Meet: Tradesy

Who doesn’t love online shopping? Not only does it make life easier (from buying clothes, supplies, groceries… anything!), it really makes wedding planning a lot easier too! With the ever-favorite Pinterest, people can now click on things they love and be directly transported to thing they want to buy, instructions on how to make something, and a whole lot more. (You are following us on Pinterest, right? Just checking.)

While hunting down a few items for my fall wardrobe (because wedding planner attire really does change for those cooler temps!), I stumbled upon Tradesy. At first, it seemed like another version of eBay, a little bit of Rent the Runway, and a lot of other consignment clothing sale sites. But then I saw the link for “Weddings,” and got pretty curious. And then I couldn’t leave my desk for a few hours.

Tradesy Weddings does not just have some pretty awesome deals for wedding attire (if you are OK buying slightly-used things… but holy cow you can find some good deals on Vera Wang here!), but I loved how many things you can find for wedding decor here!

**Quick note on wedding decor: if you are a Do-It-Yourselfer (like CLD is), you actually will end up with a ton of things left over after the big day. Between Nashville and Los Angeles, we have dozens of leftover candles, mason jars, painted wine bottles, lights, wedding cake stands, and so much more that we find inventive ways to re-use.

That’s why I loved the “Wedding Miscellaneous” category of Tradesy. So many of those smaller items, hard-to-find oddities, or even big-ticket times can be found here. I found beautiful hanging-glass votives that would awesome for an outdoor reception, some inexpensive chuppahs that would be easy to spruce up, and some very cool vintage candlesticks that would look gorgeous amongst flowers in a long-table centerpiece.

And there is more than decor: paper items, custom goods, shoes, accessories, veils–if it had to do with weddings, there was a good chance you’d find it here! So many vendors offer free shipping, or local pickups, and Tradesy promises hassle-free returns, fraud protection, and everything you would expect from a great online vendor. And on the flip side, if you are an adventurous online salesperson, this might be the place to go when you need to clean out the wedding decor from your own storage space (the only charge a 9% commission fee). Happy shopping!

 

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Meet: A Wedding Registry Game-Changer

Oh, wedding registries. Couples both love and fear the wedding registry. Love comes from the fact that you get to make a huge list of items you want to start your new life and home, and your friends and family generously purchase some of them for you. Fear comes from registering for too many things, for the wrong items, or the fact that you may end up with that weird butter dish you had to register for to get the cool extra gift, rather than the new coffee maker you have been lusting for. And taking the bar-code-scanning-thingy to use to your heart’s content in Macy’s is actually really fun, but quite time consuming!

But times, they are a-changing! Like nearly 90% of everything we do, registries can now easily be made through stores’ websites. This actually can be quite handy if that perfect place-setting isn’t available in your local store. And thanks to everyone’s favorite website–that would be Amazon.com people–you can now build registries full of items from a wide variety of stores. You are no longer restricted to picking 2-3 stores.

Another great new trend revolves around the simplest gift of all: cold, hard cash. Card boxes seem to fill more easily than the gift table at weddings and gift cards are sometimes the easiest option to select (especially if you waited until the day before the wedding!). We know people think you need to take the time to pick out that personal, thoughtful, “this made me think of you!” gift, but that is a really hard thing to do! Luckily, cash is no longer viewed as the impersonal gift of choice.

So, let’s combine both of those new trends–the internet and cash–and present to you what could be the end-all-be-all for wedding registries: Zola.com. This amazing little site (which is still in the start-up phases) allows you to do so many things:

