Couples Who Meet Unconventionally

Couples now a days are not the couples who have dreamed of their weddings since they were little kids. They were too busy wondering what they were going to be when they grow up! Careers have taken precedence and people are waiting later in life to get married.

Twitter Finds and Other Interesting Blog Posts

This blog post made quite the noise this past Monday on Twitter.  It's an article written by Scott Bourne on part time or new photographers undercutting the market. He goes into why it's harmful to the industry as a whole and why it cheats both the photographer and the client. It's a great read and translates to all aspects of the wedding industry and many other industries as well.  It's great for the bride-to-be to gain a little insight on why we need to charge what we charge as wedding professionals. Financial Questions To Ask Before The Wedding

What is "Day Of" Coordination (DOC) and what is the difference between "Day of" and "Month of" Coordination?

Why does wedding cake cost what it does?


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You Are Cordially Invited to the "Girls Night Out" Fundraising Event by Digs

The lovely ladies at Digs Studio, Jeniffer and Rhiannon, have planned a fundraiser to benefit our local troops in Iraq!  Contact Digs for more information.  I hope to see you there! Location: Digs a studio of photography 231 West Charleston Blvd, Suite 130 Las Vegas, NV 89102 US When: Friday, August 14, 6:30PM to 9:30PM Phone: 702.651.6000

Digs studio invites you to enjoy an evening out with the girls with shopping, food and fun. The first 50 ladies will receive gift bags donated by some of our favorite local vendors. Help us raise funds for our local troops in Iraq with the purchase of raffle tickets. Some of the fabulous raffle prizes include: a custom portrait session with photographer Jeniffer LaRocca; a luxurious massage with Hara, massage studio; a Love Story (a short film created for you about your loved one) by Film Maker Jason Roberts and many others. Meet some of our favorite vendors, enjoy a fashion show and mingle with friends new and old. All ladies that book their own Girls Night Out or Portrait Session with Digs Studio, at the night of the event, will receive a $50 Studio Print Credit. Bring a care package item for a soldier and receive one raffle ticket FREE!

Girls Night Out from Digs Studio- Jason Roberts on Vimeo.

Wedding Day Timeline Tips from a Professional Wedding Planner

The creation of the all important "Wedding Timeline" is an integral part of a wedding day coordinator's duties.  A professional wedding coordinator's timeline includes not only details of the entire day such as bride's arrival time to the ceremony site, ceremony start time, the time the dinner service begins and ends, but will also have the contact name and numbers of all the wedding vendors involved. Timelines will differ from wedding coordinator to wedding coordinator.  The trick is to make it clear and easy to read for you and any wedding vendors and assistants involved.

I like to start from the date of the bride and groom's arrival into Las Vegas since the majority of my clients come from out of town.  On each separate day, I'll include the date the couple goes to the marriage bureau to obtain their marriage license, spa appointments, rehearsal time and location, etc.  These items are not crucial on a timeline but it is my personal preference.

Below is a list of some important items to include on your timeline:

On the top or as a cover sheet:

  • Name of Bride & Name of Groom
  • Day & Date of Wedding (Saturday, June 6, 2009) - I ALWAYS put the day of the week
  • Start time of the ceremony
  • Start time of the reception
  • Ceremony Venue - with address
  • Reception Venue - with address
  • Names of the bridal party members (at least 1 phone number from each side - Best Man and Maid of Honor)
  • Vendors' Names and Cell phone numbers and arrival times
  • Main Point of Contact (Usually independent wedding coordinator or someone you've designated as your point of contact)
  • The hotel that the bride and groom will be staying at the day prior to the wedding and the night of the wedding with phone numbers to the hotel(s).

Actual Timeline:

Wedding Day: Every item should have a time, task details, and location

X:XX am Green Orchid Events arrives: Las Vegas Hotel room #

Hair & Makeup Room # ____________

  • List all girls getting hair and make up done and note the different times. The bride should ideally go last.

X:XX am/pm Name-of-photographer arrives to begin photography coverage

X:XX am/pm Linens set on tables and chairs

X:XX am/pm Floral arrives for ceremony & reception floral/décor setup

X:XX am/pm Bakery delivers wedding cake

X:XX am/pm Bridal party leaves bridal suite and heads to ceremony site

X:XX am/pm Guests begin arriving (about 30 minutes early)

X:XX am/pm Ceremony begins

  • Bridal party processional order & name of song
  • Bride & escort & name of song
  • Recessional order & name of song

X:XX am/pm Ceremony ends

X:XX am/pm Cocktail hour begins - name of room

X:XX am/pm Guests start to move into reception room for (seated or buffet) dinner - name of room

X:XX am/pm Grand Entrance

  • Family/Bridal party entrance order (if applicable) Song:  ____ by ____
  • Bride & Groom - Introduce as Mr. & Mrs. XX    Song: ____ by ____

