Life is a special occasion

L | D Finds : Tiffany iPhone App

Tiffany & Co. has made a Purchasing An Engagement Ring For Dummies style iPhone app for the guys. It's basically fool proof. You can browse rings, pick carat size, pair e-rings with bands and the best, determine the size of the ring by actually placing a ring directly on the screen! Don't worry ladies, this app is for you too. You can build your dream ring and then post it to your Facebook page or Twitter page to drop a not so subtle hint to your main man!

The Great Debate : The First Look

Kristen Weaver captures the first look

If you know me or work with me, it's no secret that I love my job, my company and my profession. Here is one of a million reasons why, I get to debate issues like the first look. For those readers who don't know what this is, no worries because I am about to tell you. The first look is when the bride and groom see each other prior to the ceremony, versus at the ceremony, the moment the bride walks down the aisle. Here is the big debate, which is better?

Besides being a Gemini, I have an argument for both sides. Before the ceremony is great because you have pictures of the moments leading up to seeing each other, pictures of the first sight of one another, and then the portraits that you pose for together. These most intimate moments are all captured when no one else is present. It is just the two of you, and of course your fabulous photographer. Can I type romantic? Yup, I just did. Put aside the romance for a second and think about the practical aspect to having your most special pictures taken without all of your family, bridal party and maybe even all of your guests around. That's a large audience, and a lot of pressure to handle. Stage fright is not just for Broadway and Hollywood.

Okay, so besides documenting the romantical moments and combating stage fright, there is a time factor involved. There is only an hour for cocktails, and if your reception is not in the same location as the ceremony...well, I think you can understand where this is going. The first look will not only produce amazing pictures but it will save you time. Think about it, by the time the ceremony is over, you could have completed most of - if not all of - the wedding portraits and this means that you will not be in a mad rush to fit in a million shots in short time frame.

Geoff White captures the groom's first sight of his bride
walking down the aisle

Okay, here is the other side. If you are more of a traditional bride and prefer to have the I'm about to be married glow and twinkle in your eyes at the first sight of your future husband standing oh-so handsomely at the end of the aisle, the first look is probably not for you. Or, if you are the bride who wants to show everyone, including your soon-to-be, how incredibly stunning you are as you enter the ceremony, then the first look is probably not for you either.

There are a lot of reasons why either situation is great but either way, don't get hung up on the tradition of "oh, I am not supposed to see the groom before" because it's a tra-di-tion not a rule. In the Jewish faith, the bride must see the groom prior to the wedding to sign the ketubah. See, nothing is written in stone here except that it is your wedding, and can and should be done the way you and your fiancé want it!

Now, if you are still stuck on the great debate of the first look and absolutely cannot decide what to do...check out Corinna Hoffman's picture (posted below) on a great alternate. Bravo, Corinna, for giving us the best of both worlds!

TOTW : Inviting Coworkers

The guest list for any event is typically always an issue, usually because the high number of people on it. Distant relatives that have not been seen in years, 2nd, 3rd, 4th cousins, kids, college friends bringing their newest flame, social friends who aren't really friends, and of course... the coworkers.

Like it or not, coworkers are like a second family. After all, many people spend at least forty hours each week at work. Does this mean that your entire office and your fiancés entire office and of course their spouses all need to be invited to the big day? No. Absolutely not. Only invite the colleagues you are closest with.

So ask yourself, "Do I socialize with this person outside of the office?" If the answer is yes, put them on the list. If the answer is no, there is no need to go any further. That's actually a lie, it does need to go a little further. If you answered no to the question above, be sure to avoid discussing in great detail the plans for the wedding with those colleagues. I consider that type of behavior to be schoolyard rude - because only kids would talk extensively about an event to someone who is not going to be included.

Photo courtesy of Chicago Now

Signature Drink Club : French Lavender Lemonade

There is no mistaking it, summer is here. The sun is beaming, the days are long and weekends are filled with BBQ-s and pool parties. So how can you make your party stand out? Well read on, my friend because this month's entry in the signature drink club is your answer.

Cool off and refresh with a glass of French Lavender Lemonade, a fabulous summer drink courtesy of the San Ysidro Ranch by way of Design*Sponge. The lavender soothes and refreshes on a hot day, while the vodka, well we all know what that stuff does! Enjoy...

  • 1.5oz Vodka
  • 1.5oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1oz Lavender Syrup (recipe below)
  • 1oz Lemon Juice
  • 2oz Chilled Soda Water
  • French Lavender Flower for Garnish

Mix first four ingredients with spoon, pour over ice, add chilled soda water and garnish with lavender flower (or lemon wedges if you can’t find fresh organic lavender).

Lavender Syrup
  • Add equal parts sugar and water to a medium saucepan and bring to boil.
  • Add fresh organic French lavender to taste (or 1/2 cup dried food grade lavender for every 4 cups water/4 cups sugar) and boil for one minute over medium/high heat.
  • Remove from heat and let steep for an hour.

Cake Inspiration : Succulents

Succulents; got to get me some of them.
Succulents; wow, how I love 'em.
Green, purple, a periwinkle blue,
Succulents, succulents: where, oh where are you?

Erica O'Brien got it right and then she scored extra credit with her gorgeous fondant cake, which she perfectly drowned with succulents. They look real right? Well, so do a lot of designer handbags in Chinatown, but they aren't and neither are these bad boys. Erica made them herself! Seriously, how talented is Erica! I can't wait to work with a bride who envisions succulents on her special day, and maybe she will have a cake that is as awesome as this! Enjoy...

