always fall into place shortly after! Most importantly, remember no matter what happens during your planning, everything always works out on the day of . Just remember to keep your focus on the biggest prize, your partner! Happy Planning! Samantha Goldberg

The Average Wedding Costs What???

The average wedding in the United States for 2007 has increased to $30,000 across the board. While there still are a small number of states that fall under this amount and a few on the East coast that are over the average at $33,000 ( What most brides and grooms are finding in NJ and the tri-state area is that most budgets fall under $30,000. With a wedding of 125 guests or less you can still have the wedding of your dreams for $20,000 and under by just being a bit flexible with dates, décor, photography, music and miscellaneous extras. Below are 6 ways to keep you on the ball with the big number and may even save you a few extra dollars in the process! Venue: $0-$8500 Choosing the venue is the first area which needs to be secured before any other item on your list of to do’s. When choosing your date and location you must realize that the wedding season is really just 4 months of the year. The months to stay away from are May, June, September and October. You can save anywhere from 30-50% just by planning your day outside that block. One thing to keep in mind is that the venue should only take up 35-40% of your budget. If you do find the venue of your dreams you may want to ask them if they have a time where the price per person can be less. Maybe you can go with a less expensive entrée or a beer and wine beverage package. However, by going with the same venue during an off peak month you may not have to give up anything at all! Floral and Décor $600-$2000 Flowers are always a beautiful enhancement in any setting. However, they are not the only way to provide ambiance. The best way to not splurge in this department is to stay with flowers that are in season. The more detailed you become in your arrangements the more the price begins to sky rocket. Why not have the best of both worlds when you design by using floral and candles to enhance your surroundings. Diversity always gets the guests talking and the outcome is still amazing in photos. You can also alternate between high and low centerpieces when trying to cut back. This again gives movement in the room and allows for many different looks that will wow your guests! Photography and Video $2500-$4000 While photography is one of the few tangible items that you can take home at the end of the evening, you should remember that video shows everything that occurred live. Video can always be done for the more important areas of the day such as the ceremony. Most brides regret when they can’t see their father walk them down the aisle or grandparents watching them exchanging their vows. Why have regrets when you can pay for straight footage with no editing. This may cost a mere $300-$400 in total and is worth every dime! Save the editing for later! This memory will last a lifetime! There are many ways to cut back on both categories while saving money in the process. While a couple may not have the funds to purchase a large book from a photographer while planning, the funds may open up after the wedding when you may have freed up some bonus $$$ to afford what you need after the big day is over. Most photographers do not ask for the balance until the prints from the negatives have been processed. This can take anywhere from 30-90 days after your wedding. Some photographers charge by the hour, by asking them to cut a few hours off the end of the day you could save yourself a few hundred dollars. If you choose a smaller package in the beginning you always have the opportunity to increase the package after the fact. There may also be incentive from a discount standpoint when it is time to choose your photos. So saving the best for last is a true statement after all in some cases! Music $500-$2000 While most people feel music and cocktails are what make or breaks the wedding, you can still pick fantastic companies that are up and coming that will get your guests out of their seats for the entire evening. DJ’s are always open to negotiation especially on off peak days and afternoon weddings. You may want to check out a local dance club or companies that have a one man show for DJ-ing and MC’s.. They are usually a lot less expensive than several members and can usually do a great job. You can also use an up and coming bar band. There are several 4-5 piece bands that are great at getting the crowd going and keeping the dollars from beating their way out your wallet! It would be safe to say you could find a 4-5 piece band for $2000 or under for 4- 5 hours. They have to start somewhere! The Gown $99-1500 While this plays a crucial part for the bride there is no reason to say she can’t have her Vera Wang for $1500 or less. Keep your eyes open for trunk shows in the city or major retailers having their blow out sale! There are so many fantastic deals for the Bride and her Bridesmaids. You can even find Bridesmaids dresses for under $50 with a retail price of $400 or higher at some of the designer sales. You may also want to buy your dress in an area where you can forgo the sales tax! In some cases you could save 7-9%. Traveling to the big city is a great experience however; you can get the same dress delivered from NYC at n/c and save the tax! Now that’s a savings that could assist in buying your accessories! There are several areas that can work with your budget. Just keep in mind if you do the proper research and stay savvy about what is most important, you can ensure your guests will have a fantastic time. No fee is ever set in stone and everything can be negotiated. With the number of vendors starting in the wedding industry today, everyone has to start somewhere and you may be their ticket to sky rocket in many directions! A win/win situation in the end for everyone! Happy Planning!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bloomingdale's "Here We Come"!

