Life is a special occasion

Winter Dinner Party

I found this picture of a gorgeous winter evening dinner party and I had to share. The draping and lighting in the tent creates a dramatic escape which mimics the feel of eating beneath the stars! What a beautiful event this must have been.

Photo courtesy of Wedding 53

Vendor Check Before You Sign

wedding vendor reviews

There are a lot of helpful websites available to all couples planning their wedding and Project Wedding is one of them. Planning a wedding is stressful. Finding good vendors is hard. And sometimes, reality often doesn't match up with vendors' advertisements and websites. Project Wedding helps ensure people are entrusting their event to great vendors. Project Wedding connects brides across the nation and helps them share ideas, advice, and most importantly vendor recommendations!

Project Wedding is ...

  • community of people that love to talk about weddings and share advice
  • a comprehensive local vendor listing organized by rating and price range
  • a one-stop, organized source for vendor recommendations and reviews from real people
  • an organized index of wedding vendor reviews from across the web
  • a great place to brainstorm ideas for your wedding
  • a tool to help you plan for your big day

  • PS: Yelp is another great website to check vendor reviews.

    PPS: Decidio is a website where you can start researching vendors in your area.

    DIY: Table Numbers

    Martha Stewart ROCKS! Brides should always visit Martha Stewart Weddings for inspiration. I found an article on printing your own table numbers along with templates that can be downloaded for F-R-E-E! What would life be like without Martha?

    Print the table numbers you need onto heavy card stock.

    You have a choice of two border styles -- one with a regular looping scallop, and one with more freeform loops. For each design, they have also included one template with no number, in case you need to add your own number or other text.

    If you want the table numbers to be visible from two directions, print two per table. Use a long-bladed scissors to cut smoothly just inside the outer oval line. To display, slip table numbers into a place-card holder or easel.

    New Twist On Champagne Toast

    Champagne toasts are very common at most weddings these days. It is the time when friends and family get a chance to give their regards and best wishes to the newly married couple. It also is a great opportunity for a couple to personalize the moment by adding their own twist to the toast. Freshen up the champagne toast with a signature drink. Try the French 75. It's a sweet difference!

    French 75
    - 1 1/2 oz Gin
    - 2 oz Lemon Juice
    - Champagne
    - 2 tsp Superfine Sugar
    - Garnish: Cherry

    Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice except champagne. Strain into a champagne flute (or collins glass). Top with champagne. Garnish with cherry.

    L | D Inspiration Board 2: Simple-Luxury Red

    Red can go bad real quick. Too much red, and your wedding will be over-the-top but not in the good way. Below is a simplified luxurious red palette.

    Christian Louboutin Armadillo Satin d'Orsay heels available at Bergdorf Goodman / Stefano Ricci Crystal Swirl Tie available at Neiman Marcus / Matching Rose and Stephanoris bouquet image courtesy of Bizarre Wedding Flower Blog / Cartier wedding band image courtesy of Catier / a red wedding photos courtesy of NIBS My Point of View Blog / Composition wedding Invitation from Elum Designs / Hand painted Kate Sullivan from InStyle Weddings

    DIY: Modern Pendant Lamps

    DIY modern pendant lamps from Ready Made. This incredibly easy project will add a tremendous amount of pizazz to your next event and won't cost a fortune. Mix and match colors to keep it in your event's color scheme. Design tip: use punching balloons to achieve the perfect round shape versus oblong.

    Wedding Etiquette: For The Guest

    Is it true that you either have manners, or you don't? Or, is it entirely possible to just use them when you need them? Either way, when you are invited to a wedding, there are most certainly a set of etiquette rules a guest must follow. Yup. That's right. There are rules for being a wedding guests. So read up, because you don't want to be that guy or that girl or that couple doing something completely inappropriate at your best friend's wedding. Enjoy Nina Callaway's article on Things the Ideal Wedding Guest Will Remember.
    1. Don't be late! If a wedding invitation says that the ceremony will begin at 5, be sure to arrive there by 4:45 so as to give yourself time to find a seat and get settled. You wouldn't want to interrupt the processional. Avoid taking photographs during the ceremony. Leave that to the professionals and respect the sanctity of the ritual in front of you.
    2. You don't need to bring a gift with you to the wedding. In fact, you have up until a year after the wedding to give a gift. Bringing a gift with you means that someone in the wedding party will have to worry about how to get it home.
    3. If you are unable to attend the wedding, it is customary to still send a wedding gift.
    4. Don't bring a date unless your invitation specifically says their name or "+ Guest" Remember that the cost for each person attending a wedding is generally high, so bringing unexpected guests is very impolite. This includes your children or other relatives!
    5. Many ceremonies have parts where the congregation alternately stands and sits. The program or officiant may tell you when to do so; if not, follow the lead of others around you. If you are physically unable to stand, remain quietly seated.
    6. RSVP promptly. The couple will be making many decisions based on the number of people who will be there. Additionally, if you must cancel after you have accepted, do so as soon as possible.
    7. While a wedding is a time to enjoy yourself, no one appreciates a drunk guest embarrassing themselves. Drink alcohol in moderation.
    8. Above all, enjoy yourself, and tell the happy couple that you are so pleased for them.
    Have any advice on how to be the most polite wedding guest? My ears are open!

