Signature bowl

Here’s an alternative to the ho-hum guest book that’s actually worth queuing up to sign: Michele Oka Doner’s Signature Bowl for Steuben Glass.

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Featured Vendor – BollyRitmo

Are you looking to learn a beautiful dance routine for your special day? BollyRitmo, a premier Bollywood/Latin dance company provides just that! Learn from professional and talented instructors in a 1-1 setting.

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Featured Vendor – Dhoonya Dance

Find your ‘inner bollywood’ with Dhoonya Dance and learn moves for your performance, arrange for cousins/friends to sign up for their online classes and learn the fundamentals of Bollywood dance from your home computer (unlimited access to the videos for $9.99/month)…….or book them to perform at your event!

  • The artists: Kajal Mehta and Priya Pandya are the Founding Partners of Dhoonya Dance. They started the company together in 2005 with the mission of providing simple, artistic Bollywood dance instruction to people of all backgrounds ages and levels. Rapidly growing company with locations in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland and New York City, the team has taught thousands of students, dozens of corporate workshops, and performed on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
  • Cities covered: New York City, Washington DC, Vienna,VA, Mclean, VA, Arlington, VA, Rockville, MD.
  • Do you perform at receptions or private events? Yes, our Performance Company performs at receptions, galas and corporate events.
  • If yes, how far out in advance should the couple book your services? We take bookings 2-3 months ahead of time.
  • Dhoonya Dance Sangeet Suggestions:

Thoda Thoda Pyar: Love Aaj Kaal; song symbolizes the innocence and beauty of love; Giddha, can be done as a solo or in a group.

Desi Girl: Dostana; High energy, and a guaranteed crowd pleaser; Bollywod, Great for a group even kids.

Chor Bazaari: Love Aaj Kaal; Super happy song and a great beat; Bollywood; Great for groups; Simple beats making it easy to choreograph.

Twist: Love Aaj Kaal; very catchy beat; Great for groups of all ages.

Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna: Dilwale Dulhania Lejayenge; a Bollywood classic; great symbolism for weddings; Can be used as part of a skit between bride and groom; Fun for a group.

Mauja Hi Mauja: Jab We Met; Fun song, very recognizable; Mix of Bhangra and Bollywood; Great for Groups.

Ve Soniye: Kismat Konnection; song about man professing his love and basically proposing; Bollywood; Good for all guys dance or something from the groom’s side.

Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai: Title song; friends of the groom celebrating his marriage; Bollywood; Good for all guys dance or something from the groom’s side.

Tenu Leke: Salaam-e-Ishq; Song about man professing his love and basically proposing and then the woman agreeing at the end; Bollywood; Good as a bride and groom or song or one that is depicting them.

Salaam-E-Ishq: Title Song; Great love song with a catchy beat; Bollywood; Good for groups; Can call out/focus on different members of the family.
Hadippa: Title Song; Catchy and upbeat song; Bollywood and Bhangra; Great for groups and can be done with simple but fun and energetic choreography.


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Signature drinks

Looking for a signature drink for your wedding reception? Many bridal couples decide to create their own. You can find recipes online or better yet, meet with your bartender and have him create something for you.

Don’t feel it has to be a mixed drink. Have a favorite or special wine? Give it a fun creative name and then have it served!!

{this image featuring rose petals inside the ice cubes is courtesy of}

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ANAIS wedding: Abe + Monica

Simple, serene wedding and reception in Cupertino.

All images courtesy of Anais Events.

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Wine Country Romance

Images courtesy of Jesse Leake.
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Assigned seating

Easily, the most frustrating part about the planning process for the couple, is assigning seats at dinner. I can’t help with this. Actually, no one can, because no one knows every guest the way you do. This being said, follow these tips for getting it done quickly!

  • Don’t procrastinate. If you ignore the task, it won’t go away!
  • People LIKE to be told what to do and where to sit: So many of my couples think they are being more courteous by not assigning seats and allowing people to sit where they like. Not true! If you don’t tell them where to sit or what to do, they get a little flustered and look to your wedding planner, serving staff, etc. to guide them to an appropriate seat. Assigning seats actually reduces anxiety for many of your guests.
  • The exception to number one is there are a few people that HATE being told what to do. These people will change seats, move placecards, etc. Accept that your perfectly designed seating chart will be changed up by that one person who interprets your seating assignment like the authority he has long, deep rooted issues with. 
  • You will NEVER make everyone happy. Don’t even try. Try as hard as you can to make most people comfortable, but know that someone on the list just won’t fit appropriately at any table. So, don’t beat yourself up. Just except it and for heaven’s sake, do not show anyone not within the immediate planning committee the seating chart in advance. Unless you like hearing things, like “Why do I have to sit next to Aunty Gupta?” or, “I can’t believe you sat Jinder and Sam together. Didn’t you know that they dated at one time?!” Guard the chart with your life!
  • People cancel, people show up without RSVPing  (all the time unfortunately!) and in rare cases, the dates change. Be prepared by having a few extra seats and/or place cards on hand to ensure the unexpected guests do not feel uncomfortable. 
  • If you don’t assign seats some guests will be out in the cold. Have you ever been that guest at a wedding sitting by yourself or with one or two other random people in the corner? If so, I would venture to guess they didn’t assign a seat for you at dinner. If you don’t assign seats, families of four have to split into multiple tables because there aren’t four seats left ANYWHERE in the place and guests coming in late from the cocktail hour end up in no man’s land at a table with people they don’t know or don’t care to know. 

Take my advice on this one little thing…assign seats, but don’t be so bought into your assignments that you will shed tears if someone shows up unannounced or the grumpy old man that was your neighbor ten year ago bucks your suggestions and decides to cram into one of the other tables. It does and will happen, but try to make a MAJORITY of your guest comfortable by giving the seating chart some thought and then be sure to let it go!

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Drink Calculator

One of the questions I seem to hear most from couples is how much alcohol they need to provide for their reception.

I always take into account (based on the couple’s knowledge) how many of the guests are heavy vs. light drinkers and whether they mostly like beer, liquor or wine. I also calculate the numbers taking into consideration whether there is an open bar and if only wine will be served during dinner.

If you’ve researched this topic online or in magazines, you’ll often read that it’s safe to guess that everyone will have two drinks the first hour and one drink per hour thereafter. Here are some handy calculators to help you crunch the numbers.

Real Simple‘s Liquor Calculator
Evite‘s Party Planner
Manitoba‘s Party Planner
That’s a Wrapper‘s Drink Calculator

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Hello beautiful!

Quite often I’ve heard brides say that an elaborate ‘up do’ is the only option for the reception hairstyle. Not quite. You can let your hair down and be your beautiful natural self!

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