Today we have the pleasure of sharing some great tips from the expert wedding planner Madiha Khan of Exquisite Events, on how to plan a perfectly executed multi-day event! Madiha and her mother Nikki are co-owners of Exquisite Events, and renowned planners who specialize in creating fabulous multiple day events for their couples. Madiha's wonderful tips can help you have a flawless, joyful wedding celebration!
Madiha Khan of Exquisite Events: We do a number of multiple day events and its nice because the couple can actually spend time with their invited guests and not have to worry that it is over in just a few hours. There are a number of
things to consider when planning a multi day wedding and here are a few of our tips to help you out:
- If your wedding is 2 days or longer, plan to have it on a holiday weekend so that your out of town
guests can attend; a lot of times the venues will offer special rates on holidays and holiday weekends
- When planning 3-4 days of events back to back it's important to think about the
locations. To avoid transporting a number of guests all over town, try looking for venues for each day
that are in the same vicinity
- Planning any kind of wedding is quite a task, so if you are planning a multi day event, I strongly
recommend getting a professional to help you; if this is not the route you choose to take, make sure
to plan well in advance and be organized. Keep a calendar with you at all times that can help you keep
track of which vendors are coming on which day, payment schedules, appointments, etc.
- Many of our South Asian brides travel abroad for their outfits and it is important to do this at least 8-
12 months ahead of time as many of the top designers need time to create each outfit, especially if
you have 3 or 4.
- Book your animal! This may sound funny, but for an Indian ceremony, the groom’s procession, or
Baraat, is marked by the groom entering on an animal such as a horse or an elephant. Sometimes
these animals can get booked well ahead of time.
- If you are having a number of out of town guests staying at the same hotel, have
welcome bags for them with an itinerary of the days to come as well as some snacks and goodies. It is always
a nice touch and sets the tone for the coming days.
- Lastly, enjoy! Your wedding day is one of the most important days, and how lucky to be able to spend it
with loved ones over an extended period of time. Take it all in and enjoy each day as it comes!
Thank you Madiha! What great tips for a fun multi-day event, executed perfectly.
For more beautiful events from Madiha and her company, Exquisite Events, visit the Exquisite Events website and blog, as well as their blog devoted to Indian wedding planning, Journey to India!
The Couple: Fanita & Dean
The Wedding: 5.31.12 - Hacienda San Angel - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
What was the process behind your decision to elope and what were your top three planning priorities? At home in Perth, we had decided to put our wedding on hold for a few years. We wanted to spend our time and money on travelling first. But, I saw a photo online of the Hacienda San Angel Chapel and the idea of getting married while we travelled began to take shape. We started thinking about why we were waiting to get married, and
realized neither of us wanted a big wedding - and if it was possible
to elope, why wait? We decided to make Puerto Vallarta one of our stops, and were married at Hacienda San Angel.
We were lucky because we had plenty of time, so we waited until we arrived to lock in the details. Our main priority was to get in touch with Johanna - we didn't need her help as a wedding planner, but we did need her as a translator, someone who could tell us what was involved in getting married in another country and could arrange the paperwork.
What made you choose the location of your wedding and did it have any special meaning to you as a couple? We had never heard of Puerto Vallarta before stumbling across that photo online. We wanted authentic old-world Mexico, not the Cancun type hotspots. Puerto Vallarta was perfect. The small low key fishing town reminded us of our mediterranean backgrounds.
What were the most important things that you learned through your elopement process and what would you tell brides-to-be who are considering eloping? Eloping is about the two of you and the destination. We had never been to Mexico so we were prepared to walk away from the idea if we didn't fall in love with the location.
Get the right help. Most destination marriage services are for symbolic ceremonies, not legal marriages. The internet is great for research but legal marriages are not always possible, so double check your information in case it’s outdated.
New destinations bring new challenges so remember why you’re eloping. This kept us grounded and flexible to work with the vendors available and throw in a little DIY.....Mexicans run on Mexican time, so we're lucky we weren't in a rush! Lastly, make the whole day special. Weddings can be a long day with preparations and the reception, but an elopement ceremony is over quickly so plan moments during the whole day.
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: Jillian Mitchell Photography
Event Planner: Johanna; Vallerta Wedd Planners
Ceremony & Dinner Venue: Hacienda San Angel
Florist: Flowers To Go Vallerta
Wedding Dress: Isabella from Black Halo
Bridal Accessories: Shoes - Jimmy Choo
Groom’s Apparel: Suit - Ralph Lauren; Shoes - Gucci; Tie - Dior
Hair: Franc Gole
Live Music: Mariachi band
Thank you, Fanita and Dean, for sharing this beautiful wedding adventure with us at Junebug!
What do you get when you mix a very happy
couple, a gorgeous Andalusian Hacienda in Seville, talented
wedding planners, and fabulous flamenco details? Victoria and Charles´s magical wedding day! The newlyweds are from London, but planned a relaxed and intimate event with their
nearest and dearest in one of their favorite cities in Spain, Seville. They treated their guests to a wonderful weekend of Spanish culture.
