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Planning Your Last-Minute Wedding

Planning a Last-Minute Wedding

On October 1, 2014 by Ani Keshishian in Wedding Celebrations

bride shopping for wedding dress

Most couples take eight months to a year or more to plan their weddings. Even if that was your ideal plan when you were dreaming about your future wedding, life brings surprises. Job transfers, family issues, health problems, or any number of other situations can arise that cause a couple to decide to get married sooner rather than later. It doesn’t mean you can’t have an absolutely beautiful wedding!
Lots of long and happy marriages began at City Hall with witnesses the couple didn’t even know. Assuming you’re not quite in that big a rush, here’s what you can do to plan a great wedding in only a month or two.

Let the Most Important People Know

Phone your nearest and dearest, including everyone you’d like in your bridal party, to find out any dates they can’t be available. If you’ve got a special officiant in mind, contact that person, too.

Set a Budget

Don’t spend more than you want to just because you’re doing everything so quickly. In any case, forget about the little things or you’ll go crazy. No one will notice if you don’t have monogrammed napkins or favors of homemade marmalade wrapped in ribbon you loomed yourself.

Hire a Wedding Coordinator

He or she will know about resources and have relationships with contacts that might make all the difference.

Find a Location and Pick a Day

The good news about searching out a wedding location on short notice is that venues are happy to work with you on pricing if you’re flexible about time and day of the week. Hotels and banquet facilities occasionally have Saturday cancellations, but don’t count on that. Think about a Friday evening, a Sunday morning, or even the Thursday night before a holiday weekend.

Find a Caterer

You’ll want a caterer who will also take care of the bar and order any rentals. The venue or caterer will be able to create a wedding cake or lead you to someone who can.

Buy a Dress

Even though there’s no time to order one, there are still gorgeous dresses available to buy off the rack at David’s Bridal and Anthropologie’s Beverly Hills bridal location. Or you may luck into a sample sale at a local bridal shop. You can also order online at Bhldn or J. Crew, and with expedited shipping you’ll have your dress in a matter of days. Don’t leave this to the last minute, because alterations may take as much time as you can allow for them.

Wardrobe the Groom and Bridal Party

If the groom and any male attendants won’t be wearing tuxedos, they may find appropriate attire right in their own closets. Dark suits, khakis and blazers, whatever you decide, even if all the guys are wearing their own versions of it, the overall look can be pulled together with matching shirts and ties. Off-the-rack dresses for bridesmaids are available at the same stores and online sites as the wedding dresses, or give your female attendants some guidelines and set them free to buy coordinating dresses of their choice.

Now Let Everyone Else Know

Call or email the rest of your guest list and be specific regarding exactly who is invited. (Kids or adults only? Plus-one or solo? If you think you need to make the point again with someone you’ve talked to on the phone, follow up with an email.) Try to get responses on the spot, or give people no more than a week to let you know if they can come.

Find a Florist, a Photographer, and Music

Your wedding planner will be able to help with this. In addition to your wedding planner’s recommendations, ask your venue hosts for their recommendations. They can offer valuable advice and insight when selecting your vendors. As with discounts for venues, photographers and other service providers may offer reduced prices for less popular days of the week.

Avila's Studio: Jason and Vanessa new Album &emdash; 001

Reserve a Hairdresser (and Makeup Artist, if You Like)

This may not be the best time to experiment with a new cut, but make an appointment to try out some styles. If you’re not getting married on a busy Saturday, your regular hairdresser may be free to get you ready at your home or the venue.

Register for Gifts — and Buy Some, Too

While you’re registering for what you’d love to receive, think about the people in your bridal party and if time allows, get them presents, too. If you’re too busy before the wedding, just tell them to expect a surprise later.

Get Your Wedding License

In California, you can apply for a license and receive it on the spot. Licenses are good for 90 days. Search “wedding license” and the name of your county for complete information. (Some religious ceremonies require documents other than a civil license, so find out about those, too.)

Accept Help From Friends and Family

People love to be useful. And who wouldn’t like to help put together such a happy event?

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Company party with banks

How to Throw a Great Company Party That Everyone Will Enjoy

On September 26, 2014 by Ani Keshishian in Uncategorized

You’ve been tasked with planning a company party. Whether it’s the annual holiday get-together, a corporate anniversary, a retirement party, or a celebration of another kind, you don’t want it to be the kind of event people attend just because they have to. You don’t want it to feel corporate. You want it to be fun this time!

The type of event you plan will depend on your corporate culture, the size of your company, and your budget, but these principles will apply in almost every case. Like any other party, when it comes to having a good company party it’s important to have good food, create a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere, and most of all to have fun!

Pick the Date

Unless there’s a significant reason to do otherwise, have the party on a Thursday or Friday night, but not one leading into a holiday weekend when people may want to travel. Unless you traditionally have a Sunday afternoon picnic, steer clear of Saturdays and Sundays. People have so many other pulls on their free time that unless you are hosting an extraordinary event, not everyone will want to or be able to attend.

