Sunday, April 25, 2010

Staying On Budget..As Posted on !

Let's face it, weddings are expensive. Flowers, attire, dinner, drinks, cake, the minister, photographer . . . it all adds up. Hence, creating a budget will not only keep you from spending more than you have, it will make planning your wedding less stressful. "One of the biggest mistakes for people that have a champagne appetite and a beer budget is they don't sit down and put together a spread sheet or even jot down what the major expenses of the wedding will be," laments Samantha Goldberg, Celebrity Wedding Planner (Gold Events Planning) and TV personality on the Style Network’s “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway” and “Married Away.” "Usually," continues Gold, "when the newly engaged bride gets that rock, the first thing she does is run out and buy the dress." And that, says Gold, is probably the biggest mistake a girl can make. Why? Because she hasn't taken the time to sit down and make a budget for her wedding yet. "About 90% of the time," says Gold, "she doesn't know what she's going to be able to spend on the dress (but she buys one anyway). "Last year," explains Gold, "I ran into a situation where the bride's budget was $50,000. And her dress cost $12,000 (leaving little left for everything else)! The cost of the dress should be no more than 10% of your budget—and the average dress in America right now is $1,500 and change." Of course, every bride wants to look fabulous on her wedding day, so how do you work within your budget and snag the dress of your dreams? According to Gold, by looking at sales you can still get a gown that's worth 10% of your budget and only pay 5%. Gold also advises brides to stop looking at dresses they can't afford unless they really like shopping for the resale online. "There's also a great market for rentals," adds Gold. "Brides can rent a designer gown for 1% to 3% of the original retail price." Other tips for saving money on your wedding include renting a faux cake with a real top tier (to cut for photos), and then serving guests a delicious sheet cake. "You can have that grandiose look and even cut into it for a fraction of the cost," states Gold. For those willing to do a little homework, you don't have to sacrifice looks or taste. "Believe it or not," says Gold, "there are lots of cake artists that work out of their home and/or local caterers that make cakes but don't have a cake shop. Typically, you can get a great cake for less money by hiring a "freelancer" or someone with a small business. To help couples stay on budget, Gold has designed a spreadsheet that can be downloaded, which has the basics and percentages that will automatically allocate amounts for every category from inivations to flowers to, of course, the dress. Check it out at:

Budget Smuget...It's all Numbers Girls!

When I sit back and wonder how on earth I have managed to work with OVER 1000 weddings...I want to hide. What the heck was I thinking taking on so much? I have this obsession with design I do admit. I just don't feel that there is a limit on what one can do on limited means. And who wants to dress up your day to make it look like you have limited means? Not me. Call me snobby, call me silly...Heck call me anything you'd like. I don't care. You know I am right about certain things and decor is something I excel in. This is all I have ever wanted to share with the public. Besides some of the craziest adventures and maybe some mistakes where I need some advice..I don't have many people to share my zany activities with as they are with me when it happens. If I can get a good giggle from you and make your day a bit better, then my grand plan has worked. You have to know that over 70% of America is that bride who watches "My Fair Wedding" where Mr Tutera saves the day by rescuing these damsels in distress..I don't know about you, but I don't see anyone in distress. I do see someone who comes in and makes a beautiful wedding. However, if these gals had more of a budget they would have a planner and have a fab day regardless. If you can appreciate this show for what it is, great. But don't discount your taste when you compare it to what he had used in place of your original plan. This is NOT reality my fab frugalistas... I have been working with budgets in the 4-7 digits..and honestly, some of the 7 digit clients are not much better than the average budget of 25K. This weekend our team had the pleasure of working on 3 events. Friday we had an amazing wedding. It was amazing because of our client. Holly is one of those brides who came in looking for assistance on having a wedding but to also have some budget left over for a great down payment on a house. That's my kind of gal. She's a young lady which surprised me as I thought for someone to have that mature thought process had to be in her late 20's+..Nope. Her parents had offered her a sum of money to be used however she chooses. We had a long discussion getting to know each other as you guys know, I have to meet my clients and learn about them before I decide to work on their wedding. If we don't mesh personally, they are not going to get the best from me or my team.In this case, I just fell in love with her sweet demeanor and attitude. She wanted simple, rustic and elegant..She had a vision and had trouble describing it. But as I got to know her, I figured it out and together we came up with an amazing theme. Originally she wanted to split the budget down the middle to save $12.5 for the house fund, but after we talked further there was a few extra things she really wanted and I was able to get her a great price for them..Actually they were chivari chairs and gold chargers..She couldn't see her vision with any chair but that..I do understand this as I share the same thought process. The chairs make everything look better. For under $7 each..How can you go wrong? I think this wedding was right in every way. She invited her nearest and dearest. When you put it on paper...The list is not that huge. Who do you really consider people who will be with you for a lifetime, you can trust with anything etc etc etc? Yeah..not too many. So she decided to keep the evening delicate with 60 guests. I have to tell you, it was great to see that everyone came, and we were able to make this intimate but so elegant. I can't stop saying this "all for 15K"..I still cannot believe it. I am so proud of our Floral Designer Lisa from A Touch of Elegance who makes my chicken scratch look like this. She isn't psychic...Maybe a bit psychotic from hanging with me. But who doesn't get that after a Samantha experience? Bottom line, you can all have this..BUT, and it's a big but, you have to cut back. Now I am not saying you can't have a pretty setting with more guests minus the floral and chairs..BUT..This does look better than a few candles and rose petals. Let's face it, most of you want this. Maybe not this design, but this package..You just don't know how to do it? I have a new program, to get you here...I need your help as it's your day..But help is an option. I have been training a part of our team to work with a specific budget for a while. If you want to learn more, call us..visit with them..It costs nothing to ask questions and to come in...Why don't you decide what you must have, and what you can forgo before hand... You may be surprised on what one of my fabulous planners comes up with..and I do touch every wedding with something special. That's why I get to know you, so I can help you get to that magic place..Far away in your mind. I can make that thought real if you choose to trust us. Looking forward to sharing some magnificient designs with you this year. I am excited as you will see some of the secret larger budgets this year..They are worthy of sharing.I don't think I will top this one off for a while. Again, a very fabulous couple who just know me well enough to give them something magical. They don't want to see much..They want a surprise. I promise they will have the most amazing wedding ever...and yes, I still stick to my rules of never doing the same design twice. xoxo Sam

