Fitsum & Josh: 10.2.10

I smile every time I think of what a wonderful time I had working on this wedding!  From the top notch list of exceptional professionals to their unique reception layout, Fitsum & Josh’s wedding was one of a kind.  This lovely couple hired me in October of ’09 so I had the pleasure of working with them from start to finish on what turned out to be a very elegant yet lively and upbeat wedding.  The couple began their celebration on Friday night following the rehearsal with a traditional Kelekel (a traditional Ethiopian reception) at the Eliot Center downtown.  From what I understand Josh danced for 3-4 hours straight which blew my mind considering he did the same thing the following night at their reception at the Portland Art Museum.  This guy is vibrant, animated and a dancing machine!  Fitsum & Josh were joined by their loving family and friends who added so much joy and enthusiasm to both the ceremony and reception.  Fitsum’s gown was hands down my favorite of the year and their room layout was so much fun to create!  When we first met they told me they really wanted something different from what they had seen at their friend’s weddings.  They did not want the traditional round tables but they did want formal seating for a plated dinner.  At the time I was working on a networking gala involving quadrant style table arrangements, so I decided to suggest it to Fitum and Josh.  Needless to say after a simple drawing of the idea they loved it and we got right to work with Karen at Vibrant Table to work on designing a layout that the Sunken Ballroom could accommodate.  The result was so fresh and unique and even the wait staff loved it.  Many talented professionals contributed toward this lovely event.  First off, a tremendous thank you to Kate Kelly of Kate Kelly Photography for these gorgeous images.  You are truly gifted with the camera and so much fun to work with!  I am just thrilled that we’ve become friends and I am so excited to work together more in the future.  The girls’ gorgeous makeup was done by the talented Kim King of Kim King Makeup.  Nice job making all 8 ladies look so gorgeous…you were great to work with!  A huge shout out and thank you to Karen Rich and Page Winograd of Vibrant Table for another flawless wedding.  The floral was just gorgeous and as always the couple and their guests were well taken care of thanks to you and your dedicated staff.  We love working with you guys!  Ryan Chaney of Focal Point Digital Media gets credit for capturing the events on video and I can hardly wait to see their full length feature once it’s complete but from the brief trailer I can tell it will be amazing.  Ryan always does a fantastic job!  Music was 

huge for them since Josh’s family LOVE to dance.  Kevin Venables of NW Mobile DJ Service kept the dance floor hoppin’ and guests movin’ and shakin’ until early in the morning.  He’s always great to work with and makes receptions a blast!  Fitsum & Josh had barely begun their planning when we first met but one thing they were sure they wanted was the 7th Heaven cake from Jaciva’s and it looked soooo yummy.  In fact, just thinking of it makes me want to get up and bake!  The blending of these two cultures made for a memorable ceremony and quite the reception.  Thank you so much to everyone involved in creating this memorable wedding day…you were all a pleasure to work with.  A huge congrats to our lovely couple and best wishes in your new life together.  It was a pleasure getting to know you both!

Erin + Lance’s fall engagement shoot

Erin & Lance are such a sweet couple and so very much in love.  They are enjoying the last few weeks before their March wedding at Waverley Country Club and we are thrilled to be a part of their special day!  They have a great lineup of professionals and are fortunate to be working with the talented Craig Mitchelldyer of Craig Mitchelldyer Photography.  Last November they spent an afternoon in downtown Portland’s South Park Blocks frolicking in the beautiful leaves that are so abundant here in the fall, and they made for a very dramatic back-drop for this photogenic pair.  Here are a few shots from their engagement shoot.  A huge congrats Erin & Lance…we are so looking forward to helping with your big day!   

How to share private photos with Flickr Guest Pass

A co-worker and I were just discussing how to upload a bunch of photos to Flickr, but only make them viewable by our client so they can start selecting favorites for an ad.

You can make any Set of photos and or any single Flickr photo private. That makes the photos in that Set only viewable by you. First step complete.

Flickr has a feature called Guest Pass. This feature generates a URL that bypasses the privacy of that item. Give this URL out to anyone you would like to see that item, even though it’s marked private.

Easy. We now upload photos to a private Flickr Set, and give a Guest Pass to our client so they can begin making selects.