X:XX am/pm First Dance - Song: ____ by ____

X:XX am/pm Dinner service begins

  • 1st course served - note time
  • 2nd course served - note time
  • 3rd course served - note time
  • Vendor meals - note times and number of meals

X:XX am/pm Champagne Toast

  • Best Man –  Name of Best Man
  • Maid of Honor – Name of Maid of Honor

X:XX am/pm Cake Cutting - Song: ____ by ____

X:XX am/pm Bouquet Toss - Song: ____ by ____

X:XX am/pm Open dancing

X:XX am/pm Dinner reception concludes

  • Strike: DJ/Floral/Décor

X:XX am/pm Green Orchid Events coordination service concludes

Screenshot of a sample timeline!


Please note: this is a sample and your wedding doesn't necessarily need to be in this order but these are important items to keep in your timeline.

Wedding professionals - What are some crucial items on your own timeline?


Blumebox Flower Vase


The thought of a single flower at each place setting at a wedding reception has always appealed to me.   Not only does it add so much to your table decor, it is a nice way to show your guests your appreciation.

Blumebox offers a nice way of displaying your flowers.  From a single bloom to a mini arrangement, Blumebox carries modern, low cost, and recyclable vases that gives you an alternative to the standard glass or ceramic vase.


I've Fallin' in Love...with a dress!

Red is the color of passion and love and is my favorite color.  I love love love red - especially a deep red color. A few days ago, while I was looking into purchasing a dress for an upcoming photo session with my friend Adam of Imagine Photography, I came across an Ebay auction for this dress.  And I have fallen head over heels in love with this dress!

After a bit of research, I've learned that the red dress is the same designer as my own wedding dress - Maggie Sottero!  Maggie Sottero tends to design asymmetrical dresses with a side gathering and I've realized that I'm a fan of this style.

The thought of wearing a red or a non white/ivory wedding dress is odd for some (I thought about it however I changed my mind for some reason) but it is gaining popularity as brides are starting to do away with some of the wedding traditions.

Would you wear a red dress on your wedding day?


Las Vegas Rehearsal Dinner Planning Tips

Las Vegas is no longer just known for its $1.99 breakfast and terrible buffets of the 1990s.  We've finally gained respect as a culinary town and I could not be happier! Bride and grooms have so many options when selecting their rehearsal dinner location that it can be exciting yet overwhelming!  From a traditional sit down restaurant to a non traditional venue like a wine bar or bowling alley, the Las Vegas bride and groom have plenty of options.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Bootlegger Bistro - 24 hour comfortable and cozy Italian restaurant only 5 minutes from Mandalay Bay

Brio Tuscan Grille - located at Town Square and has a replica of the Roman Coliseum that may be curtained off for private functions

Cafe Ba Ba Reeba - located at the Fashion Show Mall.  If you're early enough, you'll be able to make Happy Hour for Sangria and tapas.

Daniel Boulud Brasserie - beautiful French brasserie inside Wynn Las Vegas. Enjoy the Lake of Dreams show while you dine; large private dining room available. 1 Michelin star, 2008

Dos Caminos - modern Mexican restaurant inside Palazzo Las Vegas. Private dining room available.  Known for their mouthwatering guacamole.

Fadó Irish Pub - located in Henderson.  Upstairs space available for private parties.  Grab a pint, some cheese dip, and celebrate your upcoming wedding the Irish way!

Hostile Grape (Wine Cellar, Bar, Tasting Room) - located at M Resort on the South side. Sample 1, 3, or 5 ounce pours.

Maggiano's - family style Italian restaurant located in the Fashion Show Mall. Private dining rooms available.

Red Square - Russian restaurant located in Mandalay Bay. Dinner, caviar and vodka.  Private vodka vault:  Experience the frozen icebar with over 200 frozen vodkas and martinis

Shibuya - the best Japanese restaurant here in town (according to my father - former Bay Area Japanese restaurant owner) is located at MGM Grand.  Prepare the plastic with your highest limit prior to making reservations.

Ventano - Italian restaurant and oyster bar located in Henderson.  Sweeping views of the city

Vintner Grill - Italian restaurant located in Summerlin

VIP Bowling Lanes at Red Rock Casino - private suites may be reserved with catering and bottle service.

Due to the demand, Las Vegas has realized the need for a dedicated salesperson or sales team for private/group dining or a catering department and many restaurants now have that available.

A few things to keep in mind when planning your rehearsal dinner.

