Monday, December 19, 2011

are you ready??

it's almost here! i'm so excited to reveal another element to our new business direction! this week i will reveal our new website for Pink Tie Preferred Signature Haut-Monde Events! i've cannot wait to formally introduce you to our recent growth spurt! we've worked hard to make sure our site properly reflects our business.

last month we reveal our new logo on our Facebook Page. honestly, it was a "fluke" design... i was just playing around one night on the computer (while indulging in some reality television) and "accidentally" created a design i immediately fell in love with! what do you think?? do you like it??

in the meantime, be sure to check back for more updates and the release of our website!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pink Tie Preferred LLC | Signature Haut-Monde Events

Guess there should be an official announcement, so here it is! Effective January 2, 2012, we will no longer be j. marie & associates.

In order to provide better services to our clients, we decided to better identify which clients are the best fit with our firm. With a new identify and brand, we have now focused our packages to be customizable for the sophisticated client's needs. Whether your looking for a high-quality, stress free wedding that will "WOW" your guests, or seeking to take the planning burden off of your child by hiring an experienced event producer, Pink Tie Preferred, LLC Signature Haut-Monde Events has the ideal package just for you!

As we draw closer to our launch date (#OneTwoOneTwo) we will "sneak" tidbits of info... Still to come: the phone number, logo, and website. In the meantime, you can contact us online at or

Friday, September 9, 2011

flirty thirty...

looking for something different to celebrate a birthday? whether it's your "flirty thirty". "fabulous forty", "feisty fifty", or "sassy sixty" one way to embrace your special day would be to schedule a photo shoot. regardless of your dress size, a skilled photographer can capture images that are most flattering.

the most talented, professional and friendly boudoir photographers in michigan is kim williams at the boudoir loft, in rochester hills. she's often offering deals and discounts making the idea that much more appealing.

photo credit: the boudoir loft

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

you're engaged! now what??

you're engaged! congratulations! i'm sure you're very excited... you've told your parents, siblings and friends. maybe you've let your co-workers in on your excitement. now what??

most websites will advise you to begin by setting your budget and selecting your venues. while that's a great start... we advise our clients to take a very important step in between - determining your guest list.

as excited as you may be to start checking tasks off of your to-do list, you should first take some time to focus solely on your guest list. the number of people you plan to invite plays a major part in almost every aspect of your wedding - or any event for that matter. from decorations (number of centerpieces can increase with each table added), to stationery (invitations, programs, favor tags, etc.), to more obvious costs such as food and drink.

dedicate some time to compiling your guest list and comparing it to the budget you've set. decide how much you'd like to spend, and determine how many you can accommodate with that amount. it may be easier to contract with an event planner who is experienced with determining the price per person costs of an event.

many times hostesses (brides, honorees, etc.) are frustrated after an event because of the additional, and often last minute, costs added. sometimes last minute guests are added because the bride (groom, or family members) forgot a few folks. sometimes last minute guests are added because of an attempt to fill anticipated empty seats due to the responses.

to avoid the former, spend the suggested time mentioned earlier on your guest list, then do your best to stick to it. to avoid the latter, when you contract with your venue(s) book a lower guest count. let me explain...

if you invite 200 guests to your wedding, don't book the reception hall for 200 guests. but do make sure they have seating capacity should all 200 guests respond affirmatively. book your venue for 150 guests, and increase as necessary based on the r.s.v.p.'s received.

we'd be happy to assist you in preparing for your event and determining your price per person costs. contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

Monday, September 5, 2011

happy labor day!

happy labor day folks! spend time with family and friends... make memories - live. laugh. love!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

jumping the broom

debuting at number 3 for the weekend of may 6, 2011, t.d. jakes' movie project entitled "jumping the broom" was an excellent portrayal of the african-american culture and weddings.

it's a story of "downtown" meets "uptown" that also provides a plethora of sub-story lines to keep the plot thick and entertaining. the movie carries the title of an african american tradition of "jumping the broom," which is explained from a historical standpoint during the movie.

today, broom jumping is done as a reminder of those who, during slavery, could not legally marry. jumping over a broom symbolizes the sweeping away of the old and welcoming the new - it's a symbol of new beginnings!

if you would like to incorporate the jumping of a broom into your ceremony, we'd love to help you incorporate any of the following ideas in your day:

- have a container of colorful ribbon pieces near your guest book (at either the ceremony or reception), with the broom, and allow guests to tie ribbons around the broom prior to the ceremony's start. this is a wonderful way to include your guests in this tradition of community involvement.