    Drunk guy image courtesy of this blog

    L | D Inspiration Board 1 : Chic Black & White

    You can never go wrong with a Black and White palette. Enjoy the details below for a chic black and white wedding. Black + White wedding cake image courtesy of / Black and White Pave Diamond cz Band 584 from Garden of Earrings and it's only $29.95! / Black + White tablescape via The Preppy Blog image courtesy of Mary Claire Crow / Black-beaded flowers and white hydrangeas via the Martha Stewart Weddings / Black organza halter dress from TMN-Boutique for $62!!! / Black + White hibiscus invitations by My Personal Artist / Black + White reception via / Isaia Tuxedo + Shirt, $2,895; Shirt. Bow tie; Pocket square: both by Brooks Brothers. Shoes by Calvin Klein Collection. Cuff links by Dunhill image via GQ / in the middle of it all, the always chic, Audrey Hepburn wearing the famous Givenchy gown

    Event Design

    A+R is a design shop where you will find things you've been looking for all your lives, and stuff you didn't know you needed. I like it because it's a place filled with products that inspire. For instance, Menu & Christian Bjorn's Lighthouse Oil Lamps.

    The Scandinavian coast is dotted with light houses which provide a light no matter the weather. Designer Christian Bjørn took note, and created these elegant Lighthouse Oil Lamps. "This oil lamp doesn't burn with just a little flame, it burns like a fantastic bonfire!"he proclaims. A patented oil burner burns fiercely no matter the wind speeds. They range in price from $74-$200.

    These lamps are sleek, modern and would be a unique way to enhance an intimate, outdoor dinner party.

    16 Sparrows Brings Personalized Stationery Back

    Maybe I'm weird but I think stationary is just plain cool. Today, e-mails are the new letterhead, which is unfortunate because it feels great to receive a letter in the mail. 16 Sparrows offers fantastically fun stationary and paper goods for the all the sarcastic, quirky folks. Yay for sarcasm!

    Any quirky couples out there? Maybe you want to send out a custom telegram as your Save The Date. It's inspired by a 1920s British telegram, printed on heavy weight baby blue paper, comes with official looking metal clasp envelopes and can be personalized. Different and fun all at the same time! A set of 6 costs $12.

    They offer more fabulous products such as a moving announcement, a get up off your ass to do list and a take those damn pants off card. I'm telling you, it is worth a visit to their website. They even offer free downloads! Just check out their Fun Stuff section.!!!

    Chinese Flying Lanterns

    Flying lanterns were a traditional Chinese communication tool used thousands of years ago, invented for military signalling purposes in 245 A.D. In recent years, they became a popular feature in local festivities, especially during the First Full-Moon festival in Taiwan. People would write down their wishes on the paper surface of the lanterns, which would then be lit and ascend like miniature hot air balloons. Reaching the sky, the lanterns bring messages to heaven, where wished are said to become true. The higher they fly, the more likely Heaven is to hear their prayers.

    This unique product is brought to you by Wishes In The Sky, the flying lantern company. These authentic Chinese lanterns are a great addition to, or alternative to, expensive fireworks. The magical effect of launching many simultaneously make them ideal for parties, weddings or any other gathering. The lanterns boast constructions from NEW materials that ensure flame retardancy as well as accelerated biodegradability.

    For a wedding or event with 100 people, the cost for everyone to release a lantern would be around $800. If there are budget restrictions, how about just having the VIP's or bride and groom and the wedding party release the lanterns! Visit Wishes In The Sky for more information.

    Custom Gobos

    Want to take your event to a higher level of sophistication? Create a Monogram! Monogramming is a classic way to personalize any event. You can print it on t-shirts, banners, aisle runners, rubber stamps, on your wedding stationery, event program covers, wedding favors, party favors. The list goes on and on. Another nifty use of your monogram is to create a custom gobo.

