Feeling overwhelmed with all the work that goes into planning your wedding? Consider hiring a wedding planner to help with the preparations so you can relax and enjoy your big day. You can choose from planners who handle last-minute tasks leading up to the wedding, or those who take charge of every detail of your event, from the rehearsal dinner to the honeymoon and everything in between. The right planner not only keeps things organized and on schedule, but also advises you on where to find the perfect venue, dress, cake and bouquet. For many couples, wedding planners are so important to the event’s success that the best planners are booked more than a year in advance.
Meet Event/Wedding Planner Jasmine Cianflone of This Moment Events!
RPB: When did you know you wanted to plan events?
JC: I have always been a planer, for as long as I can remember. I was the little girl who created details for Thanksgiving dinner, and the one who always planned my friends’ birthday parties and gatherings. I realized it was a viable career path towards the end of my college years, and the idea for This Moment Events was born!
RPB: What’s the most rewarding part of your event planning?
JC: The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the look on a happy, exhausted couple’s faces after a wedding well-executed. They often come up to me at the end of the night and say “We could not have done this without you, THANK YOU SO MUCH!” Just knowing that I’ve had such a positive impact on the first day of their married lives really makes me feel fulfilled.
RPB: When you walk a venue, what are the top three things you look for?
- The general state of the venue – is it clean? Is there any damage to structure or furnishings/decor? The level of care that goes into maintaining a venue is often indicative of how well a client will be treated there.
- Second, I look for layout – will the event flow well in the space? Are there any awkward areas that might cause lines, or backups? Is it complicated to get from the entrance to the main areas? Things like that.
- And finally, I look for the bathroom location! This is a question that I know I’ll get often during an event, so I want to be exactly sure how to get there!
JC: Perona Farms, in Andover Township, Updike Farmstead in Princeton, NJ, and (although this isn’t ONLY outside) the patios at the Palace at Somerset Park.
RPB: Name 3 favorite NJ Indoor Venues:
Rats Restaurant in Hamilton, NJ, Maritime Parc in Jersey City, NJ, The Ashford Estate, Allentown, NJ.
RPB: What takes an event from “good” to “great”?
JC: In my opinion, an event goes from good to great when the guests of honor really start to let loose and enjoy themselves. I feel like no one decor element, or menu addition or little detail can replace the vibe of people having fun! When the planning is all done and the day is underway and they just get into the celebration and into each other, things flow and everyone can feel that energy. It’s an amazing thing to witness!
RPB: What are your top tips to clients watching their budgets closely? How do you help them stay on budget?
JC: My top 3 tips for clients on a budget are first: Make sure you KNOW what your budget is at all times- set one as early on in the planning as possible and get as much information on what you can afford as possible. Second: The easiest way to save money is to not spend it in the first place! Determine your priorities and don’t waste money on things that may turn out to be unnecessary. Third: Watch out for hidden costs- corkage fees, service charges and gratuities can all put a dent in your budget- make sure you allocate money for them! As far as helping clients stay on budget, I remind them of options, and ways to get the look or feel they’re going for with less money. I also encourage them to be as open and up front with me about how much they really have to spend, and remind them to keep their top priorities in mind when shopping for other items on their lists. I offer a service that does a budget check-in every month, and that really seems to help!
JC: My signature style is quirky, crafty, funky, down to earth, with just a touch of modern.
RPB: What types of services do you offer?
JC: This Moment Events currently offers fully customized planning services, including build your own Day of Coordination suites, custom Partial Planning or Full Service planning, and Event Styling & Design. We also offer consultation only, getting started workshops and virtual planning for DIY brides.
RPB: When you aren’t doing this, what are you doing?
JC: When I’m not working, I’m singing with Cantabile Chamber Chorale, doing yoga at my favorite local yoga studio, spending time with my amazing husband and son, and cooking up a storm!
Hey there! I’m Jasmine Cianflone, Owner and Principal Event Coordinator of This Moment Events, LLC. I grew up in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and I went to Rutgers University. I love weddings, I love parties, and I love happy people in love! I love pretty paper, grosgrain ribbon, craft stores, office supplies, and bubbly (Prosecco, Champagne, you name it, I’m drinking it). I am into yoga and remembering to breathe and be present in the moments. I’m a Unitarian Universalist, and my faith helps guide my life and what I do with my business. My sorority nickname was Martha Stewart. One of my many joys comes from creating order out of chaos. I’m a mom to a rambunctious 3 year old boy, and a wife to my handsome web developer husband, and my family is my greatest treasure. I believe that everyone can and should have access to the good life on their own terms- we just have to go get it! I have a big heart and I love helping couples create the day they’ve always envisioned as the first day of their new family’s life. I’m one half of an interracial marriage (my hubby Joe is Italian-American) and I’m keenly aware of the challenges interracial and multicultural couples can face when planning their weddings and their family lives.