I am happy to announce that I will be working along with Bloomingdale's this week to showcase some of the new trends in planning and decor! I may even divulge some secrets from the show! Please feel free to come to the "(PRE-WEDDING)WEDDING PARTY EVENT" THE (PRE-WEDDING) WEDDING PARTY EVENT Thursday, October 16, 2008 7pm-9pm The Shops at Riverside 400 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack, NJ 07601 ph: 201.457.2000 THE (PRE-WEDDING) WEDDING PARTY EVENT Sunday, October 19, 2008 12pm 175 Bloomingdale Road , White Plains, NY 10605 ph: 914.684.6300

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Some secret website links that are sure to please!

Hello Ladies! I thought to share some of my favorite websites...Those who are on a budget, those who are planning for one who is on a budget and for some who just want to shop on line for great ideas! MY FEATHER BAGS! I have recieved numerous emails regarding my green bag with the black feathers. I do love this bag also! It was made by a fan and I cannot find her anywhere! If you are out there wonder purse maker come back! However, I found a FAB website with bags that are BEYOND to die I'm in heaven now that I have found this site. I am not going to tell you just how much damage I have done. You will see it during season 9 of Whose Wedding. Need gifts for your bridesmaids? Check out this fun bling! Need bling for the napkins??? The belt clips make a cute fashion statement for any table! Another great inexpensive website for custom sandals when your thinking of the bridesmaids/moms. The BEST out of towner gift bags assembled personalized for under $10...My clients have been given RAVE reviews about this website/store and service. Yes, the fish tanks, feathers and lampshade store! I have worked with this company for years and their website is amazing. You can rent/buy what you need and come up with some of the most amazing ideas! I spend a lot of time on this site just trying to come up with new funky ideas for decor. I hope you have as much fun as I have on the sites I mentioned above! Don't shop too hard! One More wedding to go tomorrow! That makes 3 for us yet again! I have such a good feeling about tomorrow's wedding. Beautiful weather and a great couple! I am so excited to see the design come together. Deep jeweled reds. I have never worked with different variations of red before. It's sexy and sassy at the same time. I love any color in the jewel tone family. The lighting will also be a deep red. The room will look like a swanky lounge with an elegant feel. The floral will be enhanced with cranberries in the vase, crystals draped and pintuck linens to complete the mood. We have even incorporated gold tones with pillar candles. All which will have different heights and floral around the base. Can you tell I am excited? Warm wishes to those planning and or getting married this weekend!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


While the stock market is in turmoil and companies are laying off departments, people who do not understand fiances are taking drastic measures. They are cutting back on everything. so much so that they forget to enjoy life. Why should you curb that? The holidays are coming closer and everyone in every industry is trying to find ways to keep business going. Even during in times that seem the worst! I was watching the news last night and it was discussing ways to save money with retail. For example several players in the market such as Macys, Urban Outfitters, etc...are starting their holiday sales now because retail is low. So how do we handle this in our industry? One quick answer: If you do not ask for a discount, you will not get the bonus! I know several brides and non-brides are afraid to ask the sales clerk behind the counter if they have any coupons. However, do you realize that most major department stores have secret discounts no less than 15% on top of the savings you are purchasing? Are you willing to give this up? Not me! This discount is NOT only for the retail market, but for the wedding industry as well. Again I will say, if you do not ask for a discount or at least a way to show you HOW you can afford them with the budget you have, you are missing out. Why do you feel you have to narrow your choices just because a vendor seems expensive? You are making a decision for them without even asking. By the way, if there are ANY vendors on the East coast NY, NJ, PA, ME that are offering substantial discounts PLEASE email me and I will post! I want to help you too! We have several vendors who would be willing to accommodate and work with any budget. Some of these vendors have won awards for their work and are highly publicized. Why would you want to waste such talent on a vendor with whom you have no referrals and their price is TOO good to be true?? Think about it. If you want practice in asking for a special fee...Try shopping as therapy! I know I have learned quite a bit from shopping. Yes, I have havoc in my home because I own 3 closets and have started taking over my husbands. The point I am trying to make is I am NOT afraid to ask anything about any discount with anyone! Nor should you! I want you to go out this week...Remember. Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to shop. Why? Because all sales start on these days. I want you to buy yourself something fun and ask the sales clerk for any coupons or promos! You can do it! If you think black Friday and after the holidays are the best times, you are seriously mistaken. In fact, sometimes the best deals are the Wed before Thanksgiving or a few days before X-Mas... Next piece of homework...I want you to email me to BRAG about your sale! You will be so proud of yourself once you see it's not a BAD thing to ask. It is SMART. This therapy will train you to ask in the future and if you are planning to wed soon will help you to save! Good luck and happy shopping..By the way, if you see any cute boots, I am a size 7! Ha! xoxox Sam

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sex and The City Movie I FINALLY watched it!