In the spotlight: Evrim Icoz Photography

We’ve been working with Evrim since we first joined the wedding world many moons ago.  All of us here at Blush have not only had the chance to work alongside him, but have also gotten to know Evrim on a personal level from networking events to chats over coffee.  He is charming, witty and truly an exceptional photographer.  It comes as no surprise that he has won numerous local and international awards for excellence in photojournalistic photography…he is nothing short of a genius behind the lens.  Evrim’s strong passion for photography shines through in his work and his energy and ability to capture fun and humorous moments is unmatched.  We worked together on a most memorable wedding at the Portland Art Museum in 2008 where the groom and groomsmen all wore cowboy hats and boots…fitting since they were from Idaho.  However the irony of the photos taken at the reception are some of my favorite to date, one of which was Keith, the groom, and his best man sporting their cowboy hats and carrying their beer, walking past a nude statue on the reception gallery level.  Another was when Evrim took Lauren, our lovely and unassuming bride, and had her pose outside the Museum with Keith’s hat.  Crazy things would happen that evening at the Mark Building and this was just the beginning!  As the night went on and the Jim Beam and Johnny Walker flowed, Lauren & Keith were invited to an event upstairs in the Kridel Grand Ballroom…none other than the Imperial Sovereign Rose Court’s annual Coronation Ball, filled with some of the states most beautiful and flamboyant drag queens.  Lucky for Keith he got to share a few intimate moments with them which are highlighted here!  It was definitely an entertaining evening for all and both Lauren & Keith enjoyed themselves immensely, as did their unexpecting guests.  Evrim did a outstanding job of capturing all of the fun and lively moments throughout the night and there was no shortage of them.  What started as a very traditional ceremony at Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego, ended as a very unconventional celebration…gotta love that!  Thank you Evrim, for capturing the events as they unraveled as brilliantly as you did.  As always it was a blast working with you and we’re excited for our next wedding together.  To see more of Evrim’s work please check out his website at www.evrimgallery.com and click on blog.  He has traveled extensively and is available for destination weddings around the globe.  We highly recommend that you contact Evrim to talk about working together on your own big day!

How to nudge exactly 1 pixel in Photoshop

nudging in PhotoshopWeb developers who work from Photoshop comps when creating markup know how important pixel-perfect accuracy is. We don’t deal well with shapes or edges that don’t line up on a whole pixel.

So, for all the designers out there using Photoshop to create web design comps, here’s an article from app all-stars Bjango on how to nudge your shapes with perfect, 1px accuracy. Usually, you have to keep your zoom level at 100% to pull off perfect nudges. This is a hack to make sure those arrow keys don’t get you in trouble.

Photoshop CS3 users please note, Command – `won’t work for flipping between open windows, which is possibly the most horribly frustrating thing this shortcut addict can think of.

Blush loves Honeysuckle Photography!

Katie & James…What a perfect way to kick off 2011! Just over two weeks ago we had the great pleasure and honor of helping Katie and James tie the knot.  When Katie contacted me in late October and told me they wanted to get married in January, I took a deep breath and said, ”sure, we can make that happen!”  After all, I was up for the challenge since it was winter and we had just one other wedding on the books, I knew I could focus my attention on helping pull this together for them in just two short months.  It wasn’t that they waited until the last minute to begin the planning that caused the brief 2 month period, James is in the Army and had recently found out he would be deployed in the spring and this was the only week they could take off to celebrate.  This made the decision to help them that much easier.  Plus it didn’t hurt that Katie was so sweet and I could just tell should would make a fun bride!  After learning they lived in Tennessee where James is stationed, but had a trip to Portland planned a week and a half later, I got right to work scheduling all of their appointments.  It could not have been a more enjoyable and smoother process and both Katie and her mother, Cory, kept on top of it, and made decisions in a timely fashion.  Katie and James envisioned an elegant but fun and relaxed atsmophere for their big day and just wanted to have a great time with friends and family that they don’t often see.  It was a most memorable evening at Hotel Vintage PlazaCongrats Katie and James…we wish you great joy in your new life together!  Thank you to all of the amazing and talented professionals who worked so hard to make this happen…you are some of Portland’s finest.  Speaking of great professionals, we’ve been very fortunate over the past several years to work with some amazing photographers in this city and one of those is Maggie Hudson of Honeysuckle Photography.  We’ve had the opportunity to work with Maggie and her team a number of times and it’s always a fantastic experience!  One of the weddings we worked on with Maggie was for Jennifer Walker of Face Body Beauty who is a mutual friend of ours and a talented local makeup artist.  She was married at the beautiful Bridal Veil Lakes in June of 2009.  Maggie did a phenomenal job with this wedding as there were many touching moments to capture and she didn’t miss one.  Maggie is super laid back and positive but completely on her “A” game at each and every wedding working hard to capture vibrant and animated photos that truly represent each couple’s unique day.  Don’t let her calm and cool demeanor fool you, however…she’s witty, sharp and always one step ahead.  She never misses that perfect shot and makes an extra effort to get to know each of her couples before their wedding so she is familiar with their style and personalities.  Even better, Maggie has a fantastic assistant, Brian, who works alongside her at every wedding so there is always a great mix of shots from spontaneous moments that happen during the getting ready process to those ever-important detail shots of the favors, cake and flowers, to the toasts and dances, Maggie & Brian cover all the bases flawlessly.  We can’t say enough great things about Honeysuckle and  just love working with them and highly recommend them to anyone looking for fun documentary style photographers to capture their wedding day!  For more samples of their work check out the Honeysuckle blog or visit their website at www.honey-photo.com  Thank you Maggie & Brian!