  • When making reservations for a large group, you will be required to guarantee your reservation with a credit card and contract.
  • You'll be required to select a menu and your guests won't be able to order off the regular dinner menu
  • The majority of restaurants don't have an option for a hosted bar package.  Beverages are mainly charged on consumption.
  • There may be a limit on your time there (usually 2  - 3 hours).
  • You will be required to give the restaurant a guarantee (guest count) 3 business days to two weeks prior to your event so treat it as an event and ask your guests to rsvp.
  • Unless you're in a private dining room, speeches and toasts may not be allowed so plan accordingly
  • Sales tax and an automatic gratuity of at least 20% will be added to your bill


Happy planning!


Love this beautiful bridal photo!

I saw this beautiful photo on my friend and talented photographer Chelsea Nicole's blog and had to feature it on my blog too!  Here is what she had to say about capturing this moment. "Prior to the ceremony the wedding day is often a wonderful, chaotic frenzy, filled with slipping into the dress and any last minute final touches. But in the midst of all the hustle and bustle leading up to the ceremony, there are moments when time seems to slow down, if only for a minute, and it allows everything to be taken in. That is the significance behind this image. This photo was taken in the bridal salon just minutes before Daniela was about to walk down the aisle and greet her smiling husband-to-be. Her mom and bridesmaids were busy fastening up her dress. But there was a moment where everything stopped -- and Daniela had this beautiful pensiveness about her, and I just had to capture it."


Happy Anniversary!

Three years ago today, Derek and I were married. It was the hottest day of the year in 2006.  Please thank my Feng Shui master for helping me pick that day. Actually, she gave me a bunch of dates but I didn't want to wait until September to get married! I truly believe that every wedding is beautiful. Every bride has a different style and different wants and needs for her special day.

I wasn't very much of a girly girl and wasn't too big into decor.   I didn't care about fancy linens and didn't care much for an extravagant ceremony altar piece.  The Four Seasons Hotel was kind enough to provide standard but pretty floor length linens (all I cared about was that they were floor lengh) and an overlay and chargers (usually upgrades).   My focus was the food and service.   I wanted to be taken care of and I wanted the staff to be attentive.  I picked the Four Seasons Hotel because I wanted a venue that was naturally beautiful and that didn't need a lot of "work".  I had more important things to do than pick out a swatch of fabric and worry about centerpieces.  I hated chair covers but couldn't imagine spending $10+ per chair for an upgrade (over $40 for my guest list of 41).  Thankfully their banquet chairs were pretty nice.  So, no thanks on the chair rentals.  That $400 can go towards an open bar.  Dinner wasn't too fancy but a duet of filet mignon and sea bass doesn't come cheap there.  We also had an open bar and wine service for dinner.  And you wanna know what people remember about OUR wedding day?  My husband doing the worm dance during our reception and the flowing drinks.

Please note:  Everything mentioned in this post about style reflects my personal taste and has nothing to do with how I plan weddings as a professional wedding planner. As a wedding planner, I love looking through different swatches of fabric with a bride, deciding on which flowers will go in the bride's bouquet, and talking about event lighting to create an ambiance for the wedding reception.  I do not encourage a couple to spend all of her money on food and beverage if that is not important to them.  And, most importantly, I love attending big fancy parties when I'm not the center of attention.

Here's a glimpse into my own Las Vegas wedding:

My sister and I went to Robert Cromean's Salon at Mandalay Bay to get our hair done. We had so much fun with our stylists. I gave them two photos I liked but told them to do whatever they wanted.  As long as I had volume and had my hair half up and half down, I was happy.  They thought I was the coolest bride.


After we left Robert Cromean's, we checked into our beautiful 180 degree strip view suite. We all (me, Derek, and the bridal party) had lunch in the little dining room area. It was so much fun and relaxing. The few hours spent with Derek and my bridal party was one of the highlights of the entire day.  I then got my makeup done in the bedroom while the guys watched Austin Powers in the living room.  Yup, I don't really care about tradition except that Derek wanted to see me for the first time in my dress at the ceremony site.

Our wedding ceremony at the balcony off the Mesquite Room. I didn't want an arch, or a chuppah, or any flowers.


Personalized unity candle with the Irish Wedding Blessing. The breeze didn't allow us to light it and I'm not keen on the whole sand ceremony thing. I believe I got this off of ebay.  It wasn't until after the wedding that my mom told me I'm not supposed to have a white candle at my wedding. It's bad luck in the Chinese culture.  Oops.


On the grand staircase. My mom was not happy that I didn't wear a veil or a tiara. She said I was missing something as a bride and needed a veil.  I don't agree.



With my sister and Maid of Honor Jennifer.  Michelle Farber of Fleur de Lis did an amazing job on my flowers. I love the huge full roses and green cymbidium orchids (my favorite of course!).  I added a 4 leaf clover brooch in honor of Derek's Irish heritage.

My mom made this bamboo arrangement for luck and bought these Chinese bobbleheads from Chinatown.