- as an addition to the previous guests, you can also allow guests to write their name and/or wishes on the ribbon prior to tying to the broom. this way, you are jumping into your new life with the support and well-wishes of those who love you.

- have someone special carry the broom into the ceremony. at the conclusion of the ceremony, just before the recessional have them place the broom in front of the bride and groom. they can then retrieve the broom once it has been jumped.

looking for other ways to incorporate the jumping of a broom, or other cultural rituals - coin and/or lasso ritual, henna ritual, mendi celebration, or others? contact us and we'll help you get started!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#RoyalWedding deals and discounts

just over a day away.... the carriage has been polished, the china is set, and Kate won't promise to "obey" in her vows to Prince William. the entire globe is in an uproar of excitement about the pending nuptials of the eldest son of the late Princess Diana.

Westminster Abbey has secured the facility beyond actual security, but has added "jammers" which will block its expected 1,900 guests, which includes royals, celebrities, politicians, and some citizens, from being able to tweet! it is not clear whether or not guests will be blocked from all cellular and wireless access, or just the site. additionally, as guests are expected to arrive as much as two hours early, there will be no restroom facilities available. guests were advised to make their own arrangements in advance. (ouch!)

well, we're excited and admittedly caught up in the media blitz! join us online at where we'll not only tweet about the #RoyalWedding, but also sneak in a few deals and discounts. we'd love to help you create your own royal experience or custom stationery! visit our website for more information about our services and products.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

down the aisle - liz taylor style

today the world mourns the loss of violet-eyed actress and activist, liz taylor. she died at the age of 79 of congestive heart failure. during her passion-filled years, that heart of her's loved many. let's take a look at her bridal style...

Husband No. 1 - Conrad Hilton, Jr.:

Husband No. 2 - Michael Wilding:

Husband No. 3 - Michael Todd:

Husband No. 4 - Eddie Fisher:

Husband No. 5 & 6 - Richard Burton:

Husband No. 7 - John Warner:

Husband No. 8 - Larry Fortensky:
(Almost) Husband No. 9 - Jason Winter:
ms. taylor will definitely be missed, and certainly remembered for her contributions to society. rest in peace.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

why we're not "inexpensive"

there's an entrepreneurial spirit that's living strong in our country - that's part of what makes America so wonderful. howevever, many often jump into new careers prematurely. in the day and age where many brides, after enjoying their own wedding day, determine they are indeed fit to become an event planner for others. while some are actually skilled, many may not have what it takes to really be an asset to the event planning community and the clients it serves. believe it or not, it takes more than "being a bride" to know what you're doing...

so with event planners popping up every five minutes, you're sure to come across several that are willing to offer full planning event services for $300-$500. now, we all have to start somewhere. and thankfully, i'm still employed full-time, so i was able to work for low prices as i started out to gain experience and enjoy my passion. we no longer can offer packages at such low rates, because we've now have over 9 years of experience! not only do clients benefit from our vendor and venue database, but from our proven tips and tricks, experiences and know-how.

our full service packages can entail a minimum of 40 hours... even at $500, that's only $12.50 per hour. even if we worked an equivalent of 40 hours for 52 weeks, that's $26,500 per year. our clients make more than that! we've got to charge more because we've got expenses to carry... website, printing, marketing, etc. in addition, to being paid for our experience and time.

many brides try to cut corners. and for that, we understand and applaud them. we believe the marriage is indeed more important than the wedding. we'd rather have couples who remain happy (and happy partly because they're not arguing about how broke the wedding has made them!). we have a number of ways to help you keep your wedding day within your budget. however, some vendors - you want quality! remember, the same holds true with event planners: you get what you pay for.