Key bored

Why are we forcing the standard qwerty keyboard, which was designed to slow typists down so they wouldn’t jam up early typewriters, into our mobile devices?

The touch screen and wireless experience is a new frontier for interface design. It seems silly to slap such an old paradigm onto devices where so much is possible.

If we ever were going to unlearn a system that was meant to slow us down in favor of a fresh start that might speed things up for everyone, now’s the time yea?

La Dolce Vita

Happy fall everyone!  It not only feels like a month has passed since our last post, it has been a month.  Whew!  Where does the time go?  Oh yes, I have a 17 month old, that’s where.  In years past, November was one of those relaxing fall months where we get to unwind after a nonstop summer and relish in our hard work by pampering ourselves with massages, pedicures and sleeping in.  Ha!  Not this time year. It seems the slump of the past few years has begun to fade and we’re turning a new leaf as we begin booking weddings not only for spring and summer of 2011, but winter as well, starting with a recent full service booking for January 1st!  We could not be more excited to kick off the New Year with a wedding and working alongside a wonderful family makes it that much better.  So, I begin this post by saying how grateful we are here at Blush for our amazing clients that we had the privilege of working beside this year, as well as the wonderful clients we’ll get to know in the year ahead. Thank you for trusting in our years of experience, positive energy and professionalism as we help you with your most important celebration!

Elle ImagesNow without further adieu, let me introduce to you Brandee and Erik.  I feel like I met these two in a past life…maybe that’s because Brandee and I met back in the spring of 2009 and I worked very closely with her through the entire planning process.  Elle ImagesI could not have asked for a kinder, funnier and more “on it” bride…Erik is one lucky guy.  Brandee was one of those brides who had been planning her wedding since she was a little girl and was just waiting for prince charming to come along.  Elle ImagesWhen she and Erik met they hit it off immediately and it wasn’t long before Brandee knew he was the one!  Elle ImagesShe had decided on so many details a year and a half before her wedding that I couldn’t help but wonder why she hired me, though I’m certainly glad she did.  Elle ImagesIt was so fun to see her inspiration and visions come to life through her many crafty projects, some of which involved Erik, who volunteered to paint the very cool metal signs that were placed through out the Rhododendron Garden to direct guests to the ceremony site…what a guy!  Elle ImagesElle ImagesTheir vibrant and whimsical orange and lime green hues carried through in every aspect of their wedding including their flowers, programs, menus, candy buffet, place settings, ribbon, and even the candles on the guests tables.  Elle ImagesNot one detail was overlooked and this dynamic duo made sure their guests were in for a good time from the start of their sentimental ceremony to the last song of the night.  Elle ImagesBest wishes Brandee & Erik and thank you for including us in your wonderful celebration!  We wish you a lifetime of joy and thank you for sharing your wonderful honeymoon photos…looks like you had a great time touring Italy.  Here’s to the sweet life…enjoy! 

Thank you to the following fabulous vendors who helped make the day so memorable and fun!            

Rita Knapp Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Danya Minyan World Trade Center                              

Laura Winterrowd Elle Images Photography          

Greg Winterrowd ProphezyProductions               

Jordan Gladow Blum: Design in Flowers   

Susan Langenes Collage Music               

Kevin Venables NW Mobile DJ Service

Amber Darrington Le Cookie Monkey

Cindy Labuhn Party Place

Papa Haydn Wedding Cake

Enable photo tagging for Facebook Like Pages

enable photo tags for a Facebook page setting panelHad a beast of a time finding this one.

You might have noticed that photo tagging is not enabled by default when you post new photos to your Facebook Like or Fan Page. If you’re logged in as an admin of the page you can tag photos, but tagging is disabled for your Facebook fans.

There doesn’t seem to be a setting that is easily toggled. I found a solution in a Facebook discussion forum.

1. Find your Facebook Page ID (go to your Facebook page and click on Edit page. The id will be in the URL after &id=__________)

2. Go to this URL http://www.facebook.com/pages/edit/app_settings.php?id=xxxxx&aid=2305272732 where xxxxx is your Facebook Page ID

Toggle the setting “Allow all fans to tag photos” and Save.