  • Create the cutest little registry site with greetings and photos.
  • Add any gift from nearly anywhere: you can shop their featured items and brands or put direct links to items from any website. For other websites, Zola will pull all the relevant information and send the cash for that gift directly to you to purchase.
  • Barcode scanner. Miss the experience of finding items in store? Upload a pic of the bar code and Zola will upload the item for you.
  • Want a big ticket item? No problem. You can create “group gifts” meaning people can contribute any amount towards that item. Even if you don’t get 100% of the money for the gift, Zola will still send you the funds.
  • Want people to contribute to your honeymoon or directly to the wedding? You can make different wedding categories or honeymoon experiences for people to contribute cash funds to. Similar to Paypal, there is a small processing fee, but you can give people the option to cover that fee for you.
  • One of our favorite things: experiences. Available in a few select cities (including Los Angeles!), guests can actually purchase curated experiences or services. Cool options include cooking classes for the couple, farmers market meal delivery service, CSA subscriptions, even cleaning/painting/handyman services!
  • Makes shipping super easy. The website allows you to decide when gifts should arrive (like after the honeymoon!), and how and when you transfer funds from the website into your own personal account. Another interesting option? You can convert cash gifts into credits to use for items in Zola’s online store.
  • Gift tracking all in one place. Addresses are logged for anyone that purchases you gifts (including the group gifts), so thank you’s are a breeze!

Pretty awesome, huh? We are sorting of wishing we could re-do the registry thing now… Happy shopping!

Meet: Easy Name Change

Nowadays, we may not all change our names upon marriage, but according to our new friends, 90% of their surveyed women do. So why is it still so difficult? You’d think that there would be an easy way … Until recently, we’d say they should call each and every company to figure it out. That’s because some companies want a letter, some have forms and some can be done over the phone. Now we have a much better solution!

Easy Name Change helps with this process, I mean, the how much more obvious could their company name make it? And they try to make it an affordable service for you by giving three options ranging $19.99-$69.99. So you can go basic with them giving you forms, all the way to premium with a much higher hands-on service.

Your wedding was enough to think about, feel free to get a little help to speed things up so everyone knows your new name! They’re a new and super innovative name change service. They help you check off all the companies you need change names with, then provide you with all the forms, letters, faxes and information each company requires. And because your notifications are pre-addressed to each of your companies, you can just sign and send!

We’re pleased to be passing out a number of Easy Name Change gift cards for a limited time, so if you’re recently married, hit us up for a complimentary kit! No matter how you end up managing your name change, here are our top tips;

Name change tips

  1. Aim to get your name change done everywhere at once. If you leave some records under your old name it can be difficult if you need to prove your identity.
  2. Always book international travel under the name that currently appears in your passport. Your tickets and bookings must match the name in your passport or you won’t be allowed on the plane.
  3. Either make your own checklist, or use the interactive company selections as part of Easy Name Change’s service. This way you can be sure you don’t miss any companies.
  4. Get a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Apply to your county registrar. Many states also have centralized ordering. Easy Name Change can provide you with your state’s form and explain the application process.
  5. There may come a time in the future when you need to prove who you were. We recommend keeping some copies of photo ID and SSA correspondence in your old name. Passports and driver licenses usually need to be surrendered.

Hope this helps get the ball rolling for you so you can start enjoying your new name!

Meet: Palm Springs!

So everyone knows how much CLD loves our Los Angeles office and everything SoCal has to offer, but lately we’ve noticed more and more interest in one amazing location that just a mere 2 hours away from our offices on the coast… Palm Springs! While many people equate Palm Springs as being a winter destination for those who live out of state (or as that crazy-hipster locale for Coachella), we can tell you that this valley has so much to offer! For anyone determined to have an outdoor wedding with a high guarantee of “perfect weather,” Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley is picture perfect for nearly 9 months out of the year (it’s just too hot out there in the summer… sorry!) Here is a cute little map to give you an idea of how much space there actually is out in “the desert”:

Photo courtesy of SandPiper Real Estate.

Photo courtesy of SandPiper Real Estate.

The most popular locale out here is definitely Palm Springs, but Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells and La Quinta also offer a wide variety of venues for the perfect outdoor wedding. From golf courses, boutique hotels, casinos, luxury resorts, cute little B&Bs, this area can accommodate almost any type of wedding.  So without further ado, here is an introduction to a few fantastic venues to give you a taste of what we are talking about! The Parker Palm Springs, a fabulous hotel! Popular with celebrities seeking a retreat from the big city.

The Parker Palm Springs, a fabulous hotel! Image courtesy of Parker.

Image courtesy of Parker.

Riviera Palm Springs is a modern hotel with a few splashy touches reminiscent of Las Vegas.

