When A Wedding Vendor’s Reputation Precedes Them

Our fearless leaders Greg and Alan were in LA recently, and stayed at the Biltmore, a legendary and elegant hotel in the heart of downtown.  The Biltmore is a popular wedding venue, and has beautiful ballrooms that, should you visit them, would probably look familiar due to the number of films and television shows that have been shot there.

The service Greg and Al received was, to say the least, sub-par.  Thankfully, they’d gotten an internet deal and weren’t paying the normal rate of between $300-600 a night.  But, it proves a point.  You can check in to a world famous hotel, and get well below world-class service.

The wide aisles at the LA Flower Mart

Don’t hire vendors, or choose a venue because of their “legendary” reputation, or because they did a certain celebrity’s wedding.  In fact, if someone is billing themselves with a list of celebrity clients, you should ask for three non-celebrity references to make sure they received the same level of service.  Appearances (and sales people) can be deceiving, so make sure you’re getting service that lives up to your expectations.

Did I mention why the boys were at the Biltmore? So they could be close to the LA Flower Mart when they woke up at 1:00am to source peonies (out of season) for a bride who loved them.  They need to watch it with the super-attentive, every-bride-is-special thing.  They’re going to develop a reputation.

Flowers - beautiful even just arranged by accident in buckets at the Flower Mart!

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Big Fat Greek Wedding Traditions. Opaaaaa! Ouzo for Everyone!

Greece is suffering some economically terrible times.  However, people are always getting married, and so there are parties going on in the midst of the austerity.  They may not be quite as big and fat as in years past, but a Greek wedding is never anything but a joyous celebration.

Most Greek weddings take place under the aegis of the Greek Orthodox Church, which has some lovely wedding rituals, including the bride and groom wearing ceremonial crowns that are tied together with ribbon to signify the bond between them.  The bride and groom hold lighted candles, and make three circles around the altar to represent their journey through life.

Chris & Alethia's Wedding: Courtesy of TheBrideAndGroom.com

At the reception, the party gets underway.  Live music is de rigeur, Plates are broken for good luck, and money is traditionally thrown at the musicians.  Traditional foods such as spanakopita and baklava are served, and are easy ways to bring a little bit of Athens to any wedding.  Toasts are raised with ouzo, a strong licorice flavored spirit.

One last tradition to be very careful with, should you choose to adopt it, is that of breaking open a pomegranate on the ground representing fertility, and good luck.  As an event planner, this makes me apoplectic.  My bride is wearing white, and you’re stomping on pomegranates?  Where’s the ouzo? Opaaaa!

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And The Bride Wore Red…Chinese Wedding Traditions (Happy Year of the Dragon)!

Gung Hei Fat Choi! Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year!  In honor of the Year of The Dragon, the next stop on our cross cultural tour of wedding traditions is China.

A pre-wedding beauty ritual observed by brides since ancient times sounds right out of a high end spa.  The bride would bathe in water infused with essence of pommelo (a variety of grapefruit) to cleanse her of her impurities, and a “good luck woman” would comb out her hair.  Not to be out-done, the groom also prepared by donning a hat made of cypress leaves.

One fun element, more seemingly suited for an episode of the Newlywed game than wedding day is the “Procession to obtain the bride” The groom and his party go to the bride’s house to collect her – but it’s not so easy as all that. The bride’s sisters “block” the door, and an obstacle course of trivia about the couple an other games must be navigated before the couple, with her parents’ blessing departs for the groom’s family’s home.

English: Bride and groom at a traditional Chin...

Image via Wikipedi

Last, we have what is a more contemporary tradition. Modern Chinese couples have taken to having elaborate “glamour shots” taken in their wedding clothes, and other outfits, in different settings.  Is this much different from any bride and groom? Do Chinese bloggers note the rise of the American tradition of the “engagement shoot?” Truly, we’re quite a colorful culture ourselves, no?

Be well, and love well.

-Dinah

 

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