Pick the Location

Don’t have the party at the office. Unless you’re gathering to celebrate the opening of your new building, give folks a break from the routine. Partying in close proximity to where they work every day isn’t conducive to rest and relaxation.

There are boundless other options including restaurants, banquet facilities, and event spaces at museums, botanical gardens, and even our local movie studios. Or you could host a party at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport or Glendale’s Alex Theatre. If the company owner has an accommodating home or lawn, it would be particularly gracious to have a catered party there.

company party hors d'oeuvres

Create an Atmosphere

Give everyone a chance to unwind and see each other as people rather than just co-workers. Create an atmosphere that’s welcoming by having the head of the company greet everyone as they come in, or at least make sure it’s easy for him or her to engage with each employee personally during the party.

Unless you’ve got a very small group and everyone is familiar with each other, it’s a big deal for employees who don’t have regular face time with the company leader to have the chance for a one-on-one with the person who signs their paychecks. It’s good for the boss, too.

Leave Work at Work

If it’s a party, make it a party. Don’t overload it with presentations and speeches that make it feel like another day at the office. Good luck trying to ban shop talk altogether, because that’s what most of your guests have in common, but give people something else to talk about with entertainment and activities that have nothing to do with work.

Not only will that enliven the evening for your employees, but it will give their spouses and plus-ones something they can enjoy, too. It’s awful being someone’s spouse and feeling like a potted plant all night while business conversations go on around and without you.

company party karaoke

Plan Activities

Plan the event so that people don’t just come in, sit down at a table, and eat. You want them to mingle and to participate. Maybe your staff would get a kick out of a line dancing or tango lesson, a group sing-along, or even a staged performance by employees with the knack for it.

Don’t confuse a party with one of those structured team-building activities where everyone wears company T-shirts and plays tug-of-war in the mud and then discusses how they felt about it. Those events can be useful and even fun, but they have a different purpose and everyone knows it.

Make Sure Everyone Is Comfortable

Unless all the employees are in the same general age group (tech companies, you know who you are), make sure the party is comfortable for everyone. Don’t plan a location or activities that will be physically difficult for less able employees, or play music that appeals to just one segment of the crowd. The idea is to bring everyone together, not unwittingly set it up so that one group is sitting like outsiders watching another group have fun.

Limit the Alcohol

Don’t make it all about the bar. Serve whatever you’d like, but don’t make it the focus of the party. While most people equate moderate alcohol consumption with loosening up to have a good time, there are occasionally a few who take it to the outer limit and get a little too loose. Save everyone the grief and don’t let it happen.

Instruct the person who’s minding the bar to be aware of anyone who is in danger of crossing the line, and devise a non-confrontational policy to deal with it. And of course never let anyone drive home if he’s intoxicated.

Consider Giving Appreciation Gifts

If you’re giving favors, make them gifts and not advertising gimmicks. Sure, everyone could use a new baseball cap and ecologically correct grocery tote bag with the company logos on them, but those are the kind of things to give out to employees during the year.

A real gift is something as simple as a box of chocolate truffles or a gift card from Amazon or for a night at the movies. If you can think of something that fits with your company mission, that’s great, but this is a time to recognize that your employees have lives outside of work and that you want them to enjoy them.

Support the Community

Include a community component. If you’re having a party to celebrate a company accomplishment the employees achieved, share the wealth. Use it as an occasion to announce a company-funded scholarship or a donation of cash, products or services to a local nonprofit. People like to feel good about the places they work and appreciate being part of the company’s support of the community they live in.

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How to Make a Great Wedding Toast

How to Make a Great Wedding Toast

On August 5, 2014 by Ani Keshishian in Bites Of Advice, Wedding Celebrations

The vows have been made, the champagne has been poured, and now it’s time for the best man (or maid of honor) to stand up and toast the bride and groom. We’ve all cringed watching a well-meaning but tipsy — or let’s say over-exuberant — best man raise his glass and launch into a meandering, raunchy, and endless speech full of in-jokes and innuendos that leaves the bride embarrassed and the guests bewildered. No one means to make a toast like that, of course, but nerves and alcohol are a potent combination. They can be overcome by a little preparation, some quiet thinking ahead of time about what you’d really like to say when the moment is upon you. It doesn’t hurt to have some notes tucked into your pocket in case your mind goes blank at the sight of fifty or a hundred or four hundred people waiting for you to open your mouth.

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Event Spotlight: Anoush Serves Up Cuisine For Educational Fundraiser

On June 12, 2014 by Ani Keshishian in Corporate, News & Press

In our 28 year history Anoush Catering has found that no matter what language you speak great food brings everyone together. This was never more true than when we teamed up with the Ben Franklin School, the International Foreign Language Academy in Glendale to dish up delicious bites for their 4th annual Spring Gala.  We were thrilled to share our own cuisine in a truly international affair, replete with inspiration from all corners of the world.

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