Riviera Palm Springs is a modern hotel with a few splashy touches reminiscent of Las Vegas. Photo Courtesy of the Riviera.

Photo Courtesy of the Riviera.

Korakia Pensione, a rustic B&B just off the main strip in Palm Springs. Great for smaller weddings looking to get in touch with classic casita style.

Korakia Pensione, a rustic B&B just off the main strip in Palm Springs. Image Courtesy of Korakia Pensione.

Image Courtesy of Korakia Pensione.

The Viceroy Palm Springs bring classic romance to the desert.

The Viceroy Palm Springs bring classic romance to the desert. Image Courtesy of The Viceroy.

Image Courtesy of The Viceroy.

The ACE Hotel Palm Springs–definitely a place for hipsters or those looking for something truly unique! Stay tuned, CLD has a beautiful wedding coming up here in 2015!!

The ACE Hotel Palm Springs--definitely a place for hipsters! Image Courtesy of Ace Hotel Palm Springs.

Image Courtesy of Ace Hotel Palm Springs.

Rancho Las Palmas is a fabulous Omni resort in Rancho Mirage with plenty of space and classic style.

Image Courtesy of Rancho Las Palmas.

Image Courtesy of Rancho Las Palmas.

JW Marriott is one of the largest resorts in the entire Coachella Valley!

Image Courtesy of JW Marriot.

Image Courtesy of JW Marriot.

Golf courses and lakes in one? Yes please at Mission Hills Country Club.

Image Courtesy of Mission Hills.

Image Courtesy of Mission Hills.

The newest, most luxurious place in the valley: Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage. This exquisite hotels boasts the greatest valley and mountain views and premium amenities.

Image Courtesy of Ritz Carlton.

Image Courtesy of Ritz Carlton.

Love golf? PGA West features 6 different golf courses, all of which are wedding friendly!

Image Courtesy of PGA West

Image Courtesy of PGA West

The La Quinta Resort is part of the luxurious Waldorf-Astoria chain of hotels and offers beautiful mountain views, plenty of palm trees, and rustic casita charm.

Image Courtesy of La Quinta Resort

Image Courtesy of La Quinta Resort

If you are considering a destination wedding, but don’t want to stray to far from Los Angeles, look no further than the desert!

Meet: Emily C!

At CLD, we constantly get our hands dirty: arranging flowers and plants, moving furniture and chairs around, making crafts, cooking, and in a few months, diapers! Of course, we never mind this, but something always tends to get in the way when we are in the midst of such crazy things… our wedding rings! We adore the rings that our husbands endeavored to find for us, so of course we (and all other brides and wives everywhere!) need to protect them.

So meet Emily C. Actually, it’s Emily C®, because she’s just that cool and the amazing necklaces she makes are patent-pending. This fabulous woman tackled the infamous problem of “what to do with your wedding ring and keep it safe and secure somewhere when you need to get your hands dirty.” She invented a god-send item that allows you to take off nearly any ring and attach it to a necklace around your neck–without having to take the necklace off!

Scallop design. Photo Courtesy of EmilyC.Com

Scallop design. Photo Courtesy of EmilyC.Com

How did this smart lady come up with this? It’s true–necessity is the mother of invention. After her now-husband Paul gave her a beautiful engagement ring that featured a lovely center stone that had been in the family for decades, Emily was a little scared of taking care of it. Emily is a busy lady who gets her hands dirty often and also didn’t want to wear her ring to the gym, but constantly looping a chain through her ring got a little tedious. After some sketches and making some of her own prototypes, she got it right!

Fast-forward to a year or two later, she has fans all over the world and a few awesome designs for keeping your ring around your neck. Her main design, the Scallop, is one of her most popular, but she also has beautiful designs in the shape of a wishbone, heart and butterfly. Feeling fancy? The scallop design is also available in precious metals or even blinged out with diamonds!

Wishbone design. Photo courtesy of EmilyC.com

Wishbone design. Photo courtesy of EmilyC.com

Think we are crazy? Head over to her website to check out her selection and few videos to show you just how easy it is to secure and remove your ring.