Monday, February 14, 2011

it's valentine's day! (uh-oh... you forgot?)

whelp, it's valentine's day... and, you forgot! well, don't worry. we can help you with some last minute ideas:
spend a couple hours together writing romantic ideas on separate slips of paper. after you get a total of 52 romantic ideas on 52 pieces of paper, then fill a box or jar with them. every week (select a "date night" if you don't already have one), from this day on, alternate who picks one and has to implement it by the following date night -- at which point the other partner will pick a new romantic idea and have a week to follow through with it.

purchase an "i love you" helium balloon from a local party store, then drive to his work and attach the balloon to the handle of his car door or windshield wiper.

spend the day just photographing each other... outdoors (at a local park, walking downtown, at the beach, on the playground), as well as indoors. make sure you get someone to take some photos of the two of you together. take some candids, and some posed. then frame one!

build a fire, snuggle up, and read a good book or perhaps romantic poetry together. make some hot chocolate or spiced cider to enhance the evening. don't have a fireplace? locate a virtual fireplace dvd for your television... won't keep you warm, but that's why you have each other.
select a dinner from a cookbook you have never tried. Shop for the ingredients and prepare dinner together. to add ambiance, choose a type of cuisine and add decorations or dress to enhance the atmosphere.
first plan a scavenger hunt. write clues on note cards telling him/her where to go. place the clues in the places around the community. have a friend or relative give him/her the first clue. the final clue leads your date to a restaurant (be waiting at the table with flowers).

prepare three envelopes (each with a different date). your date first chooses one of the three envelopes. she can opt to accept that date, or trade it in for one of the remaining two envelopes, which could be more or less desirable. be prepared to go out immediately.
go to your local party store and rent a helium tank good for around 75 balloons. buy at least 8 dozen balloons. go home and blow them up in the bedroom. don’t forget to leave at least 2-3 dozen (without helium) for the floor and bed. set up some candles and fresh flowers for the room. then get your favorite board game and set it up on the bed. cut up some fresh fruit to snack on.

whatever you decide to do, be sure to show your special one how much you love and care about them...not just on valentine's day, but every day! and don't forget your first Valentine: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NIV 2010) happy valentine's day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

bride beware

most of the articles and advice you'll come across as a bride are happy-go-lucky. as well they should be, this is one of the most exciting and happy times of your life. however, it's important that in the excitement you're not taken for a ride. let's share some of the most common ways brides, and others planning social events, can be "scammed"

band. with the technology available today, it is very easy and common for bands to provide potential clients with demos (recording samples). however, it is also possible for the recording to be either altered, or it can involve voices not the same as those hired. j. marie's advice: audition bands in person rather than relying upon a demo.

photos. when you go to interview a photography studio, often times you'll be shown photographs from their best and veteran photographers. unfortunately, it's not unlikely that samples you are shown are done by a photographer different from the one that will show up on at your event. j. marie's advice: get the photography studio to confirm the actual photographer that will shoot your special day. be sure to see samples of his/her work, and interview him/her work as well.

gowns. beware of missing labels or label switching. some shops either switch labels on gowns (placing a designer label on a cheaper gown) or remove labels (to prevent you from being able to identify the gown and shop elsewhere). j. marie's advice: walk out! if you notice a bridal shop engaging in such practices, odds are they're not a reputable place of business.

we could go on, and on... but basically it's this simple: use common sense, and you get what you pay for. one of the easier ways to avoid being scammed by any venue or vendors is to contact an experienced and reputable event planner. we'd be happy to assist you in securing vendors.

Friday, February 11, 2011

contest! proposal and other prizes

do you live in the metropolitan Detroit area? been thinking about proposing to your significant other? well, guess what!? cw50 Detroit is offering a televised proposal along with other prizes.

One lucky viewer will have the opportunity to propose during an episode of Nikita, Thursday, March 3 @ 9pm on CW50, plus win:

  • (5) Tuxedo Rentals from President Tuxedo (including the groom)
  • Wedding Gown valued at up to $1,000 from Bella Rose Bridal Boutique
  • Rehearsal Dinner for up to 30 people at Mario’s Italian Restaurant
  • Engagement Ring from Zeidman’s Jewelers
  • Wedding cake valued at up to $800 from Mrs. Maddox Cake Shop
  • $500 good towards Wedding flowers from Viviano Flower Shop
  • Wedding Reception for up to 100 people at Brentwood Golf and Banquet Center
  • 7-night Honeymoon from Apple Vacations to Occidental Grand Xcaret in Riviera Maya, Mexico

click here for a direct link to enter or read more contest information.