Caitlin + Dave get married

Honeysuckle PhotographyIt feels like a year has passed since August 14th when Caitlin + Dave tied the knot at the beautiful Jenkins Estate in Aloha but I’m sure that’s just because their big day fell on one of the hottest Saturdays of the year and now it’s practically snowing out!  These two made the sweetest couple and their families were some of the nicest I’ve met in my years of coordinating.  Honeysuckle PhotographyThey were genuinely kind and caring folks and approached everyone and everything with kindness and grace.  Moreover Caitlin and Dave weren’t as caught up on having over-the-top decor or a fancy venue as they were about creating a memorable and light-hearted day filled with all of their closest family and friends.  Honeysuckle PhotographyI’d say they accomplished that perfectly.  I first met Caitlin’s parents, Karen and Paul, in the early spring of ’09 and was impressed with how involved they wanted to be in the planning while maintaining the patience very few parents do during a normally stressful time…especially since Caitlin was a full-time law student and her parents lived in Montana.  Honeysuckle PhotographyEach decision made during the planning process was agreed upon by all and they truly appreciated my role as their coordinator which was so refreshing and gratifying.  The entire family was nothing short of being dream clients and they are already missed.  Honeysuckle PhotographyAs I look back over their photographs, I smile and think about what a fun and whimsical day it was and wish these two a lifetime of laughter and happiness.  If anyone can enjoy the little things in life it’s these two.  One look at that horse mask gives you an idea as to how much fun they are…and there was a story behind it from when they met back in high school!  Congrats Caitlin + Dave!!  Honeysuckle PhotographyA big thank you to the many talented wedding professionals who worked so hard to make this day so amazing despite the 95 degree sun.  This wedding was filled with some of Portland’s finest who are always a joy to work with.  Honeysuckle PhotographyThank you to Maggie + Brian of Honeysuckle Photography for the gorgeous photos…y0u two captured the spirit of the day perfectly and as always we love working with you!  To Jennifer and the Face Body Beauty team, what can I say…you’ve done it again.  Honeysuckle PhotographyYou never fail to amaze me and the ladies looked stunning!  The delicate and lovely periwinkle floral and natural woodland and log arrangements are credited to Francoise Weeks and couldn’t have been a better match for the couple and their venue…so pretty!  Honeysuckle PhotographyJill at All Wright Music did an awesome job reading the guests and keeping everyone dancing until the last possible moment, and that was only because she had to shut it off!  Honeysuckle PhotographyWe love working with the All Wright Music team…they are so professional and know how to have a good time!  The yummy cupcakes were provided by Saint Cupcake…so fresh and delicious as always.  A huge thank you to Debbie and Janet at Reedville Catering.  You and your staff were so kind and helpful and I look forward to working together again.  Honeysuckle PhotographyThis final photo needs no explanation…all I can say is I’ve never laughed as hard at any wedding as I did when this guy came out.  Truly priceless :)

Blush supports Wish Upon a Wedding

 

Getting Married?

For the first time in history, you can plan your wedding, from virtually any major city in the United States, hiring the top wedding vendors in the industry… knowing that  the money you spend is benefiting someone in need.

Here at Blush we are a huge supporter of non profit organizations so when a good friend and fellow colleague of ours introduced us to Wish Upon a Wedding we jumped at the opportunity to participate.  Having been a Wish Granter for the Make A Wish Foundation of Oregon since 2006, a reputable, highly-recognized organization that helps children living with life-threatening illnesses, I was excited to hear of a similar foundation which supports couples living with terminal illnesses whose wish is to have a wedding or renew their vows…what a fabulous idea!

What better way to help brighten the lives of these couples than to help turn their dream of a wedding or vow renewal into a reality! Please join us by bidding on the online auction items (they are live!) and/or by attending the gala at The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport in Tigard, Oregon on November 18th.  It’s sure to be a wonderful evening filled with generosity, compassion and celebration!

Who will you be helping? 

Your bid helps raise crucial funding for Wish Upon a Wedding: the world’s first nonprofit organization, that provides weddings & vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness and other serious life altering circumstances.

Launched in January of 2010, Wish Upon a Wedding has already impacted hundreds of lives by offering hope, courage and strength to couples facing life’s most challenging situations.

What is available?

Find everything needed right here to plan your own perfect wedding day!  Just by planning your wedding, YOU can make wedding wishes come true for some very deserving couples!  All proceeds go directly to Wish Upon a Wedding.  

Not Getting Married?