    What is a custom gobo? Star Light & Magic breaks it down nicely and provides pictures! Gobos are patterns for lights, and come in a wide range of sizes. A gobo is a stainless steel or glass-etched cutout, that when placed in a pattern projecting light fixture will project that image onto a wall or other flat surface. Basically, gobos are another way to bring the wow factor your event.

    Keep in mind, besides customizing and purchasing the gobo, there are other expenses that must be covered. Such as renting the lighting equipment needed to project the gobo, equipment to hang the lighting instrument and labor to set it up and break it down. DJ's may provide gobos, if not, any lighting company can provide these services.

    Apollo Design is a reputable company to use to design your gobo. There are design template available to download on their website. Before you go customizing, check with your local lighting company to find out if they carry the correct size lighting instrument to project your gobo.

    On a budget? Try searching for floor decals. Visit They sell “Just Married” Wedding Ballroom Floor Cling which is a vinyl floor decal that sticks safely to most smooth surfaces. The cling can even be customized with the bride and groom’s names and it costs less than $20 bucks.

    Remember, there is always a trick to make your event special and unique!

    Photo courtesy of Luxury Wedding Society

    Everything Tents

    Having an outdoor celebration? Need a tent? There are a lot of questions to answer in order to ensure you pick out the right equipment for your party. Tents come in a variety of types, styles and qualities. UnderCover Tent is a equipment rental company based out of South Dennis, Massachusetts that offers it all. The elegance of a pure white tent, or the festivity of a colors. Pole type tents, frame tents, new century tents, high peak frame tents, clear top tents. They have a wonderful photo gallery showcasing many different styles of tents and a price list packed with helpful information to help you choose whats right for your event. Here is a tent seating quick reference:
    Tent Seating

    Stand-up Cocktail
    7-10 sq. ft. per person

    Buffet Dinner
    15-17 sq. ft. per person

    19-24 sq. ft. per person

    Cathedral Seating
    6-8 sq. ft. per person

    What Every Man Should Have

    Every man should have The Little Pink Card. I repeat, EVERY MAN SHOULD HAVE THE LITTLE PINK CARD! This card could save your life. Okay, it may not save your life but it will make the special person in your life feel loved, respected and cherished. Isn't there a saying, a happy wife is a happy life? If there isn't, there should be.

    So what is it? The Little Pink Card is a nifty wallet-sized card that assists your husband, boyfriend or significant other in always buying you the perfect gift! No more excuses! The best part, it's only $8.95. Less than ten bucks. Yeah, IT'S WORTH IT! Check out some of the categories:

  • When is your anniversary?
  • What is your ring size?
  • What is your birth stone?
  • What size dress do you wear?
  • What is your shoe size?
  • What size bra do you wear?
  • What is your favorite store to shop at?
  • Who is your favorite designer?
  • What is your favorite fragrance?
  • What is your favorite flower?

  • L | D Finds: Custom Postage From Zazzle

    A wedding is all about the details and Zazzle creates quality made custom products just for you. Make every invitation a special delivery with your own customized postage! Add your own photos, designs and text to design your own custom postage that can be sent through standard U.S. Mail. Perfect for Save The Dates, engagement invitations, wedding invitations, wedding announcements...the list goes on and on and on and on...

    WedFog - Photography Demystified

    WedFod is a directory of wedding photographers dedicated to great wedding photography, honest answers to your questions, and sound business principles. Definitely check this website out for great wedding photography idea, a listing of photographers, very resourceful Q&A Forum and tons of articles. Below is an article by Steve Holcroft on Why your photographer could be the most important part of your wedding day!

    Why Yor Wedding Photographer is Important

    Nobody is better placed to help your wedding day along than your chosen wedding photographer. A bold statement, but stay with me.

    You’ve paid out a small fortune for other people to look after everything, and you’ll be a little bit pre-occupied of course, what with getting married etc.

    The groom will go along with whatever you want, darling. As will dads. Men, huh?

    Mums will help a little, enough, or a lot…I’m not going there.

    And your friends have come for the party.

    Your cake and flowers will be delivered.

    The DJ will set up later.

    The venue will feed and water you. And the 90 other people you’ve invited.

    But not at the church, or on the boat, or even the dancefloor.

    Only your wedding photographer will be focused on you through all of it. To record the day’s events, we have to always be there…around…watching. Not in your face, in the background. Experience tells us when to expect things to happen, when to nudge them along and when to stay out of the way. We might take photos of your flowers, your table plans, your decorations, but we will always know where you are and when. Right up until it’s time to leave.

    We’ve joked with grooms and best men to calm their nerves.