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Consider These 3 Rules When Buying Your Gown...

Thought you may find this helpful...If you are a bride looking for the perfect dress..Or a planner who feels this might help one of your brides out! It was posted on the 2 days ago! Enjoy!! Comfort, Look and Style are the three big things to consider when choosing a wedding gown, says celebrity wedding planner, Samantha Goldberg ( Whether you wear your mother's gown or buy a new designer frock, make sure you're not wearing it because you think it's something you should be wearing. "Wear it because you love the way you look and feel in the dress," says Goldberg. "You should love the way you look in your dress." Goldberg also advises brides don't buy anything trendy unless it's flattering, otherwise, you may look silly in your wedding photos twenty years from now. The most important thing to consider is your shape. On you on the plus size? Do you have an hourglass figure, or are you more of a pear or an apple? Are you large-boned, or stick straight without a curve in sight? You need to look for a dress that will enhance your better features and hide the "flaws" that you associate with your body type. "Color," adds Goldberg, "is often an issue with plus size brides. Certain colors don't look good on women with more curves and larger hips. In the bridal family," she notes, "sometimes champagne and pink is a better color for someone with a larger frame. That also depends on skin tone—an olive complexioned bride might go with a light pink, peach or champagne." Beware of "tricks" to slim a waist that may actually work against you. "If you have a small waist but large hips, a sash will bring more attention to the hips, not the waist. Though it may make a waist look smaller, it will make the hips look incredibly large." Goldberg also says to use a light hand when considering enhancements on the dress. "Anytime you go with something that's too much, it's not a good idea. It's also very, very important for brides to measure themselves for a dress—and have a professional do it so you don't wind up spending additional money on alterations. If you try to save money by purchasing a dress online, which is fine, if you're measurements aren't correct, there's no guarantee it will fit. And you can't return those gowns. Hence, it's really important go to a bridal salon and have them take the measurements for you; they'll be precise and you'll get a better fit." Don't forget the rear view, says Goldberg. "Consider the back of the dress, not just for photos, but for your guests who are going to be looking at the back of your gown as much as the front of your gown—when you're dancing and walking down the aisle, etc. The design in back should be as flattering as in the front." Goldberg says that many brides get hung up on looking good and never consider how they feel in the dress. "You want to look good," she reiterates, "but then you forget how long you'll be in the gown—at least 8 to 10 hours. You want to go with a gown that feels comfortable all the time. When you're trying it on you should walk in it, bend over, sit down, and even dance in it to make sure everything is easy and you're not struggling." If you have a long train, yes, you can bustle it. But remember, it will be twice as heavy. "And with more fabric around the waist, your hips will look larger than they are. And again," she warns, "people will be seeing you from the back, so if the bustle goes up, the backside looks bigger." If you have large breasts, adds Goldberg, don't go strapless and lose the beads. "The biggest mistake I see with strapless gowns is brides that wear a heavy necklace with it because they feel like their neck is bare. Better to go with small pearls, etc., to fill the blank space that won't be distracting. Same with gloves. A chic or A-line dress will look very dramatic with gloves that are the proper length (just above the elbows). If you're larger, a short glove gives too much attention to the upper arms. If you don't work out, you don't want to focus on that area." If you do decide to go strapless, make sure you have a good good tailor as they will put things in place that will keep the dress on. If you live—or are getting married—in a hot climate, you will "expand" a bit at the wedding so you need to compensate for that (don't make the dress too tight). "If it's a humid day," cautions Goldberg, "you may retain water around the neck, waist and stomach, and that would be a very costly mistake to learn the day of your wedding." Goldberg admits the tiara is popular as are all types of combs. "Try them on with the dress, not separately. Even the most beautiful gown will look horrible without the proper accessories (and remember, less is more). A tiara should always face forward, parallel to the floor. You're not supposed to look like Miss America; you're supposed to look more like a princess." One last tip, says Goldberg, is never get your dress dry cleaned before your wedding—never. "Even the best dry cleaners can melt the faux pearls and other beading. If the gown doesn't have any embellishments on it, then you can. Otherwise, if need be, spot clean the dress. Finally," concludes Goldberg, "focus on you as a person, not the gown."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fab Press! You know How I love to "plain" talk right?