I truly believe that all couples deserve top notch, hands-on professional help with their big day. And I’m one planner that will encourage you to find YOUR ideal vision- I am not into cookie cutter weddings, and I don’t expect you to be either. Planning your wedding is a journey- you grow, you learn a lot about yourself, your family and your fiance. When you’re knee deep in ribbon and card stock, your mother in law has seemingly lost her mind, and your mind is swimming with shades of blue (or purple or yellow), sometimes you need help remembering the why of it all. That’s why I’m here – to help you bring your vision to life, help you leave your stamp on it, and help you stay sane in the process. Trust me, it’s a wild ride, and it’s going to be over in a flash. I’m here to help YOU be present in your moment, because life is a celebration!
**Photo Credits: Michelle Lindsay Photography, 2011 Kate Connolly Weddings**
We recently attended The Wedding Academy: POST-MARITAL PASSION- Keeping the Passion Alive beyond the Honeymoon. For over an hour, their experts answered questions from the audience and from their moderator, journalist Charreah Jackson of Essence Magazine. We love the fact that they are different from your typical bridal event, and give engaged couples a one-of-a-kind experience where they can think about their marriage, not just the wedding.
At the event, one of the vendor tables really caught our eye and it was Melanie Marrello of Personal Wrapping Paper. We’ve never seen anything like this so we were so intrigued to learn more about her and her unique business so we decided to interview her and share with you her fabulousness.
RPB: Please tell us about your business and where did the idea for your business came from?
PWP: My business is a website you can create wrapping paper with your own personal images. On my wedding anniversary and I wanted to do something special for my husband’s gift so I printed out all photos from our wedding and wrapped his gift with it and he loved it
PWP: Hearing how creative my idea is.
RPB: This is such a unique product. How does the process work of creating your own personalized wrapping paper?
PWP: It’s easy as 1..2..3.
1. Pick your design
2. Upload photos /and or text
3. Check Out
Once I have the images/and or text I use Photoshop and Illustrator to create the blended collage look
PWP: This is the most difficult part, because printing is $$ and it does take some time to do but I am hoping that once I can buy my own printer in house I can lower the cost of the color prints outs. Good news is the black and white 30 in x 40 on roll is only $35!!
RPB: Wow that is very affordable! How can we order from you and how much notice is required to place an order?
PWP: You can visit our website: www.personalwrappingpaper.com. The turnaround time is about a week depending on where it is shipping to.
PWP: You can use it for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries. Pretty much any special event!
RPB: Besides this, what other passions do you have?
PWP: I am a graphic designer and LOVE to paint!
RPB: What is your obsession right now?
PWP: I’m 8 months pregnant right now…so anything baby related!
PWP: I love spending time with my family & friends!
RPB: Before we conclude your interview, tell us something we don’t know about Personal Wrapping Paper.
PWP: Stay tuned…I will be adding my NEW Keepsake Boxes to the site very soon!
Melanie Marrello is a super creative graphic designer with over 11 years of experience and is passionate about what she does. Based out of New York City and can ship anywhere. Personal Wrapping Paper was something Melanie started doing for my family and friends. She had received such great praises; she decided to take it to the next level and start her business and create a storefront website. Personal Wrapping Paper™ was created in 2011 and has been featured on theknot.com under “Unique Wedding Ideas.” LIKE us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter page.
Your wedding theme will be represented by the décor of your ceremony and reception space, so it is very important to hire a florist who understands your vision and can work within your budget. When we met Makini of Makini of Makini Regal Designs we instantly had a connection with her. Maybe its because she is a fellow Libra or maybe its her sense of style. Either way it goes we adore her! See how she can help with your custom floral décor for your wedding or special event!
RPB: How did you start your floral design career?
MRD: I never imagined that I would have a career as a floral and event designer but like most little girls, I loved flowers for as long as I could remember. After completing graduate school and landing what I thought was my dream job, my path changed. I enrolled in a program with a floral and event planning company and realized that my interest in flowers had blossomed into a passion. Once I completed the program, I was compelled to pursue my career as a floral and event designer full time, so I took a leap, left my job and started Makini Regal Designs.