After months and months of saying I was going to see SITC it was too late and no longer in any theatres at least on the East coast. I did find one location at the time in FL, but that would be a bit to the extreme if I traveled for a movie. I have been known to be extremely spontaneous, so the thought did cross my mind. I know, it's pathetic. I really LOVED the movie! I know some have mixed reviews. But the concept of the on/off again relationship, I am way too familiar with. Watching characters go through what I have already was enough to make me break out into tears. The whole turing "40" I know too well. I still have single friends like Samantha struggling to find themselves. I also have friends who struggle to stay in the relationship too. I think you reach a certain point in a relationship whether married or not when you think to yourself, is this it? I have had many conversations with brides about the "after" part of marriage and is it really happily ever after. While I would like to believe in the white picket fence story, I am not sure that all stories work that way. All relationships have trials and tribulations. One thing I know for sure is marriage takes work. So many women and men once they get engaged, forget that after the wedding, the reality settles and we have to focus on the relationship again. While planning someones wedding, I constantly try to get our couples to focus on just that. I do not want culture shock for them when the party is over. And for some, the reality REALLY sinks in after the honeymoon. So when you hear "the honeymoon is over" that's when you know, you're back! This is the time of year where I spend my time thinking about what I want to write in columns for new brides. While I love talking about when and what you should plan, I think there is one area for sure that gets left out. The relationship before the word "wedding" interjected! The big question "Does marriage change the relationship"? The answer is clearly stated, yes. After watching hundreds of relationships and the movie today, it was the icing on the cake for me. Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, change could be a great thing for relationships and the status of one. I guess we realize what changes we can handle while getting ready for a prominent one right? I would be lying if I said I did not have cold feet too! So for those of you who write in asking if these feelings really do occur in other relationships, they certainly do. You are not alone and by all means not crazy. Even if people say you are, they are only voicing their own opinion. Which may not mean a whole lot especially if they are single or divorced! Drama makes the world go round! Without it, we would feel empty. This is only true for the good drama! I do believe there is such a thing. I would love your thoughts about the movie! I know there were several quizzes on line months ago about whose personality you related to: Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and Carrie. I think I was a bit Carrie and Miranda. Do you have a friend circle like this? I did in Chicago and am slowly starting to gain it back again in NJ. Like every relationship it takes time. I have just been a bit impatient! Any fun stories this weekend? Not on my end! Our weddings went well...It was a happily ever after for 3 of our couples. They are now on their way to some tropical paradise for a week or 2. When they get back, the world will still be the same except for the status on an application single or married! Can't wait to hear some feedback!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Whose Wedding ...The Famous Missing Pieces Episode and New Press!

I was just about to walk out the door today, and was reminded by a client about my famous (I am being facetious)episode filmed during the 7th season of Style. This one episode was rated the highest episode in the history of Style according to some producers. She said she has watched this show 3 times and has found new things to think about every time she watches it! I think having such crazy issues with both planners Kevin and myself it was quite the "drama" for that season! I think we all remember this was the episode when I fell ill and could not make it to the wedding. I refuse to watch it for one reason I don't want to be reminded of what I went through physically and mentally. I do love the decor and watching the quick amount of planning that took place. I have never had so much fun planning so many different portions of ones wedding in 24 hours. I know this may sound crazy, but I was able to get the most AMAZING deals for this client because of the short amount of time we had to plan it. If certain brides on small budgets were a bit more spontaneous??? What we could do for you would make some brides cry! I have saved some brides in the thousands...I actually like having less time to plan to be honest. This allows our clients to have less time to analyze and more time to focus on themselves and life again! Season 8 which is being aired now has a GREAT last episode. I know some of you have already seen quick scenes of some planners including myself explaining what has happened on some of the more questionable episodes/seasons. It allows us to explain what really happened. I wish we could do this with every episode! Who knows! I am beyond EXCITED to announce that I will have my first full page article published in Decembers issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine. It will be out the beginning of November. The article is called "Confessions of a Wedding Planner". I have the lovely mugg shot included. I need some new ones...I will add that onto the list of hundreds of things I need to do ok? This weekend we will continue to tape the pilot of my own show. This is hard work! It has been 3 months and hours and hours of taping for 5-7 minutes and then 22 when they get what they want. I never realized this would be so hard. I do have to say, just being me no acting has been awesome. It is more of a day in the life of a planner. It includes lots of behind the scenes. There are times I cannot stop laughing. The poor producers shake the camera when they laugh which causes lots of movement...I think I may have destroyed some great scenes with all of the laughing we do. I love to laugh and it's worth it. I have not included my poor husband in this yet. They are just going to film us communicating at home which for many is a joke to begin with. I hope our home is like some out there. However, I highly doubt it. Well, this will be the first night in weeks where I get to sleep early on and wake up late! Wish me luck with taping...I am going to be interviewing people on the street Sat! They make smack me for what I plan to ask! Have a great weekend! Congrats early to our clients Phil and Stacey, Michael and Michelle and Geraldine and Mark! We have great weather ahead and the photos will be great!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bloomingdales King of Prussia Mall 6-8pm Be There!