These necklaces make an awesome engagement or wedding gift for any bride! Thanks to Emily C for helping keep beautiful rings away from harmful chemicals or activity, but still on beautiful display!

A wedding belonging to a certain CLD member hanging from her EmilyC necklace!

A wedding belonging to a certain CLD member hanging from her EmilyC necklace!

Meet: Hip Hues in Nashville!

We’re always looking for the next best thing, and wedding entertainment is no different! As to be expected, we had such a great time at our Nashville Wedding Planner’s Group meeting, and of course we had an awesome activity: Hip Hues Screen Printing.  Sisters Sondra and Tracy started this amazing social screen printing system where they will come to your private event and set up your guests with a (custom!) design that they can take with them on a shirt, bag, or slew of other awesome items!

Are you a foodie and want your guests to all take home aprons they make with your logo on them?  Or have a bachelorette party and want all the ladies in the same shirts that you get to make together?  Done.  And they’ll even help you create a logo that’s perfect for your event.

The NWPG ladies had a blast testing it out with our own logo which we put onto banners and shirts. It was a fun and easy activity, I can’t wait to frame my print and put it on my wall!  Contact Hip Hues for your next event!

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Meet: The Cordelle, Nashville

Cordelle, a commune in the Loire Valley of France, is also a new commune of social gatherings now located in downtown Nashville.  The historic Rutledge Hill area of Nashville abodes this renovated home turned grand event space, named The Cordelle. With an understated vibe yet upholding high end finishes, the space is perfectly malleable to all different clientele.

Why do we love The Cordelle?  Other than the fact that the owners, three sisters, did a stint of time in our beloved California, it is the warm, refinished wood flooring, the lush grass yard and the perfect balcony to host a cocktail hour that charmed us.  It is the intimate yet spacious bridal suite upstairs that can double as a VIP room for Nashville’s elite.  It is the perfect location of being downtown but not feeling downtown, that has us wanting to host our own soiree here.

We invite you to take a tour of their website and schedule a time to see it in person, as their launch party just happened last week and the place is already booking up quickly!

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Meet: The Butter End Cakery

If you ever wondered why people get into the wedding-planning business, let us give you the inside scoop: it’s all about the cake. Don’t get us wrong–celebrations, love, romance, decorating, beautiful locations–those are all a big reason for why we do what we do. But we can’t lie, when it comes to cake. As wedding planners, we get to try and eat lots of different cakes and it is awesome.

So earlier this spring when we covered the slew of Hollywood’s New Year’s Weddings, we were flabbergasted and freaking out over this to-die-for upside-down chandelier wedding cake featured at Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting’s Fire & Ice wedding.  As luck would have it, a few weeks later, we had the chance to sample and meet the incredible team behind this work of art: The Butter End Cakery!

Originally opened in 2008, The Butter End Cakery is in a fabulous, light filled shop in Santa Monica where head baker Kimberly Bailey and her team create their show-stopping confections. Creating everything from elaborate 3-D cakes to classic wedding cakes to divine small desserts, the visual artistry at this shop is beyond compare. And did we mention that everything tastes fabulous?  Using only the finest ingredients, the Butter End continues to showcase their artistry with fabulous flavor combinations (we are still lusting after the Coconut Cake with Passionfruit Frosting… and we don’t usually like coconut!)

Be sure to check their full gallery of amazing cakes and goodies, as well as their delicious full menu at The Butter End.

Classic wedding elegance.

Classic wedding elegance.

The good stuff (from left to right): Vanilla cake with Vanilla Buttercream, Coconut Cake with Passionfruit buttercream, Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Chip Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream, and Butter End's Signature Cake, Chocolate Almond Cherry Cake with Cherry Cream Cheese Marzipan. Whew!

The good stuff (from left to right): Vanilla cake with Vanilla Buttercream, Coconut Cake with Passionfruit buttercream, Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Chip Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream, and Butter End’s Signature Cake, Chocolate Almond Cherry Cake with Cherry Cream Cheese Marzipan. Whew!

A movie masterpiece!

A movie masterpiece!

Elaborate designs are on display throughout the shop!

Elaborate designs are on display throughout the shop!