if you'd rather work on a more private and intimate proposal, we'd be happy to assist you! contact us today

Monday, January 17, 2011

tip of the week (totw): trimming the guest list

so you're planning your big event... and you want to have some sort of system in planning the guest list. perhaps you've determined you'd like to keep the guest list near 300 guests, but once you list all of your invitees you discover your list is more like 500! even if budget is not a concern, event space is... if your selected venue doesn't support the radically increased guest count this could mean major adjustments to your event.

rather than changing plans already set in motion, let's look at some options for trimming the guest list:

determine your budget. this not only applies to the funds available to support your event, but also the space available for entertaining.

make lists. each honoree or participant should have a guest list... bride, groom, birthday guy or gal, parents, etc. include every individual you may consider inviting.

strike. start striking names from your own list. as yourself:

how often have i seen this person in the last year?

if i invite this person, will i feel obliged to add other guests? (i.e., additional coworkers, friends)

can i handle the fallout (if there is any) if i do not invite them?

agreement before meeting. before you meet with the others to discuss the lists, determine what categories will be removed entirely - children, co-workers, relationship beyond first cousin, no dates for singles, etc.

meeting of the lists. get together with the other participants, and begin discussing the necessary versus unnecessary guests. if the conversation becomes challenging, then perhaps you can develop a three-strike rule. each person can only strike 3 names from another's list...

the master list. so now that you've removed names from your own list, and the other lists, compile the lists into one master list. if your list still includes too many names, apply the questions provided above in hopes to remove a few more names.

if all else fails, you can always play rock paper scissors!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

what your engagement ring says about you

Oval Engagement Ring:

Your style: In a word (okay three): Over the top.

Your relationship: Together you are more than the sum of your parts.

Your wedding: Colorful and cool, with a very polished edge. No detail will be overlooked.

Round Engagement Ring:

Your style: Traditional. You always look utterly put together.

Your relationship: Bottom line: you're marrying your best friend. Here's to a lifetime of sharing inside jokes and having someone really get you.

Your wedding: Relaxed, romantic and unfussy. It takes a lot of planning to make things look this effortless, but you'll pull it off.

Emerald Cut Engagement Ring:

Your style: Sophisticated socialite — aka uptown girl.

Your relationship: You're the girl of his dreams and he's totally in awe.

Your wedding: Voted "can't miss" event of the season (and not just by your mom). Destined to be the party where everyone hits the dance floor.

Cushion Cut Engagement Ring:

Your style: You take your cues from the Grace Kellys of the world — legendary women who demand to be set apart.

Your relationship: He lets you be ... well, you.

Your wedding: So elegant and timeless that no one will be able to date the wedding photos afterward.

Princess Cut Engagement Ring:

Your style: Lover of all things sparkly.

Your relationship: He treats you like a … yep, total princess.

Your wedding: You may or may not arrive by horse-drawn carriage, opt for the biggest ball gown or sport the tallest tiara — but you're bound to have a royal blast.

Pear Cut Engagement Ring:

Your style: Classic, but with a twist.

Your relationship: Independent, yet utterly committed. You and your guy have each other's backs. Period.

Your wedding: Contemporary and chic with trendy shots of color and fun, out-of-the-box ideas.

Courtesy of - by, Hallie Goodman

who pays for what?

now that it's 2011, are the "traditional" terms still in play? each couple is different, each wedding is different. some couples pay for the entire celebration themselves, while some are completely financially backed by the parents (either the bride's, groom's or both). there are few events that are still 100% on the bride's father. so let's take a look at the more "updated" traditional route, and you can feel free to make alterations that best fit your circumstance and budget.