    We’ve told the bride she looks wonderful seconds before she faces the world.

    We’ve asked the flower girls to jump on the page boys, just to see what happens.

    We’ve filled-up when your dad’s voice cracked during his speech.

    We’ve worked out which is your mum and which is your stepmum.

    We’ve made friends with your labrador!

    We’ve taken you both aside for a few minutes to give you a breather and remind you you’re there for each other.

    Oh, and we’ve taken a few photographs too!

    Photo courtesey of McLellan Studios
    Article courtesey of Steve Holcroft

    Signature Drink Of The Month: Lemongrass Mojito

    I was introduced to the Lemongrass Mojito while I was watching an episode of My Fair Wedding. This is truly, a gem of a drink! Simply put, it is a Mojito with a lemongrass zing but not as sweet.

    The Culinary Media Network, very cool website, has a fabulous recipe for a Lemongrass Champagne Mojito. This is a great option for a signature drink at any event. Inspired by the classic mojito, subtle and elegant touches such as organic lemongrass and vanilla add a twist to this classic, and Champagne delivers a class of luxury, akin to 'tasting the stars'. Savor this cocktail over a mountain of crushed ice made from spring water. The recipe is VERY detailed. Don't let this frighten you. The drink is worth it!

    Photo & Cocktail courtesy of Culinary Media Network

    Another Lauren Daversa Event

    Bride K and Groom B are getting married and Lauren Daversa Events is helping to plan their special day. The date has not been set yet, but the event will occur in late October of 2009. The ceremony and reception will be held at sunset at the couple's home. Simple and chic, they want to incorporate fall colors; specifically espresso brown. It will be a beautiful evening.

    First thing on the agenda is securing a tent that comes equipped with air conditioning and will accommodate 150 people for dining and dancing.

    Below is the dress she chose for her bridesmaids from J Crew. It is the Cotton Cady Lydia Dress in chocolate. "Elegant in crisp cotton cady with a subtle sheen. Halter silhouette. Fitted bodice, full skirt. V-neck and ruching at center front. Inset empire waistband. On-seam pockets. Ties at back neck. Back zip. Fully lined. Falls just below knee; 26" from natural waist. Import. Dry clean. Catalog/ only."

    Location Secured For Bride N & Groom C's Wedding

    The Bamboo Gallery, located at 2325 South Flamingo Road in Davie, Florida. This will be the site for both the ceremony and the reception. Complete with tiki huts, waterfalls, beach, landscape lighting, tiki torches, indoor kitchen and full bathrooms. The Bamboo Gallery has teak benches and rattan furniture throughout the property. In addition, there is a 2,000 square foot tented area. One bonus is when you book the Bamboo Gallery, the entire facility is yours!

    Decido writes that the Bamboo Gallery comes alive at night, and hositng an event there is like having it on your own pricate island.

    This weekend will be the first time I've been to this venue but it looks amazing and I can't wait to check it out! The pictures below illustrate the lush, tropical scenery the site provides at this all outdoor, island setting. Bride N & Groom C's wedding is going to be gorgeous!!!

    Lauren Daversa's First Official Event

    Bride N and Groom C are getting married on May 23rd, 2009, and Lauren Daversa Events is going to be helping plan their special day!

    At this point, the event is a blank canvas. The bride-to-be and her fiance have shared the following ideas with me:

    1. They would like to be married by the water at sunset
    2. The theme is a tropical Caribbean celebration
    3. Their color scheme is fuschia and orange
    4. Estimated 80 attendees

    First things first: location, location, location! Can't move forward until we have a location. Securing the location is my main priority. The ceremony will be held by the water, location T.B.D. There are a few venues I am going to research for the reception. The main criteria is being able to offer food and beverages for eighty people for around $5,000. NO PROBLEM!

    It is incredibly exciting to plan the first Lauren Daversa Events and I look forward to writing about the journey along the way!

    K Is For Kids

    To have kids at your event or not to have kids at your event? This can be a tough question to answer. Especially if your family has children in it, or if you have lots of friends that have kids. Either way, there are a lot of reasons why you may or may not want children present for your event.

    To start, ask yourself:

    -Will having children present add to, or take away from the over all event?

    -Will guests you want at the event not be able to attend if they can’t bring their children?

    -How will the possible distraction of having children present make you feel?

    -Is there a place you can designate at the event site for parents to take loud or unruly children or crying babies?

    -Can you afford the added expense of the special measures that will need to be taken to help if so many children attend the event?

    If it is going to be a kid friendly affair, you may want to consider creating a kids area. I was reading Zephyr Tents blog and came across a wise solution, creating a designer kids area.