Hello Gals/Guys! Yes, I know it's hard to believe that men would take their chances by being in a room with 500 estrogen queens. I wish him luck in here. Thank goodness this is only my blog! RUN FOREST RUN! Ha! You may have noticed I have been a lot more saturated with media from television and publications nationally. Now with my new relationship as Party City's spokesperson and event expert along with getting our first book deal! I cannot tell you how lucky I feel to have these fab experiences. I love sharing them with you as I know you appreciate being around those who have good karma. You know how the saying goes, if you think positive and are around positive people, you become a better person. I have to admit these changes are scary and sometimes really hard. I have never been the public eye "type". I just look as what I do inspires aspiring planners and also gives our clients a taste of what the real side of me is. You don't get to see the good days and bad. We all have them. Doesn't matter where I am career wise. I am human and do struggle with making the right decisions that will help me grow as a person. Can you actually walk away from work or something of substance and say you give 100% of yourself, Let's be honest, no..... Every day I ask myself when leaving the office did I give 100% of myself today? Whether it means calming a bride or fixing a major issue someone has gotten themselves into. I do feel confident that I some how make this crazy world we are in a better place. I make people laugh, I assure them they are going to be fine. I tell my employees how proud I am of the coming out of their shell. We need a backbone in this business. I didn't have this kind of support when I started. So I can't tell you in better words how this make me feel. I feel alive. I feel important to so many people and most of all If this is what makes someone happy, I want to make it happen. Tonight I let go of something that was really important to me and my career. I know they were not happy. They didn't verbalize this to me...and let things fester for over a year. While the convo wasn't about ending the relationship, I realized I had to do the right thing. And that was to acknowledge what they felt from working with us and how unhappy this path has been. I don't know how they could stay in this position for that long. It could have been solved a long time ago. So I feel empty. I did the best I could. I asked my husband who is always the devils advocate to tell me if it was me, and he would say yes, but said this time, it's not about you. I guess he was right. I tried to give what they thought they wanted. Only to find it wasn't enough. I cannot make everyone happy, I will try. So for this new lesson, I know now I cannot give too much..There's going to be boundaries and we are starting fresh on Monday. Did you ever get into a situation like this? Did you ever think one way and had a totally different outcome? What did you do? I wanted to share a few fab articles tis the season...Thanks everyone for growing our following and for your many posts that inspire me to do even more. I don't have much family and am so appreciative I have a wonderful husband and daughter who loves me unconditionally. I didn't grow up with this and it's so incredible that I am able to recreate what I missed at age 6 for my daughter (6). She's the light of my life and keeps me who I am. I love her so much! Here's the NY Times article. The bride they interviewed was my client! She has just tyed the knot April 3rd and she was a joy to work with. I am really going to miss her. Not too much as we have become friends and she is just amazing!I will make sure we stay in contact as she's just a bubbly fun beautiful person and cannot wait to share her wedding with everyone! This was in the New York Daily News...Confessions of a NY Wedding Planner! Talk about an amazing piece! Jane Ridley a wonderful editor and friend has always made my info come to life! Thanks Jane. You are always exceeding expectations and are near to my heart! The article was "real" and you know that's the only way I work. Here you go!! If you have some advice on my situation, I would love to hear about it. Sometimes when I get your feedback I realize my decisions were right and I should trust my gut. Thanks everyone for supporting my career and always hanging in the background to see what things are going on in my world. xo Samantha
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!