even among the high-end clientele, no one has a money tree growing on their estate. nor are they careless enough to use money to blow their nose or wipe their... well, you get the point. so let's take a look at the most common way the budget is handled nowadays, and who pays for what.
the groom's family:
father of the groom's formal wear; the groom's cake; and the rehearsal dinner.
the bride's family:
wedding gown, headpiece and veil; bridesmaids' bouquets; grandmother corsages; ceremony and reception flowers; altar flowers; arch; canopy; arch; chuppah; kneeling bench; candelabras; rental items for the ceremony; rental items for the reception; invitations; announcements; wedding programs; favors; church fee; musician/soloist; ceremony site fees; reception site fees; catered reception fees; photography; videography; orchestra, band and/or disc jockey; wedding cake; wedding breakfast and/or bridal brunch; and father of the bride's formal wear.
the groom:
wedding ring for the bride; wedding gift for the groom; groomsmen/usher gifts; bride's bouquet; mothers' corsages; boutonnieres for groom, groomsmen, and ushers; the marriage license; medical visit for the groom (if necessary, or required by state); clergyman/officiant fee; gloves, ties or ascots for the groomsmen; honeymoon; and limousine service.
the bride:
wedding ring for the groom; wedding gift for the groom; bridesmaid gifts; bridesmaid luncheon; accommodations for out of town guests; and medical visit for the bride (if necessary, or required by the state).
attire (gowns and tuxedos); the bachelor party; the bachelorette party; gift for the wedding couple; and travel expenses to the wedding.
travel to wedding; and gift for the wedding couple.
again, you're not obligated to budget according to this list. the best thing to do is to take a look at the overall budget and sit down with everyone who's contributing. once the budget has been established then you can determine how many guests you can accommodate, the type of location to look for, etc.
does your wedding budget not fit this description? are there cultural factors you'd like to include? or perhaps you need a mediator because a financial contributor is now trying to take over? contact us today and a signature event team member can assist you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

first impressions

first impressions are everything, right? this applies to job interviews, first dates and yes, event planning. how your event is presented to guests supplies the first impression. the invitation is your chance to set the tone! guests get a feel for whether the event is going to be laid-back and casual, or formal elegance.

after an overwhelmingly warm response to our holiday card, we are now expanding our services and offering custom stationery. provide us with your theme, color scheme, approximate budget and location, and we'll design an invitation unique as you that fits your personality, as well as the event. custom orders average approximately 6-8 weeks. rush orders can be process, with restrictions and additional fees.

allow us to create and design custom stationery for your event. it doesn't have to stop at invitations. allow us to produce your programs, menu cards, place cards, thank you cards, save the date cards, and more!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

sip and see ideas

so, you're watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta and phaedra announces she's hosting a "sip and see" and you're like sheree' and many of the viewers thinking... 'surely, she's made this up!' well, actually - she didn't.

a "sip and see" is a baby shower alternative... it's hosted typically about 4-6 weeks after the baby is born. it's generally an "open house" format, so there's no games as you'd find with the traditional baby shower - (which makes it more "man friendly"). since it's the alternative to a baby shower, the focus shifts from gifts to the baby. there's usually food, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), favors and of course - the baby! the favors come in handy as some guests may bring a gift for baby, mommy, daddy or the family (though gifts are not to be expected). additionally, a sip and see is a great way to introduce your newest addition if it's the second child or beyond.

so if you're thinking about hosting a sip and see, give us a ring, and we'll be happy to help you!

p.s. be sure to have plenty of hand sanitizer available. while phaedra didn't allow people to hold ayden if you're gonna pass your baby around, you'll want to kill some germs first!

Friday, January 7, 2011

TLC's four weddings

so of course, i had to give more commentary about wedding porn! TLC's four weddings is another one of my guilty pleasures. not every event documented via the show is platinum level or high-end. but first and foremost, i'm a lover of love - and it's another opportunity to witness four couples in love. there's not as much drama as found on some of the other, older shows, yet it's still good to see how different personalities are expressed through events. so buckle up and let's embark on the ride of the season premiere!

kally's wedding:
greek chic wedding, 175 guests, $60,000 budget. the judges

notice immediately that there's a train near by that goes by every 3-5 minutes. the church was
gorgeous! the ceremony was in greek, which distracted the judges who counted the train going by a total of 8 times. culture brought into the wedding ceremony and reception is wonderful. however, it helps to be mindful of the guests who may not be familiar with your cultural traditions. you can explain the traditions and why you chose to include them in your program.

kally's reception began with a wonderful cocktail hour - offering hot and cold foods. however, there was a view of the reception room, which eliminated the element of surprise for the guests. as far as food: beyond the roasted pig with a cigar, googly eyes and sunglasses, some of the judges struggled with the food, including the first course which was lobster bisque in a bread bowl, with a small lobster sticking out! thankfully, the guests did really enjoy the venue and participated in the traditional greek dance. for overall experience, kally's wedding fared about average.

