Well it is finally 2020 and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. As for me, this past year was a very difficult one for my family and I, as my father passed away in September, the same month my mother passed, but several years ago. Two months after he passed away I had my birthday, then came Hanukkah, Christmas, my sister’s birthday and of course, now the New Year. All these “celebrations,” one after the other, were firsts without my father and extremely painful. Waking up in the morning and thinking about wishing him a happy new year and then the realization that I will never get to do that again. Suddenly I am an orphan and the month of September really sucks. When I talk to my sister we cannot talk about memories without breaking down and whereas before it was just mom we missed, now it is both of them and the “remember when” chats are doubly devastating and it has gotten worse during the Holidays.
My father had a long and really good life. My parents were happily married, had their own business and travelled extensively. One of their favorite places was the Kruger National Park in South Africa and needless to say, memories of our family’s many vacations there came flooding back! The 2am wakeup calls to get to the gate of the Park early in time for breakfast and so that we can watch the sun rise in that most incredible of places. We visited the KNP so often that my dad became a honorary game ranger. I don’t know whether they still do that, but years ago it was a big deal. Mom’s ashes are sprinkled there and now dad’s will be too, and I know they are in their “happy place,” and at peace. While I have not been back there for many years, I kept looking at the posts and beautiful pictures in a Facebook group about the Kruger National Park, and remembered all the places they mention, almost as if it was yesterday. Each camp has a special memory… a boyfriend I met, the BBQ or party on my parent’s birthdays or anniversaries… and the peace that is indescribable.
Continue reading “The Cycles of Life”
I often get inquiries from my clients to recommend a venue in Israel where they can get married. Many are observant Jews who want to book their wedding close to one of the Jewish Holidays so they can celebrate both during one trip. This requires a venue that is Shabbat “friendly”. Meaning for instance, that there is no key needed to enter the hotel room during Shabbat.
Continue reading “Israel.. a Wedding Destination Close to My Heart.”
If you recently got engaged and started the very exciting and challenging process of planning your wedding; the most important item on the “to do” list will be to decide where you will have your wedding and honeymoon! There are couples who know exactly what they want and then there are those who have no idea and are feverishly discussing all their options. Will you get married locally or travel? You could have your wedding in Italy and honeymoon in France! So many options and if you follow us, I will be posting about some dreamy and exciting destinations for any occasion.
Continue reading “Booking Your Destination Wedding or Honeymoon…”
Several years ago I catered a wedding at a hotel where the Marriott Beverly Hills is now, and not operated by Marriott at the time. I was not impressed by the dark uninviting interior nor the design. It felt gloomy and I never returned there for another event.
Continue reading “A Hidden Gem in Beverly Hills – Redesigned and Stunning!”
It is not just the summer lovin that happened so fast… summer is almost over! Officially that is. Fortunately Los Angeles has its own summer months…In fact it’s most of the year! Lucky us!
These hot August nights in Los Angeles remind me of the ever popular Grease musical; especially the song Summer Lovin… since summer is the most popular time for romantic events such as weddings and engagements, although those happen more towards the end of the year. Actually considering the variety of events we get booked for, it is probably the most popular time for any event! I don’t know about you but there is something really special about sitting outdoors with your favorite person(s), as the sun sets with a cool glass of wine (or whatever works for you) and relaxing especially after a long day at work.
Continue reading “Summer Lovin…. Happened so fast!”
I am asked this question about budget all the time and the answer is a resounding YES!…but it takes some research, the assistance of family and friends and being very creative, however it is absolutely doable to have a gorgeous memorable celebration on a budget.
Continue reading “A Bar or Bat Mitzvah on a Budget?”
Choosing a hair and make-up stylist for your wedding can be a daunting task, so I did quite a bit of research to help brides with this process and asked my colleagues in the wedding industry whether they had any recommendations. That was when I found Salon Nuuvo and the delightful owner, Raychel Harrison, the founder and artistic director. As she came highly recommended as one of the best in the industry, I decided to interview her to ask especially, how to avoid last minute disasters, which has been the concern of most of the brides I have worked with.
Continue reading “How to Choose a Stylist for Your Wedding”
Whenever destination weddings come up in conversations with my wedding clients, the countries that usually pop up first are Paris or Italy which are known as the most romantic places for lovers and are the usual Countries that inspire romantic visions. Lately though, couples have been asking more about off the beaten track destinations which got me doing some research about the latest trends that are NOT France or Italy of course, and Croatia kept popping up as trending. In case you were wondering… The country is situated just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. It’s no wonder that it has the perfect climate for making wine and olive oil! Well there is no better way to get the down low about a country, than from a dynamo travel agent with many years of experience and hails from Croatia!
Continue reading “Croatia: A Trending Wedding Destination”
If you enjoy wine, then anytime of year is a good time to have a wine tasting and hanging out with good friends. If you also enjoy entertaining, then this will be nothing but fun for you! However, if throwing a wine tasting party seems a little intimidating and/or expensive, don’t worry! This is about having fun not breaking the bank! I have some ideas to throw an easy and inexpensive wine tasting at home.
It doesn’t have to be expensive. You could host a party with a collection of inexpensive wines just to see which ones taste the best and you might even find a wine that could end up a favorite. You can choose from red (Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Red Zinfandel,) or white (Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvingon Blanc, Riesling.) You could have different varieties such as comparing Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s Central Otago, California’s Russian River Valley, Oregon’s Dundee Hills, Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits, or California’s Sonoma Coast or stick to a specific region. Taste through a series of similarly styled wines for example, select an array of “crisp, dry white wines” or “rich, bold reds” or “dessert wines.”
Continue reading “Ideas for Hosting a Wine Tasting!”
As this is engagement season, as well as the time that many people travel for the holidays, I thought this would be the perfect time to write about weddings at faraway destinations. As a travel addict myself and destination wedding planner, this is one of my favorite topics!
So here you are: she, or he said YES and now you are discussing where to have the wedding! How exciting and congrats! I am sure many emotions will be bubbling up right about now as you may have dreamed of this day for many years and you want it to be perfect! If getting married somewhere NOT in your area or even country came up in the discussion, or if you were born in different countries and would like guests from both sides to attend, a destination wedding somewhere in the middle may be the way to go, making it easy for both sides of the family and friends to attend. You may be considering a destination wedding due to the love you share for travel and discovering new countries or cultures and decided to combine the happiest day of your life with what you both love to do. Continue reading “Destination Weddings; why or why not?”