Family friend and talented pianist Jim played piano during the cocktail hour.


The beautiful Mesquite Room with windows!

mesquite room

Final group shot.  Apparently, shots were included in my bar package.   ;)

final shot

One of my favorite photos of us:


All photos by Advanced Photographics.

Real Las Vegas Wedding: Elena and Nick

Green Orchid Events' Wedding Day Coordinator Angelica writes a guest blog post about her recent coordination experience with Elena and Nick who were married on June 12th. The beginning of 1 Corinthians 13:4 describes Elena and Nick perfectly, "Love is Patient, Love is kind". Elena and Nick's love for each other was seen throughout their whole wedding process. They both worked extremely hard in order in to have their beautiful wedding. The ceremony was held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church and the reception was at the Siena Golf Club Bistro.

Pink and silver adorned the amazing bistro while Elena's dresses glistened amongst all of their friends and family. Elena and Nick started off the night with a choreographed first dance to Lauren Hill's version of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You". Not only was their dance romantic and comical, but Elena did it with a hurt knee!

Digs Photography and Lighten Films were there to capture every moment and element of the wedding.  Once the night came to an end, the newlyweds were sent off to their limo with a grand sparkler exit. We wish Elena and Nick the best of luck as they start their new life together in Oregon. Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Petsas!

bridal party



elena and nick at siena

elena and nick

bridal party at siena golf club


Thank you to our lovely vendors:

Wedding Coordinator: Angelica McDonnell of Green Orchid Events Wedding Ceremony: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church Wedding Reception: Siena Golf Club Bistro Lighting and Lounge Furniture: Andrea Trubiro of LTeventions Photography: Digs Videography: Lighten Films DJ: Knight Sounds Floral: Lisa Grissom Wedding Cake: Leopold's Bakery Transportation: Las Vegas VIP Limousines

Featured on Wedding Chicks!

Rob & Michelle's wedding has been featured on Wedding Chicks! Be on the lookout for more photos on The Vegas Wedding Planner in the next week!


Photo by Denise Hoogland

Real Las Vegas Wedding: Lisa and Keenan

Congratulations to Lisa and Keenan who were married on April 25, 2009 at Reflection Bay Lake Las Vegas.  Lisa first called me with the idea of having a truly destination wedding for only a few guests.  She wanted Red Rock Canyon for the ceremony site and then a simple lunch in a restaurant immediately following. But, plans changed.

During the planning process, the guest count had increased and we decided on Reflection Bay for both the ceremony and reception.  They loved the ceremony site on the lawn and in front of the water.  The lunch reception was in the Rotunda Room after the short and sweet ceremony.

Wedding Planner: Green Orchid Events Venue: Reflection Bay, Lake Las Vegas Photography: Randi Anzevino of Reflective Souls Photography Videography: Memory Lane Video Bridal Party Bouquets: Enchanted Florist Officiant: Reverend Phil York DJ: Ed Labrador of On Point Productions Wedding Cake: Tiers of Joy Makeup: Lori White Hair: Loews Salon



Reflection Bay Lake Las Vegas - Lisa & Keenan - Highlight Video from Memory Lane Video on Vimeo.

Vendor Spotlight: Paisley Quill

Name: Molly Myers Location: Detroit, MI

Company Name: Paisley Quill

Number of Years in Business: 4



How did you get started in stationery? I was working as a graphic designer for a sports marketing firm for the past 4 years and was getting burned out on the subject matter. As a designer, I was going to be the only one doing my wedding invitations. I enjoyed it so much I wanted to do it for other people. I partnered with my good friend Megan Bildstein, and interior designer and we have been at it ever since.

What did you do prior to this? Graphic Designer

If you didn't create stationery for a living what would you be doing instead? Working as a Designer for a big magazine in New York City

What are some of your hobbies? Gardening, travel, cooking, spending time with my new baby boy and husband

What is your inspiration? Music, the City of Detroit, Peter Max

Name an exotic location you’d like to visit soon. Rome

Why do your clients choose you over some of your competitors? Unique designs, and understand of our clients likes and dislikes, competitive pricing.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer a bride and groom on their wedding day. Take a moment for the two of you. The day goes by so quickly! Make sure you step back and take it all in.




Check out this video of three Las Vegas Wedding Photographers in action!

PUG stands for "Pictage Users Group" and we've got a local chapter!  The Las Vegas Pug group is open to all professional photographers and anyone interested can find out more information on the Las Vegas PUG Page: Check out the below video from the most recent meeting of these talented young Las Vegas wedding photographers (Chelsea Nicole, Adam Trujillo, Suzi Lighten) in action!

I had so much fun watching this video that I had to ask my friends if I could share this with you!

What the Pug!!! from Terrence Lighten on Vimeo.

Terrence Lighten of Lighten Films