RPB: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
MRD: There are so many rewards to doing what you love but I am most proud when I see the happiness on a bride’s face when I present her with a design that was once just a thought. If you work in the wedding industry, or have ever been a bride, you know that’s tough to achieve!
MRD: There were a lot of vintage and English garden designs last year. This year I’m seeing much more modern designs with lots of structure, texture and rich jewel tone colors. Stylists are using a medley of flower varieties, such as garden roses, hydrangea, and ranunculus, in various shades to create a fresh, luxurious look.
RPB: How do you get expensive-looking bouquets on a budget?
MRD: The key is to mix high and low. A lush bouquet can be achieved by combining larger, more expensive blooms like peonies or garden roses with an abundance of affordable fillers and greens including tree fern and Queen Anne’s Lace.
RPB: What’s the number one thing couples need to remember when choosing flowers and a florist for their wedding?
MRD: Focus on the look you wish to achieve more than your flower choices. Discuss the concept – an adept floral designer will be able to create a piece from there. And if you need to scale back on budget, alternative flowers can be chosen so your dream day bouquet isn’t compromised.
RPB: What are some flowers that you don’t get requested often but you think look great for a wedding?
MRD: I absolutely adore exotic blooms like protea and celosia but find that they are underappreciated. These flowers come in a variety of rich colors and add beautiful texture and dimension to any design.
MRD: Using everything from your home décor, fashion sense, wedding theme or color inspiration, we employ a holistic approach to illustrating your vision for your event. Also, being a boutique company, we’re able to provide one-on-one client service that is essential for engaged couples and event planners alike. It’s that personal touch that makes Makini Regal Designs unique.
RPB: Do you have a link to your online portfolio from past clients?
MRD: Our website www.makiniregaldesigns.com contains a gallery of our work. In addition, we frequently update our Facebook page to reflect our latest creations. Click here to visit our page: facebook.com/makiniregaldesigns.
I am obsessed with floral backdrops stylists have been creating lately. It provides a huge impact that will surely leave your guests in awe. It’s also perfect for a photo op in addition to your Royal Photo Booth!
RPB: Oohh we should definitely talk about working together on something like that!!!
RPB: If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
MRD: As cliché as it sounds, there is nothing else I’d rather be doing than what I’m doing now!
RPB: Tell us something we don’t know about Makini Regal Designs.
MRD: We run our business from the parlor floor of a Brooklyn Brownstone. If you ever visit us, you’ll likely find our rambunctious Pomeranian, Laila, causing havoc in the studio.
Makini inherited her green thumb from her two grandmothers whom are avid gardeners and flower devotees. But her enthusiasm for culture and sense of style stem from her Brooklyn upbringing and Trinidadian roots. A Columbia University alumna with formal training from The New York Botanical Garden’s Floral Design Program, Makini’s affinity for flowers and creativity evolved from passion to innovative technique.
A desire to learn coupled with a great respect for floral artistry inspired Makini to enroll in a program with a floral and event planning company based in New York City. Upon completion, Makini decided to go full fledge with her dreams of launching Makini Regal Designs, and relinquishing her tenure as a Senior Analyst for a Management Consulting firm.
Flowers are as essential to a successful event as delicious food and great music. At Makini Regal Designs, we believe the best way to capture the essence of the experience is through custom floral décor.
By fusing classical and contemporary elements with whimsical touches, we provide floral and event design services as unique as our clients. Whether you prefer decadent and lush arrangements using the most rare orchids, or a traditional piece with roses, one feature remains the same. You will receive inspired bouquets and floral artistry using only the freshest and highest quality of cut stems from all corners of the globe.
Impeccable, Glamorous, Stunning… did we catch your attention? These are just a few words Fallon Carter Weddings embodies. Meet Fallon Carter, Wedding Planner and Designer, in New York City and the owner of Fallon Carter Weddings. A New York boutique wedding planning firm, they specialize in turning your dreams and fantasies into tangible moments. With a fresh and unique approach to the design aspect of your wedding they are able to create a magical event that truly represents you.
RPB: Where did the idea of your business come from?
FC: I have always had an interest in event planning but never knew how to make money from it. I majored in Political Science in college and after graduation I was on my way to law school and thought that was it. As luck would have it…. I ended up helping a friend with her wedding in Paris and after that- I realized I wanted to do Weddings for the rest of my life.
RPB: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
FC: Experiencing 2 people in love. There is nothing more magical.
