Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What I'm Loving Today: Custom bar backdrop

For their NYC nuptials, this couple used their wedding motif to create a custom bar backdrop. It's what I'm loving today! See the rest of their "colorful and crafty soiree" on Martha Stewart's web site for more crafty ideas. Who said crafty weddings look like summer camp projects? oh wait.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sneak Peek: Jen and Steve Wed

You know how I say over and over again how much I love intimate weddings? Here's another reason why: moments like this one below captured by photographer Peter Bang .

Jen and Steve were a terrific couple with a great sense of humor. We felt honored to be a part of their "celebration of the important things in life," and wish them many more years of big laughs together.

Friday, May 16, 2014

In a down economy, it's the contract!

In light of the recent surprise closings of ReBar in New York City and The Atrium at Treetops in DC, I feel impressed to repeat this post from 2009. If you have no time to read it, there's only one thing to remember: read your contract carefully.
Today, a friend called in a panic. The venue she booked for her mother's 60th birthday party is shutting its doors. "What does your contract say?" I asked. "Oh," she replied. "That".

Apparently, my friend, like many couples I meet, never looked beyond the dollar figures and payment terms on her contract when she signed it. The budget was her main concern, and all the terms in her contract was stuff to glaze over before she signed on the dotted line. However, a bad contract can be as damaging to your budget as overspending on flowers.

One of the benefits I offer to clients, is that I review their vendor contracts before they sign them. Review, because I'm not a lawyer. I love to take out my red pen and cross out all the one-sided, over-burdensome, vague and/or inappropriate clauses that some venues and vendors put into their contracts, and then I suggest terms that will not only clarify the intent of both parties, but also protect my clients. I always tell my clients: "be willing to walk away from your favorite venue or vendor if they won't agree to delete or modify these clauses." Never sign a contract with just a prayer.

Fortunately, most weddings go off without a hitch (except the couple) or a lawsuit, but when bad things happen, a good contract is reassuring, and nothing, not even catering, is as costly as a bad contract.

Monday, May 5, 2014

What I'm Loving Today: Dr. Perricone's 3 Day Diet

It's wedding season, and my local spa is booked solid for oxygen facials and body-shaping (BTW, I must, must, one day, try body shaping).

If you're like me, always looking for a quick way to look good for an event in a short period, without shelling out for expensive spa treatments, then check out Dr. Perricone's 3 Day Diet. It's super easy and does what it says (coupled with exercise and self-control, of course).

If you have a tip of your own, please share in the comments.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Leslie featured in Bizbash Magazine

I'm using the word "featured" liberally, but I think I'm entitled since my photo is so big.

I'm thrilled to have my comment featured in the latest issue of Bizbash's Readers Forum. If you've missed it, check it out here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

3 Event Planning Lessons I Wish I Learned Sooner

This [past] February, our company, Leslie-Manning Events, celebrated nine years in the wedding and event planning business. Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday that I was crafting and obsessing over our first ad, which I posted on Craigslist, and watched horror-stricken as another aspiring wedding planner promptly stole the material. It was my first lesson learned, but not my last. Some lessons were motivating, others almost made me quit, but there were three that I wish I had learned sooner because they are essential to success and longevity in the industry.

Read what they are over at the New York Institute of Art and Design. It's my latest gig, so I hope you come back for more.

For full article, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tips for picking your wedding day wines

I always recommend that if the caterer or venue allows you to stock the bar for your wedding or event, you should. Not just for the cost savings, but for the ability to have control over the quality of wines you serve. Unfortunately, however, the primary reason most people stock their own bar is to save money, so they buy the cheapest wines they can find at their local supermarket or supplier, which is usually Uncle Red (please do not serve anyone Uncle Red; even the non-wine drinkers would know you went cheap on the wine), and sometimes ruin a great meal.

Last night, I stumbled upon an article written by John Wilson, the wine correspondent for The Irish Times. It offers some great tips on choosing wines for your wedding. Below, I’ve listed a few worth remembering:

  • White wine – Select one that has little or no oak-ageing and not too much alcohol. Sauvignon Blanc is perfect with a wide variety of dishes.
  • Red wine – Choose something light such as a Valpolicella or Beaujolais both are great on their own and with a wide variety of foods.
  • Champagne toast – Since Champagne or sparkling wine is usually served with wedding cake, choose sweeter Champagne like a demi-sec or a sweeter Prosecco or a light sparkling Moscato.

Mr. Wilson also recommends doing a blind tasting before purchasing your wines (to avoid an Uncle Red fiasco), and choosing a decent wine over fine wine. “Most people, he says, “will be so wrapped up in the occasion they will appreciate a decent wine, but possibly not the subtleties of a fine wine.”

Read the full article here.