Tomorrow, I will be traveling to PA for another FANTASTIC event at Bloomingdale's in their registry department. I will be chatting with brides about new trends, the timeline and several other hot topics! You have the opportunity to speak with the actual companies that make your china, crystal etc...There will be music, dancing eating and DID YOU HEAR me say FREE chocolate? I hope you will join me along with Bloomingdale's for a fabulous evening located at the King of Prussia Mall, PA inside the registry dept 6-8 pm! Grab a great seat because seating is limited! Our next Bloomingdale's registry event will take place in Bergen County NJ on Oct 16th 6-8pm and White Plains Oct 19th from 12-2pm! Call and RSVP! Or you can go directly to the web at for more information on every event! Let's shop until we drop together! Get ready for food, fun and some great freebies!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You're Engaged Now What?

I always find myself responding to viewers with what to focus on first. I thought it would be a great idea to share my thoughts on the subject! While getting engaged can be exciting it can also become very stressful if you do not have a "plan" while you are planning. There are a few important steps to take while planning your special day. The primary portions that need to be addressed are your budget, guest count, the date and location. Destination weddings are becoming more popular these days and it may be that your wedding is the destination for many. Giving your guests ample time to plan would be quite thoughtful and practical! The more flexible you are with dates and location, the likelihood of your finding something affordable and perfect for your special day will become apparent. If you decide to have your ceremony at a place of worship, park or sentimental location you may need to be flexible to ensure you have both the wedding and reception locations open on the same date. Some brides may find having both at the same location to be less stressful and financially in line depending on your budget. Speaking of budget, this is the largest most important part that determines what type of wedding you can have. While some would love to invite all family, every acquaintance and friend, the budget and location may not allow this. That is why it's crucial to make a preliminary list of guests prior to your visits. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a venue that only houses 160 and your guest list is at 200. Having to cut important people out after you have tempted your fancies with a venue can be both frustrating and not productive. This is the one area most people forget to focus on. The stress from this alone can cause you to run to the Justice of The Peace! Once you have completed this portion of the planning, you can then begin to choose the vendors that complete the affair such as photography, video, entertainment and floral. Remember not to put the horse before the cart! You can't give any information to any vendor unless you have your date or location. Work with the larger budget items at hand. The other items always fall into place shortly after! Most importantly, remember no matter what happens during your planning, everything always works out on the day of . Just remember to keep your focus on the biggest prize, your partner! Happy Planning! Sam

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Something Funny!

It is raining AGAIN on the East coast and I needed to share a funny video that was shared with me! I hope it makes you laugh! SG

Updates and Bridal Shows!

I wanted to give some updates with regard to appearances and classes for planners. I will be at the Bloomingdale's located at the King of Prussia Mall on Thursday October 2nd from 6-8pm in the registry department. There will be food, some informative information on how to save at your wedding, the new trends, great music, prizes and delicious favors! I hope to see you there! Space is limited so please RSVP to The site should direct you on where to call. I also wanted to announce a GREAT new show I am the Celebrity Headliner of "Behind The Veil". The show is scheduled for January 19th 2009 at the Double Tree Hotel in Fort Lee NJ. I will be sharing all kinds of bridal tips and secrets of the trade. We have so many vendors that have already signed up. I expect this to be a fantastic turn out with high end vendors and ones that are affordable for any budget. I can't wait to have fun with everyone! We are going to dance, eat and well...I am not sure what kind of show this will be. Certainly one where you will walk away having a great time that's for sure! The decor alone will blow you away! Planners GOOD news regarding our Oct 24th Class at Skylands Manor in Ringwood NJ. We now have more space! We can invite more attendees! We already have 16 in our class and I would say 9-10 more applicants can attend now. Jenny and I really can't handle much more! We have lots to learn and well it's going to be very hands on! The best way to learn. If you want more information, I will be happy to email you logistics. The class is $850 and includes an overnight stay the night before the class ONLY. They only have a few rooms left, so please register now! This weekend was fantastic. All 3 of our weddings including the one we taped on Style...I am blown away! I cannot wait until you see this show. I only have one thing to say, I AM BACK! This design was truly a "Breakfast at Tiffany's" theme...So glam...So breathtaking and we have to wait until Feb 2009 to see it! I am still so excited and the event is over! The year 2009 brings great things. We have some more celebrity affairs to announce! I know I said I was going to take it easy and I am...Just want to dabble as always. Thanks again everyone for your emails and posts. Without this support, I would have given up months ago.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Style Network Season "9" Here We Come!