Check out our auctions for hundreds of other items including amazing trips, jewelry, spa treatments, dinners, entertainment and MORE… Even if you are not planning a wedding, we have what you are looking for!

Help us Make Wedding Wishes Come True!

 

Celebrate Nicole + Ron

September 25th was a perfect fall day for two gorgeous weddings at the north coast. One of those celebrations was for Nicole & Ron as they tied the knot at the quaint St Mary’s By The Sea Catholic Church in Rockaway Beach.  Their reception followed at Surfsand Resort’s Hay Stack Gardens, a beautiful exotic setting just steps from the sand.  Sidarany coordinated the day seamlessly along with her fabulous assistant Christie.  Scott & Amanda of Ambient Sky captured the spirit of the day perfectly and astounded the couple and their guests with their signature same day edit that was shown on a large screen at the reception.  What a fabulous display of the early events of Nicole & Ron’s big day…but don’t just take my word for it.  Watch for yourself.  To our lovely bride & groom…we wish you all the happiness in the world!

Let us not forget the other wedding professionals who made this a spectacular day!

Photography: Bryan Rupp Photography

DJ/MC: Shawn & Marc of Event Team Entertainment

Floral: Shannon of Sun Blossoms Floral

One fine day: Tristine + Tim

Koes Bong PhotographyOh how I smile when I think about Tristine and Tim…such a lovely couple who I couldn’t have enjoyed more.  They are such gracious and kind people who love  life (and each other) to the fullest!  Koes Bong PhotographyTheir wedding day was a special one surrounded by their families and closest friends at one of our favorite spots in Portland, Hotel Vintage Plaza.  Just days before their wedding I was lucky enough to have a chance to share a lunch with them at Pazzo and learn more about their lives and how they met, and they are just so cute together!  Koes Bong PhotographyWe laughed a lot as they each shared their stories of their first date.  Funny how they always differ!  Koes Bong PhotographyThere were lots of tears shed at their very sweet ceremony which took place down in the Wine Cellar of the hotel and much of this is thanks to Minister Maureen Haley who did a splendid job of marrying these two in a way that truly represented their personalities.  Koes Bong PhotographyWe had the opportunity to work with some new vendors including Koes and Lindsay of Koes Bong Photography, and they did such a fantastic job capturing all the emotion of the day. Koes Bong Photography They were great to work with and between the two of them covered all aspects of the day beautifully including many of the small details we coordinators thrive on like the cards that were placed at each guests setting asking them to select a foundation for Tristine and Tim to make a contribution to in their name…love that!  Koes Bong PhotographyTristine’s hair and makeup was done by the talented Deanna of Face Body Beauty and the gorgeous flowers were from Buddies Flower Shop in Lake Oswego.  Koes Bong PhotographyThe couple and their guests danced the night away to tunes played by Mark Wills from NW Mobile DJ Service who always do a knock out job.  Ooh, and let us not forget the  fabulous cake from Clarke’s Restaurant in Lake Oswego…it was stunning and from what I heard it tasted equally moist and fresh!  Koes Bong PhotographyA special thank you to Heather Seethoff at Hotel Vintage Plaza for a fabulous job making this exactly what Tristine and Tim envisioned.  You are a joy to work with!  A huge congrats to the lovely couple and here’s to many years of making each other laugh.