RPB: When you walk a venue, what are the top three things you look for?
FC: Great Question- I always check out the existing decor- does this go with the clients theme…or will we spend time covering up and moving new things in. Location- what is near by and how easy is it to get to. Above all else, the energy of the space is very Important and the clients response. How they feel in the venue will determine if we book.
RPB: Name 3 favorite NYC outdoor venues and Indoor Venues:
RPB: What inspires you?
FC: Well LOVE of course. I am surrounded by it daily…and it’s what keeps me going.
RPB: What are your top tips to clients watching their budgets closely?
FC: Guest Count is definitely the first. Your guest count will ultimately determine your budget…so if you are on a budget- make your wedding an intimate gathering. The next tip is to consider a day time affair…a Sunday afternoon will offer you a great savings. Friday and Sunday evening weddings use to be discount days, but now that they have become more popular, daytime weddings are where you will find your savings. When on a budget you should also prioritize your splurge items…you won’t enjoy yourself if you are looking for a sale on everything….identify your top 3 big spenders and have fun.
RPB: What advice can you give people who are on the fence about hiring an event/wedding planner?
FC: Well, you have to identify your wedding needs. Planning a wedding is a full time job and requires a lot of time, energy and money. Although I am biased, having a professional there to offer guidance and an expert opinion is always beneficial. If you don’t have a full service planner…I definitely recommend a day of coordinator
RPB: What’s your current obsession right now?
FC: Sequins, glitter and lace….but then again, that’s always my obsession
RPB: What’s your motto?
FC: Listen to your intuition. If it doesn’t feel right. Don’t do it! This is your day…do what feels good to your gut
RPB: When you aren’t doing this, what are you doing?
FC: When I’m not planning weddings..lm thinking of planning weddings…lol
RPB: Tell us something we don’t know about you or your business.
FC: I hate romantic comedies and I’ve never seen the notebook…lol…I prefer political dramas and action. We also have a NEW service – Bridal Consultation: this is for the hands on bride that just needs guidance and vendor recommendation. I meet with them to identify their
wedding needs and then send them on the yellow brick road
My name is Fallon Carter and I am the owner of Fallon Carter Weddings a boutique wedding planning firm in New York city. Every aspect of wedding planning excites me and evokes a passion to tell my couples love story. Whether its bustling gowns on a Terrace in Versailles or Pruning Peonies in a New York City loft…Fallon Carter Weddings is dedicated to creating spectacular events! I have been featured in Huffington Post Weddings, Fox Business, Black Bride, Washington Post, brides.com. My year anniversary will be March 1st of this year- 2 days before my birthday
**Credits: Floral and Bride images taken by Justin Bridges
Who loves cakes, raise your hand? Meet Stacy and Erica, owners of Cake Devils in Tallman, NY. We were able to interview them and it was so much fun learning all kinds of fun tidbits about Cake Devils. Their sinfully delectable cakes will truly have you wanting more! Check out their interview below.
RPB: Where did the idea for your business come from?
CD: We have been bakers for as long as we can remember, and then, by pure coincidence, we both took up the hobby of decorating our delicious cakes around the same time. As our talents developed, we began receiving many requests for cakes, accompanied by offers to pay us. As people always asked why we didn’t do this for a living, we began having lengthy discussions about starting a business, and then, we finally took the plunge.
RPB: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
We’re always so happy and fulfilled from seeing our cakes go from raw ingredients to beautiful and delicious cakes. But then it’s even more rewarding to deliver a cake and see the joy and excitement on a client’s face when they see their completed cake. The only thing that adds to that fulfillment is when we receive an email or phone call the next day telling us how amazing the cake tasted too!
RPB: What gives you inspiration when coming up with new flavors?
CD: Our inspirations come from many places. Sometimes I’ll just be drinking a glass of wine or eating a delicious fruit and think, “yum, this would make a great cake!”… So I make it. Other times we’re just in the mood to experiment and try something new, so we’ll brainstorm on what to do.
CD: A. It’s impossible to pick just one! We have so many delicious flavors. We did recently have someone order a peanut butter cake and we made it with a creamy chocolate filling, a smooth peanut butter buttercream and a rich chocolate ganache. While baking, we decided to pop a mini cake in the oven for ourselves. Well, we’ve been talking about this cake for weeks! But, now that I think about it, there’s still something so good about our blueberry cake mmmm…
CD: B. What’s the most crazy cake you have ever designed? We suppose that depends on your definition of crazy, but we once did a fantastic cake for a bachelor party that we opted not to publish due to the nature of its design. It got rave reviews from the guys for both looks and taste!