It has been a LONG week! We have been taping non stop with Style. The couple Ana and Tony have been GREAT! To make a long story short and I know all brides can agree to this problem, they started with a budget and it doubled! I am not going to tell you the outcome BUT....It is a GREAT show. How many brides have been in this situation? I can already see 60% of America raising their hands! I totally get the budget issues. If we were all millionaires we would have no problems with all of the extra additions towards the end right? I want to leave you with some pointers of how to stay ON TRACK with your budget! What is the FIRST and MOST important thing we focus on??? The date and location. The more flexible you are, the better your chances will be in finding the location you want and for the PRICE you want. Remember, if you are on limited means and I know this is 75% of America, this is really crucial. 33-40% of your budget goes to your venue. This is a LARGE chunk! My question to all brides, what difference does it make whether you have the wedding on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday? If you have a date which has significant meaning, I do understand that point. But for those who could have their wedding at anytime, why not be a bit open to an afternoon wedding on a Saturday or Sunday? I can tell you I have done so many weddings during the day in rooms where we make it appear to be evening. The promise of having more guests that you want to attend could happen this way. In fact, If you have your wedding during the day and off peak months, you can definitely have a better looking wedding this way! I have worked with $20K budgets on a Sunday for 75- 100 guests and let me tell you, when I say DECADENT, I mean "Town and Country" style. This includes high centerpieces, lighting (Yes, nice lighting), linens, menu cards and even custom wrapped chocolate favors on each setting. Would I lie about decor??? No way! Why is this so much less? This is due to the trend not being at a high right now for off peak dates. We have so many vendors who would love to be booked during slow times, thus allowing you to get a better rate on everything from soup to nuts... Someday this is not going to be available as often. So this is crucial for the brides who are below the average of 30K to TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE RESOURCES NOW! If you are nervous you are not going to have the wedding of your dreams today, why not give some options? I know I can offer the dream wedding during off peak times. I have published many weddings for even $5k. If I have a guest count of 40 guests even at this amount, there are venues during the day that can make this work! You don't need to stay engaged for 5 years or borrow from your credit cards. You just have to be practical! Bottom line, what is the prize ladies? The GROOM! You get married because you want to show your love for each other..Not for your venue or florist! I am not saying you can't have the things you want! I am saying look at the BIG picture. Why sacrifice? Ok. I am done preaching and I need to get changed for the next scene...As I said I am taping! I love to write and need a few moments to relax... This morning was rough...Sydney my daughter was screaming to PLEASE spend the day with Mommy. I had to send her off with my in laws for the night. I am feeling incredibly guilty. Last night we had a Mommy and Sydney sleep over in my bed..(we kicked hubby out)..She leaned over and said I was her best friend. She also said I can never leave her because when I was in the hospital, she was very sad. I had tears in my eyes laying there with her in the dark. I was making a promise to her her, but how do I explain, if I do have to go back again? I never know with my health if I do get a bad enough migraine or become so Hypotensive that I pass out. I have to take a deep breath, I lied to her. We do these things to protect our loved ones from feeling sad or scared. These are the moments where I wish I could take back this year. I lost some valuable time with my family when I was ill. My husband after looking at insurance saw I was in the hospital 100 days. I wasted 100 days of my life over a mistake...I just pray that someday Sydney will trust Mom's going to be ok. I am a trooper and I will try my best...That's all I can do right? Well I am off again, I need to put on the clothes for tonight...The wedding is happening and I have a great story to share. I think this episode airs in Feb. I wish write more about the other weddings we had this weekend! All good but some fun details! xoxo Sam
I devote my time to ensuring our clients recieve fab service. There's another "calling" for me. To give back to my peers that aspire to be the next "best" fancy pants somebody! Those who play it safe standing behind me, will fail. I do serve as a warning to others and yes, I'm nutty. It's who I am & it's not going to change, as it works. Feel free to comment & join me on what could be the best road trip EVER!

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