Laura + Oliver’s sassy celebration

Jessica Watson PhotographyLaura called me last fall after a dear friend of hers won 5 hours of consultation that I donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Food, Wine & Wishes fundraising auction last October.  She and Oliver had only been engaged a short time but she came to me with several stylish and unique ideas of how she envisioned her wedding day…all she needed was some guidance finding the perfect venues and a team of professionals to pull the day together and bring their vision to life, and after just a few meetings we were well on our way to a fabulous celebration!  Jessica Watson PhotographyThey later decided to hire me for Month of Coordination to help them leading up to and on their big day.  The pair chose the beautiful and intimate Victoriana Garden within the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden for a simple but meaningful ceremony.  The grounds there are gorgeous and there are many ideal backdrops for couple’s photos including the bridge that guests walk across leading them to the ceremony site.  Laura + Oliver first met at the Oregon Brew Fest a couple of summers prior and while it didn’t work out for them to celebrate their wedding over the same weekend this year, there was no shortage of local brews at their reception, which was held at the elegant yet relaxed Aquariva Italian Kitchen + Wine Bar overlooking the peaceful Willamette River.  Jessica Watson PhotographyLeslie Klatt, Catering Manager, and her incredible staff were  so on top of this event ensuring that every detail was attended to and that Laura, Oliver and their guests enjoyed their experience to the fullest.  They even made sure all of the vendors were well fed and had a comfortable place to eat and enjoy a few moments of down time, something that is never expected but always appreciated!  Jessica Watson PhotographyJessica + Spencer of Jessica Watson Photography documented the day to perfection, capturing Laura + Oliver’s personalities flawlessly and making sure the smallest of details were highlighted from the feathers in Laura’s bouquet, to the intricacy of the bridesmaids purses, nothing was missed…I have three words for this: every coordinator’s dream.  These two were so much fun to work with and we look forward to our next wedding together!  Special shout out to Andrea Hoyt at August Veils for the gorgeous birdcage veil she designed for Laura…this is one talented woman with a killer personality and I cannot recommend her enough!  Jessica Watson PhotographyA special thanks to Kevan Inouye Private Florist for providing the gorgeous bouquets, bouts, centerpieces and cake flowers that reflected Laura’s vision so well.  I have worked with Kevan a number of times and he always takes the time to listen to a couple’s ideas and create artwork that is unique and fun.  He also goes above and beyond for every client no matter what their budget may be.  Jessica Watson PhotographyKevin Venables of NW Mobile DJ Service was the mastermind behind the music at Aquariva and not only got people out dancing the moment the cake was cut, but kept them dancing late into the night.  If you’re looking for an energetic yet professional DJ who will cater to your style, Kevin’s your guy…he was a blast and I’m excited to work with him again next month.  Thank you to my fabulous assistant Jen for helping with all of the reception details and assisting our lovely couple at the end of the night…you rock!  Congrats Laura + Oliver and enjoy your new life together!

To tip or not to tip…and who?

I am asked this question on a regular basis by my clients and until a month ago when a fellow coordinator and good friend shared an article from Inside Weddings on this very subject, I was always a bit torn when it came to offering advice.  So I’ve decided to share some of the great tips (no pun intended!)  that Mary Dann-McNamee, one of LA’s premier event planners, included in the article.  As with any industry, tipping is extended to those individuals who have provided service above and beyond the expectation of their clients, and the same goes for wedding vendors.  So often clients want to express gratitude for a job well done but are unsure which of their vendors to tip and how much is appropriate.  As stated by Mary Dann herself, the following guideline is based on more than two decades of professional experience and more than 400 weddings, and taken directly from the article which can also be found at Inside Weddings

1) In advance, estimate each gratuity and then write a check or place cash into an envelope with the recipient’s name, and/or their title on the front of the envelope. The envelopes can be distributed to the appropriate vendors during or at the conclusion of services on the wedding day. An additional envelope can carry cash to make up for discrepancies once the final bill arrives and the percentages can be tabulated.

2) Write thank-you notes to the vendors who helped you throughout the planning process. Often, a sincere note of thanks is appreciated as much as or more than a tip.

3) Give the planner cash in an envelope and have the wedding planner discreetly pass out the tips to various vendors who have surpassed expectations. Since your planner witnesses more levels of services from your vendors, in public and in private, the planner usually has a broad view of how well the vendors actually execute their services.

Mandatory Gratuities
Transportation and catering always include gratuities (15% to 20%) in the total service fee. Gift basket delivery requires a $2 to $3 per bag or basket to have a bellman deliver to a guest room at a hotel. On occasion, hotel staff will hold a bag or basket behind the front desk and give it to the guest upon check-in, in which case it is wise to tip the front desk manager when you drop off the bags or baskets, just to ensure that your request is executed.

How Much to Give
Since all your vendors are in the service business, gratuities are a kind and generous gesture of appreciation for going the extra mile to make your wedding day perfect. The following list is of vendors that usually receive gratuities on the wedding day. Keep in mind that gratuities are customary, but not mandatory.

The following receive a gratuity/tip almost all of the time:

Banquet Captain — Oversees the servers and makes sure your guest’s food and beverage wishes are met. Often acts as the head maitre d’ for the reception and works closely with wedding coordinator. Tip: $1 – $5 per guest.

Hair and Makeup Artists — Assists with all the beauty needs of your bridal party, keeps flow of group while everyone is getting ready. Tip: 10% -15% of the total fee, whether you go to the salon or they come to you.

Bellman — Assists with loading wedding items, i.e. gifts, flowers at the end of the night, luggage, etc. to your hotel room or car. Tip: $10 – $20 each.

The following receive a gratuity/tip 60-70% of the time:

Wedding Planner & Team — Assists with all aspects of the pre-wedding planning and wedding day execution. They often serve as the designer, director, producer, therapist, seamstress, dry cleaner, touch-up makeup beauty stylist, coach, consultant, honeymoon suite decorator, bell-hop and bridal party assistant. It is impossible to categorize all the services your professional planner is capable of executing. Tip: 10% of total service fee.