Victoria and Charles's wedding planner (and Junebug member!), Laura Charles of Reviva Weddings, was a blessing when the venue that the couple had originally booked backed out, just three months before their wedding date. Carla helped them find El Esparragal, and the wedding was saved! Beyond the usual wedding festivities, they also planned a beautiful
dancing horse and flamenco show, and a pre-wedding cocktail party on a rooftop overlooking Seville. The gorgeous images from Limelight photography tell the whole story!
The Goals: Victoria and Charles shared a deep affection for Spain and imagined their
wedding day as intimate, romantic, and magical whilst sharing their love of everything
Spanish from the food to the culture; with their closest family and friends surrounding
them. The beautiful Andalusian venue El Esparragal nestled in the countryside to the
North of Seville, was full of romance and charm, and an elaborate wedding weekend
for their 150 guests proved to be the perfect way for everyone to slow down and enjoy
each other's company whilst enjoying the Mediterranean sunshine
The Design: For Laura and the talented design team from Reviva Weddings, Spanish
culture was the name of the game! This meant passionate red florals, flamenco
styling, fans, Spain´s famous sherries, and little black bulls! Reviva designed black bulls for the placecards, and each guest was
treated to a mini bottle of Fino Quinto Spanish Sherry. The Order of Service was printed
onto ivory lace-edged fans and red and black polka dot fans, which guests used to keep cool during the ceremony. The guest messages
were written onto a poster in the style of a bull fighting feria poster, and the tables were
decorated with a romantic mix of candles and red roses.
The Look: Victoria´s bridal look was all about classic elegance and more romance. She
wore a beautiful lace Jenny Packham
dress and her gorgeous long hair was swept up in an
elegant style which complemented her look perfectly. The bridesmaids
wore beautiful long red dresses, and all of the ladies carried
oh-so-Spanish red roses.
The Moments: The day was filled with so many romantic moments and love! The
couple shared a wonderful olive oil ceremony in the gardens of El Esparragal. The guests loved having cocktails and canapés while being entertained with a moving, romantic dancing
Andalusian horse show. The wonderful Mediterranean evening also included a 4-course gourmet meal, photo booth by the pool, and a lounge area created from haystacks, ivory throws, Moroccan tables and cushions. It was a great place to relax during a break from some serious dancing!
The Pros: For more details on Victoria and Charles's wedding team, please visit their page in our Real Weddings Library!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us, and congratulations!
I could ramble on forever about the beautiful photography in Silvia and Adi's engagement photos from Jason Groupp Photography, or I could elaborate on my love for NYC, the city that features prominently and provided iconic backdrops. But I have to admit...it's Silvia's dresses that really got me! I love a girl that wears a fabulous ballgown for her engagement shoot, but I'm in complete awe of a girl that wears THREE! And brings them to NYC all the way from Jakarta! Silvia, you and your dresses are perfection to this fashion-loving girl!
From Silvia: Adi and I both went to college in Sydney, Australia, but didn't formally meet until December 2009 I was formally introduced to him through a mutual friend. We started dating in 2010 while I was still doing my Master’s degree in Sydney and Adi was working in Indonesia. Our relationship has always been long distance up until now.
We've been planning our wedding for almost a year now. We'll be married in May in Jakarta, Indonesia.
We wanted to do our engagement session in New York as we had already planned to spend Christmas and New Years in the States. Because we were tourists, we wanted our photos to be in taken in iconic NYC places such as Central Park, Grand Central Station and the Brooklyn Bridge. All of our outfits were brought all the way from Jakarta packed in one big suitcase.
We were warned that it was going to be freezing in New York in early January. To make our lives easier, we rented out a van so that we could easily jump in and jump out when we got too cold. The back of the van was turned into a changing room for me.
The photos turned out to be amazing. We had tons of fun shooting with Jason. We are so happy that we chose Jason Groupp to capture our special moment in the city that we love so much!
From Jason Groupp Photography: Silvia contacted me saying that she found us online and would be visiting the USA and New York City in early January of 2013. She was coming to NYC to purchase her dress for her wedding in Jakarta later this year. Silvia and Adi were initially just going to do a short engagement session, but signed on to our full "I Heart New York" photoshoot when they heard how fun it is.
Silvia and Adi met us in our studio in Chelsea and Silvia had her hair and make up done by our talented and lovely Hannah Ho. We started our day in Central Park at Bethesda Fountain and along the Literary Walk. Silvia specifically requested the "Big and Carrie" shot of them walking hand in hand up the stairs at Bethesda. After Central Park we jumped out in front of the Plaza Hotel to get some classic shots with the horses. Usually those guys are grumpy towards photographers but we got a nice one who let us take a few in front of the carriages. Then we did a quick tour of Grand Central. We then headed back to the studio for some pizza and make up and hair refresh. We finished up a the Brooklyn Bridge Park (on the Brooklyn side). Man oh man! it was SO COLD! Big props to Silvia and Adi for going for it!