We were so grateful that they gave us a to-go box to share with our husbands 🙂 Thanks to the Butter End Cakery for making our day!

 

Meet: L’ezu

At CLD, we simply love how over the years weddings have become such a customized experience for every couple. Literally every detail of an event or wedding can be unique and we believe in having our customers only do what they want to do, never what they should.  Don’t want to have a wedding cake? Serve pie instead.  Not a fan of high heels? Wear cowboy boots.

And if you want to have your absolutely perfect and completely customized wedding dress? Go to L’ezu.

L'ezu Store Front on Robertson Blvd.

L’ezu Store Front on Robertson Blvd.

This amazing bridal store on Robertson Boulevard may appear to be small, but is big in creativity and elegance. The store just underwent a beautiful re-model, making the interior oh-so-inviting and brimming with beautiful dresses!

A sneak peak of the inside of the store.

A sneak peak of the inside of the store.

A preview of the selection.

A preview of the selection.

Once inside, you will find that owner and lead designer Patricia Nevil brings over 19 years of couture bridal design directly to you! Brides have plenty of options when working with Patricia and her staff: you can browse and select from the unique designs she has in-store, bring in a dress you bought elsewhere that might need a creative overhaul, or work one-on-one to create something completely your own. The L’ezu team will work with you to customize almost any detail of your dress.

And L’ezu doesn’t just stop with bridal gowns. The L’ezu team can also make custom confections for bridesmaids and mothers of the bride, or even make you a fabulous couture gown for your next big event.

Here is a preview of a few of their fabulous real-life designs, courtesy of the L’ezu Blog:

Simple elegance. Photo Courtesy of L'ezu Blog.

Simple elegance. Photo Courtesy of L’ezu Blog.

Loving this midnight blue wedding gown! Photo Courtesy of L'ezu Blog.

Loving this midnight blue wedding gown! So much tulle! Photo Courtesy of L’ezu Blog.

Country wedding Couture! Photo Courtesy of L'ezu Blog.

Country wedding Couture! Photo Courtesy of L’ezu Blog.

At L’ezu, they can do it all!

 

Meet: Better than One Planner? Two!

It doesn’t need to be said how much we love a good planner.  Whether it’s us or one of our amazing planner friends, we 100% love the idea of getting all the little things taken care of with the least amount of stress and anxiety.  Well we know this goes for weddings, but it actually also applies to all the other little parties involved, like an epic bachelorette party!
photo 5

Nothing is a bigger buzz-kill than being the organizer of a party and then having to man the itinerary the whole time: having to tell everyone what to do, when to be where, keep your eye on the clock to make sure you don’t miss the shuttle, not drink too much so someone can remember to tip, make sure you get to the right club or wine tasting or restaurant, all in a city you probably don’t know very well since this is a getaway … must I go on??

That is why we love our girl Sarah Patton over at Social Bliss Events! She is our go-to lady here in Nashville for be-all, end-all, memorable bachelorette parties.  I know, most of your are thinking “but how hard is it to plan a night of eating and drinking out?”.  You’re right, you can do it yourself, absolutely.  Just like you can plan your own wedding.  But the problem with DIY is that you don’t get the expertise of an experienced professional who has already gone through the trial an error period for you for the past 10 years.  You are winging it and hoping it turns out great.  We know it will turn out great.
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Top three reasons we love Sarah for the best get-togethers:
1. Everything is completely customized to the client and their friends. Your mood, your energy, your length of days/nights together. It is an itinerary fit to your personality type!

2. They showcase Nashville!  Hello one of the hippest, hottest cities of 2014!  There is no where better to be right now and SBE knows Nashville.

3. Remember that experience thing?  Sarah is a true local, having lived here her entire adult life.  She has done the work, tried the bars, experience the restaurants and mixed with the crowds to read their clientele so she can put you into the perfect place that you need to be.  No guessing, no hoping it goes well … just fun!

Did I mention the custom gift bags?!?

Did I mention the custom gift bags?!?

Social Bliss Events works both with locals and people coming into Nashville from out of town, as well as directly with Brides, Maids of Honor, Bridesmaids and all family and friends alike!