    -Designate a kid friendly area and create a cozy atmosphere by using big comfy pillows, low tables, and colorful paper lanterns.

    -Have a special table for them covered with butcher paper and put out crayons, games and other fun activities to keep them busy.

    -Hire a few nannies from a reputable agency who come prepared with arts & crafts, games, stickers, balloons and more.

    -If your event is in a hotel or another place with additional available rooms, consider renting a room just for kids.

    -Be sure to have the caterer design a kid-friendly menu and set-up their own special buffet.

    If your event will be kid friendly, take care of the children. The parents will get to enjoy the evening talking with adults instead of entertaining their kids and your event will be even more of a success!

    Photo courtesy of Trista Lerit

    L | D Finds

    The Internet is overflowing with resources for event planners, and I love finding new companies, products and ideas. I've bookmarked an epic list of websites I want to revisit and explore. A neat site I recently came across is russell+hazel, a company about stylish organization. russell+hazel is "is committed to making the things we use each day complement and enhance our lives. Made with the highest quality materials and construction, our products reach their full potential in your hands. Design is at the core of our philosophy, from our beautifully functional details to our trend-leading style and product assortment."

    They have an entire section devoted to weddings featuring downloadable templates, creative ideas and planning tools. The wedding organizer keeps the Bride-To-Be on track from the moment she becomes engaged, to the day of her wedding. This organizing set helps plan and organize all the details that make up a wedding. It comes in one of their signature binders with: 12 section tabs and pockets; a planning notebook; an organized adhesive note set; sheet protectors; 2 business card pages; 10 8-1/2 x 11" pages; and 5 multi format pages that hold 11 x 17" or 8-1/2 x 11". Price is $75.

    Signature Drink Of The Month - The Universe: A Strange Cosmic Cocktail

    I came across this recipie for a cocktail called The Universe. Not only does this drink taste yummy and look fabulous but its history is just as delicious.

    First introduced to the world at the legendary Studio 54, the Universe won First Prize in the the 1978 U.S. Bartenders Guild Annual Competition. And no wonder. Its beguiling mix of tropical juices and slightly nutty finish are certain to wake up your palate. Fair warning: the Universe is so delicious, make sure you have enough ingredients when your guests ask for one or two more. (But don’t worry . . . the alcohol content is relatively low!)

    One sip of this cocktail will rock your universe!

    The recipe:
    1/2 ounces Midori melon liqueur
    1/2 ounce vodka
    1/2 ounce Dumante pistachio liqueur
    1/2 ounce pineapple juice
    1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
    Shake for 30 seconds in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

    Photo courtesey of Science of Drink
    Cocktail courtesey of Cocktail Buzz

    Team LDE

    Elisa Nogarolli 
    Managing Director 
    Florida and South America

    Blanka Thibaud 
    Managing Director 
    New York and Europe

    About Lauren Daversa

    Photo of LD courtesy of Ambrosio Photography
    Beauty for LD courtesy of Ivette Gil Design

    Lauren Daversa is the Principal Planner at Lauren Daversa Events, an event planning company based in New York + Palm Beach.  A true stand out among south Florida event planners, Ms. Daversa brings to the table over 20 years of planning experience. But it's her no holds barred approach to event planning, combined with her unique blend of city chic and sultry flair that truly set’s her, the company, and their events far apart from other planners. 

    Born and raised in New York City, her first fête was assisting in the Broadway premiere party for the Disney musical, Beauty and the Beast. Over the years, her repertoire for event coordination has matured. Ms. Daversa’s portfolio includes everything from large-scale art festivals, platinum wedding celebrations, intimate cocktail parties, triathlons, to black tie weddings, and social and corporate events throughout the United States, in the Caribbean and Europe.  

    Ms. Daversa has been quoted in The Knot magazine as an expert on industry tips and trends; her work has been featured in magazines including The Knot, Brides, Weddings IllustratedJupiter Magazine and blogs including Southern WeddingsStyle Me PrettyJunebug WeddingsWeddings UnveiledMerci New York, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style and Every Last Detail.  She has won WeddingWire’s Bride’s Choice Award from 2010 through 2014, been selected by The Knot’s for their Best Of List in the category of Wedding Planning in 2012, 2013 and 2016.  She has also received the distinguished honor as an Editor’s Pick in The Knot Magazine Best Of Vendor in the category of Wedding Planning in 2012, 2013 and 2015. 

    A graduate from Columbia University, she supports her college's alumni club along with their charitable endeavors.  And most importantly, she is the proud mother to her incredible daughter!