kitty's wedding:
sentimental serenade; 420 guests; $45,000 budget.

kitty's gown was made by her aunt and she wore her mother's veil. as a surprise to her soon-to-be husband, she recorded a song she wrote for him to serenade him as she walks down the aisle. while it was a beautiful and sentimental ceremony, the cocktail hour was in a very crowded space and there didn't appear to be enough food.

additionally, the judges seemed to be bothered with the fact that the wedding took place really late in the evening on Sunday. for kicks and giggle,s one judge-bride decided to rally the others on the floor for the bouquet toss. thinking they were safe to hide in the back, they are mortified when the most dramatic actually catches to bouquet. boy is she in for a "treat" when the guy who catches the garter, places it on her leg... kitty's wedding scores not as well as the others...

danielle's wedding:
fairy princess fantasy; 90 guests; $30,000 budget.

taking place at a vineyard, danielle's wedding begins with a ceremony inside of a tent with minimal decorations which included an arch with grapes. after the entrance of the bridesmaids, ushers rolled out the aisle runner, cut, and tape during the processional. as a show of unity, they blended two wines and drank from the cup. a very cute and unique idea that worked well with the location and overall theme. there's a 21 year age difference between danielle and her groom, which the officiant points out that in dog years, they're "only 3 years apart"!

guests are directed outside of the tent for the cocktail hour where the bride-judges discussed the simplicity of danielle's dress. there were limited options for the cocktail hour which included only cold options. and the weather wasn't the best for being outdoors. while dining, the guests enjoy a 12 piece orchestra and guests can swing dance! once again, a guest-judge caught the bouquet! thankfully, the gentleman was a bit more polite. danielle's wedding fared about average...

dawn's wedding:
winter wonderland; 135 guests; $45,000 budget.

immediately the guests are greeted with place cards that are held with an ornament. there was beautiful lighting in the ceremony space. the vows weren't traditional at all, and they stayed true to their individual and couple personalities. the judge-brides didn't all appreciate the authenticity of the vows. the cocktail hours was full of various cuisines. while there was a variety, the space was very crowded.

the reception room was very nicely decorated with lighting and decor... and a choreographed first dance was a hit, despite the fact the bride and groom both had chewing gum in their mouths. the judge brides were impressed with the portion sizes of the food served for the main course, but disappointed in the seasoning (or lack thereof). overall, dawn's wedding scored about average.

so with all the weddings scoring about average (5-7) who stood out? who won? each one was certain their wedding was the best. they had to rank the other weddings not just for "overall experience" but also for food, dress and venue. whose groom will step out of the limo?
the wedding with best scores all around is: kitty and walter! while she may have had the lowest overall experience score (13 points out of a possible 30); she scored a perfect score for her handmade gown and great scores for her venue and food (both receiving 22 out of 30). they won a honeymoon to... Sicily, Italy!

2nd - kally's wedding / 3rd - dawn's wedding / 4th - danielle's wedding

unfortunately, not all of the brides have enough class to lose gracefully. if you watched this episode or catch an airing... you'll know what i'm talking about. it's just sad to see once the weddings are over and marriages have begun that some "bridezilla" qualities aren't that at all, but rather some people are just down right mean! if you caught the episode, feel free to call us and we'll help you incorporate any ideas you liked into your event!

my fair wedding with david tutera

it's here! the start of wedding season... with so many getting engaged over the holidays, most cannot wait to jump into the planning. while some brides know exactly what they want and have planned their wedding since they were little girls. and some brides, believe it or not, have no idea what they're interested in. one of the best ways to get concepts for your wedding is by indulging in what i like to refer to as "wedding porn". one of my favorite sources is My Fair Wedding with David Tutera.

he completely outdid himself with the season 4 premiere. a bride who desired "bling blaux" - her version the next level of "bling bling" was granted a wedding and reception which created fashion week in los angeles. each bridesmaid wore a couture gown unique to fit their shape and personality, and entered working a white runway. there was even music performances for the catwalk by the grammy award winning "hip hop violinist" - Miri Ben-Ari.