The Photoshoot Team:
Photographer: Jason Groupp Photography
Silvia's Dresses: Red - Gladiolus; Pink and Grey - Mischa
Adi's Suits: Agus Lim and Hugo Boss Selection
Thank you for sharing your gorgeous shoot with us, Silvia and Adi! We wish you all the best with your wedding planning and upcoming wedding!
The Couple: Emily & Dustin
The Wedding: 10.27.12 - University of Michigan Museum of Art - Ann Arbor, MI
What were the top three priorities for you in planning your wedding? We wanted to be traditional without following rules. We both love the elegance and sense of history and community that a traditional wedding creates; however, we didn’t want our wedding to feel entirely formal or predictable. We tried to draw upon traditions in unexpected ways. For instance, I wore a wedding dress that had been my great-grandmother’s and paired it with a pillbox hat designed by my friend Jean Canon. Neither of these are traditional choices for a wedding, yet I felt that they perfectly reflected my sense of tradition. We also wanted to protect our time. Our wedding was planned amidst a tumult of major life events that often needed more of our time than the wedding planning. This meant that we put a lot of emphasis on making fast decisions and delegating to people we trusted (in particular, the amazing mother of the bride). The last thing we kept as a priority was maintaining perspective. The mantra that we tried to follow was that we were planning a party for people we know and love and that the event should reflect that joy.
What wedding traditions or cultural traditions did you incorporated into your wedding and what did they mean to you? We wanted an interfaith ceremony that reflected both of our religious traditions - Jewish (Emily) and Christian (Dustin). The clergy that we chose to officiate did an excellent job working together to incorporate aspects from both religions. Besides our different religions backgrounds, we also grew up in very different parts of the country (Michigan and Texas) and tried to reflect that in the music. Laith, our lead singer, had an incredible range that allowed him to play Motown and Blues alongside country classics like Johnny Cash. Finally, since we are both professional literature nerds, we included poetry by John Donne and Rainer Maria Rilke in the ceremony and placed Penguin Book covers on each place-setting.
Were there any places where you “broke the rules” in your wedding planning? Why and how did you do that? Although a lot of wedding culture focuses on the couple (i.e. the bride), inclusivity was very important to us. We wanted our family members and guests to feel like they were a part of the event and each had a hand in making our wedding and our marriage possible.
What was your biggest wedding planning success? Staying calm and having fun on the day itself. We both managed to have a surprisingly stress-free wedding day. Not everything came together entirely as planned, but we truly enjoyed every minute.
What was the most important thing that you learned through the wedding planning process and what would you tell other brides-to-be? Work with people you trust and listen to them. Choose wedding professionals, family members, and friends whose taste and opinion you can rely on. While you might not agree with everything they suggest, at least you are starting out on a basis of mutual respect and can successfully delegate to people who may have a tremendous amount of experience and talent.
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: Heather Jowett
Event Planner: Luna Soiree Events
Ceremony & Reception Venue: University of Michigan Museum of Art
Officiants: Rev. Reid Hamilton and Julie Gales
Invitation Designer & Paper Production: Rock Paper Scissors
Catering: Katherine’s Catering
Florist: Tom Thompson Flowers
Cake: Sweet Heather Anne
Wedding Dress: Alterations by Jen Delk at Clothing Hospital
Bridesmaids’ Apparel & Accessories: Dresses - J Crew; Belt - feather from Etsy, belt created by Jen Delk
Groom & Groomsmen Apparel & Accessories: Van Boven
Hair: Amber Kessler
Make-Up: Marie Santana
Live Music: Laith Al-Saadi Trio
Transportation: Kirby’s Kurb Service
Rings: Hers - Abercrombie Gems & Precious Metals; His - Worthmore Jewlers
Thank you, Emily & Dustin, for sharing such a beautiful and unique wedding experience with us!
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I don't know about you, but sometimes it's the little things that can seem like the biggest. Little dilemmas that you can't seem to find a solution for, and brilliant little solutions that can bring huge amounts of joy. Today's post is about one such thing - a design detail that, as destination wedding planner and designer Michelle Rago explains, "is a very unique concept as well as a wonderful solution to the age old question…."what if I don't want to change my last name???"... The 4 letter monogram!
From Planner and Designer Michelle Rago: In the example shown here, the bride chose not to change her last name and we presented the option for a 4 letter monogram which ended up to be the perfect solution for both! Here we combined CZ and ZG. What I personally love is that is almost looks like a family crest!
So smart! Check out some of the initial design concepts below, as well as the finished products from the couple's lovely wedding, and if you like this whimsical illustrated look, don't miss Michelle Rago's new website! Freshly redesigned and relaunched, it's full of destination wedding inspiration!
Monogram: Pier Gustafson
Invitation Designer: Grapevine
Photography: Liz Banfield