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
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!

Not That Sassi Planner Again???

Bling and Pearls Can Be The Icing on The Cake!

Bling and Pearls Can Be The Icing on The Cake!
Too Good Too Eat.

Just admit it, I say off the wall things...And it works!