RPB: Describe your signature style in five words?
CD: Sweet, sinful, delicious, creative, and beautiful
RPB: We read you offer a Cake Decorating Class. Can you tell us more about that?
CD: Cake Devil Stacy is a Certified Wilton Method Instructor and teaches Wilton Method Classes at Michaels in Ramsey, NJ. Current class information can always be found on our website under the class information tab, http://www.cakedevils.com/class-information.html. I find it extremely enjoyable to share my passion for baking and decorating with others.
CD: Fondant is a firm, yet pliable, sugar dough, that is rolled thin and then draped and smoothed over a cake. It can also be cut or sculpted into shapes or figures. Buttercream is a soft, creamy frosting that is spread and then smoothed over a cake. It can also be- piped on to create designs on the cake.
RPB: How can a bride save money on their wedding cake?
CD: Fondant covered cakes are more expensive than buttercream covered cakes and a lot of people think that they need to order a fondant covered cake in order to have a cake with a smooth surface, but this is not the case. We are highly skilled in applying buttercream, and when done correctly, it can be applied to create a smooth clean surface. We are so often asked how we get our buttercream so smooth.
RPB: What should people ask the cake baker during their consultation?
CD:You’ll want to find out if this cake baker/designer is the right match for you by asking things that are important to you. For example, our cakes are our passion; we bake everything fresh and from scratch. We also assure our clients that every aspect of their cakes is handled by one of the two of us. Ask things like: Do they bake their own cakes? How far in advance will your cake be baked? Do they bake from scratch? Make their icing from scratch? How many people are employed there and who will be responsible for your cake? You want to know that the company has consistency.
RPB: How can we order from you and how much notice is required to place an order?
CD: The best way to order from us is to fill out the contact form on our website. http://www.cakedevils.com/contact-the-devils.html You can also reach us by calling 914-861-5666. We suggest contacting us soon as you know you need a cake! We book on a first come, first serve basis and only take as much business as we can handle, so you can never book too early! We do also try to accommodate rush orders, so even if it’s short notice, contact us anyway… we try our best to help! :)
CD: High Heels
RPB: What is your obsession right now?
CD: Right now we are fully focused on growing our business and connecting with our customers. It makes us feel great that we make a personal connection with so many customers and it’s just been happening naturally. We recently realized that not only do we enjoy it, but our customers are becoming repeat customers and we’re finding ourselves excited to see them again!
CD: As a bit of an extremely driven workaholic, when Cake Devils Stacy isn’t baking or teaching classes, she most commonly can be found in front of the computer working on growing our business by doing things like maintaining our website, social networking, growing our internet presence, keeping in contact with clients and creating and maintaining reports. Yes, I do also have personal life, family, and social life, but I find that I often must be forced away from this business as it really is my passion.
When Cake Devil Erica isn’t baking, on the phone with customers, or helping with her husband’s business, she loves spending time raising her three year old daughter and just spending time with her, whether it be laughing, reading to her, or playing with their adorable new puppy. She spends a lot of time with the people she loves and has a lot of gatherings at her home.
RPB: Tell us something we don’t know about Cake Devils?
CD: We are extremely lucky to love, and have a true passion for, what we do. Not only do we love every aspect of our baking and decorating, but you will often hear loud sounds of laughter emanating from the kitchen when the Cake Devils are in there. We really hope that joy and happiness is carried through to our cakes. We sometimes believe that people can really taste our love and happiness when they eat one of our cakes.
Cake Devils is a little unique in the fact that they are not a walk in bakery. They are a truly Custom Cakery. Everything that they do is made fresh to order, using the finest quality ingredients, and decorated lovingly for your special day. They are a two person operation and every aspect of each order is handled by Stacy and/or Erica from start to finish… from the initial contact with the customer, to all of the baking and decorating, and right down to the delivery. While they would like to grow their quantity of business, they are not looking to a large scale operation, as personal connections with their customers mean a lot to them. They will only take as much business as they can handle so they never compromise the work they put into a client’s cake.
If you’re looking for a cake for a special event, Cake Devils is the way to go. They’ll treat you right and provide you a beautiful centerpiece and delicious dessert. One bite and you’ll be hooked! You can visit their website at www.CakeDevils.com. Be sure to LIKE their FaceBook page, follow them on Twitter and Pinterest too!