Save The Date : 3

Save The Date for Ellen and Stephen

Do you love this save the date? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

Real Weddings : Daryl + John : Destination Wedding In Key Largo

Daryl + John. Just typing that stirs the pot for me, and in a really good way. (Prepare yourselves for a run on sentence)...I first met with this couple at a Starbucks, on a very rainy, Saturday in May, and from the minute I sat down, I knew their wedding was going to be beautifully-amazing in a unique way. It couldn't make me any happier to report - almost a year later - that their wedding was everything they wanted and more.

Daryl + John and I spent almost one year working together to create their special day. During my initial consultation, and throughout the planning period, I listen. Constantly and diligently, I listen. I listen to everything clients say. I read and re-read everything clients email or text. And this is key to being successful in anything. The other key is being able to use the knowledge you've attained through listening but that is a whole other post :-)

So I probably spoke with Daryl about once every 1-2 two weeks about all of her and John's dreams for their wedding. There were a lot of parts to their dreams, and Lauren Daversa Events of course found a way to tastefully incorporate every single design element they wanted into their wedding, short of a life size cutout of Barak Obama and Keith Olbermann. Daryl, we'll just have to save that for another time!

Seriously, from a vintage typewriter to cafe lights, sea glass to burlap, the exact shades of the blues found in the ocean...and this is literally five of ten, twenty, maybe thirty special details that were carefully (very carefully) perfected all to create the "best wedding of 2010". This was a prefect event, and I am not kidding, it was perfect. FYI, perfect events don't just happen...they are planned by Lauren Daversa Events!

For more on this wedding, please visit the very talented Ashley Colhouer. Also, please check back very soon, there are big things that are about to happen with this wedding...

Venue: Private Key Largo estate
Caterer & Cake: Jill Spear, Eggwhites Special Events Catering
Videographer: Focused on Forever
Lighting: Uplyte
Lounge Furniture: Uplyte
Hair & Make-Up: Jorge Pena
Transportation: Emerald Transportation Company
Officiant: Michael J. Calderin
Bridesmaids: Amsale

Current Music : Wouter Hamel

We're busy-busy-busy over here at Lauren Daversa Events. Working on the official launch of our corporate division, organizing a few style shoots, planning a huge upcoming industry event, redecorating the home-office, working on setting up shop in my hometown (that's NYC for those of you who don't know) and of course working with my fabulous couples to plan their beautiful weddings! But, no matter how busy I am, I am busy with music on in the background.

Currently, I've been listening to a lot of jazz, big band, standards and swing music, which I have always been a huge, HUGE fan of. I enjoy everything from the Rat Pack to Michael Buble and all that's in between. This definitely explains why I am currently obsessed with Wouter Hamel. This pop singing, Dutch jazz vocalist is awesome! Check out In Between. The lyrics are certainly not lovey-dovey, but the message of the song is cleverly hidden in the upbeat, jazzy swing they're mixed up in.

RED ALERT to the bride's looking to infuse something new and different into the wedding music, have your band or DJ mix in a splash of Wouter Hamel during your big day!

L | D Finds: Mr. & Mrs. Cake Forks

I am not sure I event need to write anything. These cake forks by Beach House Living are adorable!!! They are made of vintage silver plated flatware with hand stamped 1/8" letters. The cost...$13! Yeah, a-ford-able...I think so. A perfect way to put a small detail to your wedding without breaking the bank.

Corporate Event Tip : Location Donation

In today's market, the average corporate event is working with a limited budget. Minimize the cost by thinking outside the box and getting the hook up on a location donation. Sound difficult? It doesn't have to be. Simply ask your clients to scroll through their Rolodex (yup, I brought back the Rolodex!) and find out if any of their colleagues happen to work in a building with an available snazzy-conference room. Or, maybe you are a seasoned planner and able to use your personal contacts for a location donation.

Don't even make excuses, there have to be a few fantastic buildings in your neighborhood that have their own personal room with a view, roof top lounge, garden courtyard, the CEO's custom landscaped terrace, something unique to host a fabulous event. One spot in my neck of the woods is Phillips Point, home to many businesses with intracoastal views and oh yeah, a view of Palm Beach.

I can't write it enough: think outside of the the box and speak up. In the end, you'll never know unless you ask. And saving the cost of a venue rental is a huge step in the right direction when you've budget is low, not to mention the best way to impress your clients.

Photo courtesy of Palm Beach Post

Wedding Invitation : 9

Wedding invitation for Amanda and Jonathan

Do you love this invitation? Well, it can be yours! If you are interested in this design, or if you would like a custom creation for your wedding or special event, please contact

For The Menu : Spiced Beef Empanadas

Recently I made empanadas for the first time, and I have to say that they were absolutely delicious and pictures will be posted soon. Beyond the taste, the presentation of the bakes half moon rocked so much that I impressed even myself! So, a few months ago when Real Simple posted this yummy recipe for spiced beef empanadas with lime sour cream, I knew it was something I needed to share. Does the the name itself not sound insanely good? Say it with me, spiced beef empanada....okay, yum!...with lime sour cream...ah, yes please!!! And the great thing about these little pockets of goodness is that they will make the perfect hors d'oeuvre for a for special event. They can be made large or bite size and filled with whatever ingredients you like . And just like that...BOOM... you've brought the WOW factor to your event! Enjoy...

L | D Finds : Sarah Yates

tori and austin from sarah yates

I am clearly having a huge love affair with stop motion photography. Sarah Yates, a photographer based out of LA, posted this engagement shoot on her blog. What can I's fantastic. She actually compiled 500 4X6 prints to create this fabulous-awesomeness! Enjoy...