according to the bride, joanne - "david tutera is the oprah, plus michael jackson, plus barack of event planning!" if you missed the season premiere, be sure to check online at for re-air dates. you can catch new episodes on sunday nights at 9pm est on WE TV.

want your own signature event to wow you and your guests alike? contact us and we'll help you in that process.

picking a reception venue

one of the very first things you want to do is book your venues - ceremony and reception. do your research. get reviews, make sure it works with your budget and guest list, and visit the location personally - don't rely on the Internet and venue supplied photographs. if you're working with a professional event planner they will also be able to assist you with recommendations. professional planners also aware of which venues are most accommodating and usually can help you get extra perks because they've established a relationship.

does it fit the uniqueness of you? in selecting a space for your celebration, it's important to select a venue that has you and your bethrothed's name all over it. if you've got a thing for antique cars, why not look into a local automobile museum? love the outdoors, then try the botanical gardens, a local park or even the zoo. did you go star-gazing on your first date, or the night he proposed? why not celebrate at the local planetarium or science center. whatever the location, don't feel obligated to host your guests in a hotel ballroom or country club. first and foremost, select a location that will stand out to your guests, and match your "couple identity".

consider the space - once you've selected a location there are a few things you want to ask yourself: is there enough room for your guests to be comfortable, seated, eat, dance? does this location match my budget requirements? is there room to have the ceremony on-site, if desired? if the ceremony is at a different location, is the travel time and distance reasonable for guests? will you need to budget additional funds for decor, such as flowers, lighting, premium linens, chair covers, etc.? or are luxury items, i.e., chivari chairs and premium linens available on-site? is there unique beauty

money, money, money - how much is the deposit? when is the balance due? what's the cancellation fee? when you start shelling out funds for the reception, make sure you're not taken advantage of. most venues require a deposit to hold the date. make sure the deposit, if not refundable, is applied against your total balance.

these tips will help you get started. contact us for personalized assistance in selecting your perfect venue...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

new website!!

guess what?! we've updated our website! ( it's redesign is more reflective of the cutting edge services we offer and trends we're on top of, while being presented with our signature style, elegance and class. go ahead... take a peak! give us your feedback. is there something you'd like to see included, or something not quite working on your end? we'd like to know. thanks for taking a moment to peruse.
here's a few things we've changed...
  • scrolling gallery on the home page with actual j. marie & associates events, and some inspirational photos;
  • added some of our favorite songs to appeal to your sense of sound while visiting our online home;
  • to offer our clients more, and keep things simple, we now only offer one signature package. there's a base price, and adjustments are made to include package additions, and event details;
  • there's a more detailed list of a la carte services offered;
  • you can now view a calendar to check our availability - even if your date is shaded (to represent unavailable) please contact us, there may be room in the schedule.
  • of course, we had to include a link to our blog, right!?
  • the comment form has been updated to include a verification code - which helps us respond to actual visitors, and (hopefully) rid our inbox of spammers! (ewwww!)

so what are you waiting for?? oh... guess you're still reading. well, let me stop - so you can visit our new site! go on......

Monday, January 3, 2011

he put a ring on it, now what?

you're engaged! congratulations! whether it was a Christmas holiday proposal or a New Year's celebration you'll never forget... i'm sure you're anxious to begin the process of planning the biggest day of your life!

there are a few items on your very large to-do list that are absolute musts... things that must take priority over other tasks. what do you think the most important task is? some sources may say it is selecting the perfect venue. others may argue it's grabbing your mom and bff and heading to the nearest bridal salon for gown hunting. you may even think the first thing on your to-do list is to set a date. all of theses are great places to start. however, why not take a moment and ENJOY this season in your life? even if you have an engagement that's longer than average, it's still a brief season in your life before you make that commitment. take some time to smell the roses and soak it all in BEFORE you set a date, set appointments, meet with vendors, or select bridesmaid dressed.

i hear you loud and clear: "if i don't get a jump on things, my favorite vendors may book up, or i will lose my reception space." trust me when I tell you, what is for you is for you. no rush needed!

once you have taken the time to processed enjoy, then you can start the planning process. it will go fast and so will your wedding day. smile and show off the bling... and when you're ready to start planning you'll know. and when you're ready, check back with our blog for planning details.