Catering Manager/Director of Catering / Food and Beverage Director — Assists primarily with the pre-planning of the wedding day and occasionally oversees the Banquet Captain on the day of your wedding At the hotel, they can usually make sure your hotel suite is upgraded, amenities are given and your stay is special. At a private venue or country club, they can additionally oversee the kitchen and bars. Tip: $50 – $500.

Entertainment — Musicians. Tip: $20 – $50 each. DJ. Tip: $50 – $300.

The following receive a gratuity/tip 50% or less of the time:

Photographer & Videographer — A gratuity can be given to the “lead shooter” and/or the assistants on the wedding day or on the day you receive your finished product. Tip: $40 – $100 each.

Florist/Designer and Team — Whatever the tip, the florist/designer should divide it among the set-up and break-down team. Tip: $50 – $200.

 

Export your Torq M3U playlist to a plain text list of tracks

My M-Audio / Pioneer CDJ setup. /Blaxthos 05:0...
Image via Wikipedia

True to my Twitter bio, I still get to DJ every once in a while. My glow stick days are over, but I’m still addicted to the tools of the trade.

I’ve been using M-audio Torq to take advantage of my digital crate while retaining the actual vinyl on 1200′s feel that I was raised on. I was skeptical of going the “cheap” route, but I have been super impressed with the system’s stability and value for the coin. M-audio (I guess I should say Avid, now) don’t mess around.

I played a party @blizzle threw in March called Freedom Fest. My set was a sweaty journey though some tracks from my pegged-jeans, Reebok Pump wearin’ high school days. A few friends have requested the playlist, so I poked around to see how I might export the playlist the Torq logs each time you play.

It turns out the playlists are stored in /Application Support/M-Audio/Torq/Playlists in M3U format. Run the contents of that file through this nice M3U Playlist Conversion Tool for DJs from Calardo/Grant, and you’re left with a perfect, text only, chronological list of the tracks in your playlist.

Here’s mine from Freedom Fest:

01 – Beyonce – Crazy In Love ft Jay Z
02 – L.L. – Phenomenon
03 – Snoop Dogg – 05 Lodi Dodi [Explicit]
04 – Jay-Z – Hard Knock Life
05 – Dr. Dre – Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)
06 – Soft Cell – Tainted Love
07 – Usher – You Make Me Wanna_
08 – Ice Cube – It Was A Good Day
09 – Notorious BIG – Big Poppa
10 – Biz Markie – 10 Just A Friend
11 – Salt n Pepa – Whatta Man
12 – Jay-Z – Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
13 – Luniz – I Got Five On It
14 – Jay-Z – Can I Get A… [Explicit]
15 – Shake Your Tailfeather – Shake Your Tailfeather
16 – Destiny’s Child – Jumpin, Jumpin
17 – Jay-Z – Big Pimpin’ [Explicit]
18 – Missy Elliott – Get Ur Freak On
19 – Eve – Let Me Blow Ya Mind [Explicit]
20 – 50 Cent – In da Club
21 – Naughty by Nature – Feel Me Flow
22 – Destiny’s Child – No No No
23 – 2Pac (Tupac) – California Love
24 – Snoop Dogg – Drop it Like it’s Hot
25 – Ja Rule – Put It On Me
26 – 50 Cent – Magic Stick
27 – MC Lyte – Cold Rock A Party (Explicit LP Version)
28 – Biggie smalls – Hypnotize
29 – Fat Joe – What’s Luv
30 – Snoop Dogg – Gin And Juice
31 – Dr. Dre – Nuthin’ But a G Thang
32 – Salt n Pepa – Shoop
33 – Snoop Dogg – Lay Low
34 – LL Cool J – Doin’ It [Explicit]
35 – Naughty by Nature – O.P.P.
36 – Naughty by Nature – Hip Hop Hooray
37 – Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance
38 – Positive K – I Got a Man
39 – The Notorious B.I.G. – Mo Money Mo Problems
40 – Usher – Yeah! (feat. Lil’ Jon & Ludacris)
41 – House Of Pain – Jump Around
42 – Bell Biv Devoe – Do Me
43 – Bobby Brown – My Prerogative
44 – Bell Biv Devoe – Poison
45 – Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes Two
46 – C + C Music Factory – Things That Make You Go Hmmmm_..
47 – Coolio – Sumpin’ New
48 – Young MC – Bust a Move
49 – R Kelly – 02 Bump N’ Grind
50 – 112 – Anywhere
01 – Beyonce – Crazy In Love ft Jay Z
02 – L.L. – Phenomenon
03 – Snoop Dogg – 05 Lodi Dodi [Explicit]
04 – Jay-Z – Hard Knock Life
05 – Dr. Dre – Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)
06 – Soft Cell – Tainted Love
07 – Usher – You Make Me Wanna_
08 – Ice Cube – It Was A Good Day
09 – Notorious BIG – Big Poppa
10 – Biz Markie – 10 Just A Friend
11 – Salt n Pepa – Whatta Man
12 – Jay-Z – Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
13 – Luniz – I Got Five On It
14 – Jay-Z – Can I Get A… [Explicit]
15 – Shake Your Tailfeather – Shake Your Tailfeather
16 – Destiny’s Child – Jumpin, Jumpin
17 – Jay-Z – Big Pimpin’ [Explicit]
18 – Missy Elliott – Get Ur Freak On
19 – Eve – Let Me Blow Ya Mind [Explicit]
20 – 50 Cent – In da Club
21 – Naughty by Nature – Feel Me Flow
22 – Destiny’s Child – No No No
23 – 2Pac (Tupac) – California Love
24 – Snoop Dogg – Drop it Like it’s Hot
25 – Ja Rule – Put It On Me
26 – 50 Cent – Magic Stick
27 – MC Lyte – Cold Rock A Party (Explicit LP Version)
28 – Biggie smalls – Hypnotize
29 – Fat Joe – What’s Luv
30 – Snoop Dogg – Gin And Juice
31 – Dr. Dre – Nuthin’ But a G Thang
32 – Salt n Pepa – Shoop
33 – Snoop Dogg – Lay Low
34 – LL Cool J – Doin’ It [Explicit]
35 – Naughty by Nature – O.P.P.
36 – Naughty by Nature – Hip Hop Hooray
37 – Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance
38 – Positive K – I Got a Man
39 – The Notorious B.I.G. – Mo Money Mo Problems
40 – Usher – Yeah! (feat. Lil’ Jon & Ludacris)
41 – House Of Pain – Jump Around
42 – Bell Biv Devoe – Do Me
43 – Bobby Brown – My Prerogative
44 – Bell Biv Devoe – Poison
45 – Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes Two
46 – C + C Music Factory – Things That Make You Go Hmmmm_..
47 – Coolio – Sumpin’ New
48 – Young MC – Bust a Move
49 – R Kelly – 02 Bump N’ Grind
50 – 112 – Anywher

