Archive of ‘Vendor Spotlights’ category

Vendor Spotlight: Erika Hernandez of EH Social Events

We are back with another Vendor Spotlight to kick off your week. Whether you just got engaged or have already started planning your upcoming wedding, I believe that hiring a wedding planner will take the stress off your BIG DAY and you’ll be able to have piece of mind and live in the moment! Today, we are featuring our good friend, Erika Hernandez of EH Social Events. I’ve personally worked with Erika on numerous events and she is not only resourceful but details oriented and super creative!

RPB: So Erika, please tell us about your business and how you got started as a wedding planner?

EH: Since I can remember I’ve always been drawn to creating; as a child I looked forward to Saturday morning craft classes at the local craft store. As I got older I grew a passion for colors, textures, fashion, music and celebrations. Being such a creative person and having so many interests only lead me to explore different career paths that never made the cut. So, I decided to open a small party store where after some time I realized that I was close to my “calling” but not completely there. After three years, I sold my store, went back to school and EH Social Events was born. It’s over 8 years now and I’ve never felt more complete doing anything else.

RPB: What’s your favorite part of the entire wedding planning process?

EH: Being able to see my clients’ vision come to life, and the process it takes to get there.

RPB: If you could give only one piece of advice to a bride/groom, what would that be?

EH: The secret formula to any successful wedding is to do the math, be creative, stay organized and have fun!

RPB: We love seeing themed weddings. What are some trends you’re seeing this year?

EH: There so many trends I’ve in 2013 but my favorites would have to be the use of patterns in wedding decor and fashion, the roaring 20’s I know we’ve all seen a lot of and although they didn’t make a huge presences this year, I got to say food trucks.

RPB: There are SO many wedding venues in New Jersey. What are your Top 3 favorite venues in New Jersey?

EH: Addison Park in Aberdeen, The Waterside in Weehawken, and The Stonehouse in Warren.

RPB: Tell us the most eccentric or strange request you have ever received from a bride or groom?

EH: Nothing has surprised enough to consider a request eccentric, so you’ll have to stay tuned.

RPB: When you walk a venue, what are the top three things you look for?

EH: Call me crazy but the first thing I look for are emergency exits, fire sprinklers, elevators and any other safety factor that sometimes people overlook. Your guests’ safety and comfort is just as, if not more, important as how pretty the location is. Then I look at the square footage and the structural decor of the space.

RPB: We know you are resourceful. Tell us what are your top tips for clients watching their budgets closely?

EH: A budget is a “MUST” and not a mental one but one on paper. Making sure you follow and stay within the budget you set for yourself is so important. Write everything down and make sure you keep receipts for everything you purchase, even of the smallest things you may think aren’t a big deal. Also, shop around, someone always has a better deal.

RPB: I know a wedding planner is an essential part of planning a wedding. What advice can you give our readers who are on the fence about hiring an event/wedding planner?

EH: Follow your instincts! If in your initial consultation you don’t feel comfortable with this person, than find someone else. If you can’t imagine this person being your new best friend or extended family member during your planning process then they’re not a match for you.

RPB: Complete this sentence: I’m obsessed with…

EH:…DIY projects because it’s the only thing that keeps me sane!

RPB: When are you up to on your free time?

EH: That’s a tough! Besides being a mom, I would have to say redecorating my house. I always have some project going on at home.

RPB: Tell us an interesting fact about you or your business?

EH: I don’t retail for anything! Hahaha… I’m a save a dollar Queen.


EH Social Events specializes in designing and executing fabulous social celebrations and special events with sophistication, style, and signature details. From product launching to themed events; weddings or social gatherings, we believe your event should have character, creativity and be a reflection of you. EH Social Events provides the best of both design and execution through our completely customized planning service. We can provide full-scale event management or can coordinate individual aspects of an event. Visit our WEBSITE to learn more about us and our services!





Who Pays for What in Weddings?

Getting married but don’t know who should pay for what? Traditionally, the bride’s family would pick up the costs but with the average cost of a New York or New Jersey wedding being SO expensive, we noticed more couples getting married later in life. This quick list will help you New York and New Jersey brides and grooms get on the right track.


Bride pays for:

Groom pays for:

Bride’s family pays for:

Groom’s family pays for:

      • Rehearsal dinner
      • Alcohol at the reception (optional)
      • Their own wedding wear
      • Gifts for the couple

Wedding party pays for:

Guests pay for:

      • Their own attire
      • Transportation
      • Gifts for the couple
When the Bride and Groom are older, or whose parents don’t have resources:

  • The bride and groom pay for all wedding costs themselves
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*Credits: List originally appeared on SavvySugar, 2nd Picture by Matthew Amster-Burton

Vendor Spotlight: Jasmine Cianflone of This Moment Events

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?

JC: As a planner, I have to be aware of many things, but the top three are as follows:

  • 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!

RPB: Name 3 favorite NJ outdoor venues.

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!

RPB: How would you describe your signature style in five words?

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!

Visit our Website, LIKE us on FACEBOOK, Follow us on TWITTER & PINTEREST. As a FREE BONUS, sign up to receive a 10-Day Authentic Wedding E-Course HERE!

**Photo Credits: Michelle Lindsay Photography, 2011 Kate Connolly Weddings**

Vendor Spotlight: Melanie Marrello of Personal Wrapping Paper™

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

RPB: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

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

RPB: Is this expensive? Will people be able to afford this?

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: The turnaround time is about a week depending on where it is shipping to.

RPB: What is the personal wrapping paper ideal for?

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!

RPB: Congratulations on the baby! So when you aren’t doing this, what are you doing?

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 under “Unique Wedding Ideas.” LIKE us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter page.

Vendor Spotlight: Makini Regal Designs

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!

RPB: What are the biggest floral trends you’re seeing this season?

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.

RPB: What is something unique to your service that you are extra proud of?

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 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:

RPB: What’s your current obsession right now?

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.


If asked why owner Makini Regal Brereton chose a career in floral design, she might respond, “What girl doesn’t love flowers?” but what sets Makini apart from the average flower enthusiast?

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.

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