Save your Gmail search queries

Image representing Google Apps as depicted in ...
Image via CrunchBase

I’ve been slowly making the switch from Apple Mail to Google Apps mail. One of the most challenging parts has been changing my personal dogma of filters and folders to labels and search.

Thankfully, there is a sherpa out there for your Google Apps and Google Wave adventures. Her name is Gina Tripani, author of the Smarterware.org blog, and regular host of the This Week in Google podcast. She uses Gmail search operators to quickly filter her mail like “label:new biz” or “has:attachment”. I’ve been using the following lately to show only my unread email in my inbox: “label:unread in:inbox”. Love it. But I didn’t want to keep typing that into the search field every time I used Gmail. I wanted to save a Gmail search for later use.

I searched for the answer, and after finding that while Firefox has some Greasemonkey options for saving Gmail search, I thought I was SOL on Chrome. Of course, the solution was forehead-slapping simple. I performed the search in Chrome, and bookmarked the results page. Duh. It’s in my bookmarks bar, and now I have one click access to show only new email in my Gmail inbox.

That time of year is upon us…

Wedding season of course! We’ve been very busy working hard on finalizing the many details of our upcoming June weddings that we’ve slacked a bit on the blog front (boo)…but don’t fret!  We promise to be back in full swing here in a week or so with plenty to share so please continue to check back for the latest on our upcoming weddings, great vendors we love to promote, and other exciting news on the Blush front.  This past weekend Erin coordinated a hip and vintagy wedding at the World Forestry Center with lots of unique touches, and this Saturday Amy has an intimate yet over-the-top wedding at Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn out in wine country.  We can’t wait to share the details of these special celebrations with you!  In the meantime, wishing all of you a very happy Memorial Day and thank you to those of you who have served or are serving our country…we appreciate your service.

Blush featured on KATU’s AMNW Primetime Ultimate Wedding Giveaway!

On Friday I had the opportunity to appear on the primetime edition of AMNW and chat with Dave Anderson about weddings and the importance of hiring an independent coordinator as part of their Ultimate Wedding Giveway that’s going on May 3 - 23rd.  It was so much fun and I am so fortunate to be a part of this exciting giveaway! For more details check out their website at: www.katu.com/amnw/contests/90976424.html

To view our segment click here: http://www.katu.com/amnw/segments/93787959.html

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