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Wedding Planning Budget: Keeping things Organized

It’s no secret...weddings are EXPENSIVE but here’s another secret…. They don’t have to be! Like everything else, planning will help keep your budget where you want it to be and help you stay on track. You may remember my previous blog, “Wedding Budget and How to Prioritize” or my YouTube video, “How to Budget and Prioritize for your Wedding” (sense a theme here?) which talks a little about what you should be thinking about when budgeting and how to prioritize in order of importance. In this blog, we’ll get more into what and how much you should budget on all the things wedding planning. First of all... ...CONGRATULATIONS!! You’re engaged! Now what… Let’s talk about...you guessed it, your budget! Here is a general breakdown of a wedding budget: Reception and Rental 48% Photographer/Videographer 12% Wedding Attire 10% Wedding Planner/Coordinator 10% Flowers 8% Entertainment 8% Ceremony 3% Wedding Rings 3% Stationery 3% Gifts 3% Transportation and accommodations 2% Let’s break these down a little more. Reception and Rental 48% This includes things like: Site fee Tableware Tent Chairs Food Linen Dance floor Alcohol Flatware Cake Glassware Tables Lighting And any extras like Photobooth Ice sculptures It is important to keep in mind that depending on your venue of choice, some of these items/services may be included in your site fee. These are things to consider if you are renting a “blank canvas” type of venue meaning that you are renting only the venue, no amenities included. Photographer/Videographer 12% Photographer Prints Albums Videographer DVDs/Blu ray disc If you’re able to, try to choose a photographer that also does videography and ask about their packages. Wedding Attire 10% Wedding gown Veil/headpiece Accessories (garter, earrings, necklaces, purse, etc.) Hair and makeup Lingerie Tux/suit Shoes Flowers 8% Bridal Bouquet Boutonnières Flower girl basket Centerpiece Bridesmaids bouquet Corsages Ceremony flowers Cake flowers Entertainment 8% Ceremony musician Cocktail hour musician Reception music band/DJ Ceremony 3% This includes things like: Ceremony site fee Officiant fee Marriage License Decor If your ceremony is at the same location as your reception, your ceremony site fee may be included in your reception site fee. Wedding Rings 3% This budget is only for the wedding bands, not the engagement ring. Stationery 3% Save the Dates Calligrapher Guest book Place cards Napkins Announcements Stamps Invitations Programs Escort cards Menu cards Boxes or tags for favors Thank you cards Gifts 3% Bridal Attendants Groomsmen Parents of the Bride Parents of the Groom Wedding Attendants (readers, person giving the blessing, grandparents, etc.) Favors Transportation and Accommodations 2% Wedding party transportation Guests transportation Parking Hotel room So what does this look like in real life? Here's a sample budget. Let’s say that you have a $30,000 budget… Reception and Rentals - $13,800 Ceremony - $600 Wedding rings - $600 Stationery - $900 Flowers - $2,400 Photographer/videographer - $3,000 Wedding attire - $2,400 Entertainment - $2,100 Transportation and accommodations - $600 Gifts - $600 Wedding Planner - $3,000 Keep in mind that these numbers can be rearranged and moved around to whatever works for you.. For example, if you are not a flower person and only plan on spending about $1,000 on flowers, then you have about $1,400 to play around with. You can add it to something else like, photographer/videographer or you can keep it and save it for the honeymoon, your choice! Whatever you decide to do, remember that budgeting is very important. You want to make sure that you do your research and go with the vendors that fit your budget. This is where a wedding planner will be of much help. If you are struggling with your budget and need a little more one on one, please feel free to contact me at Von@LovelyEventsbyVon.com to set up a consultation! Happy Planning! xoxo Von Marie Von Marie Moniz is the Owner and DIY Wedding Planning Guru of Lovely Events by Von and Founder of the South Coast Latina and Black Women in Business Networking Group. Lovely Events by Von is all about empowering couples throughout their wedding planning journey by providing a fun, straight-forward and stress free approach to the wedding planning process while helping couples navigate through the overwhelming chaos that is DIY, Pinterest and YouTube videos so that when their day comes, they'll be able to keep calm, stay lovely, party on and enjoy THEIR wedding day!

Getting Married after COVID: Now What?

According to theknot.com “In 2020, COVID's impact on weddings was so significant that 90% of all couples set to wed were affected by the pandemic. Since March 2020, the vast majority of to-be-weds (96% to be exact) have either moved forward with modified wedding plans, or they've altogether postponed their receptions into 2021. But our data from The Knot 2020 Real Weddings Study indicates something more. Weddings won't only be back in late 2021; the next year will be a consolidated period of celebrations. “ The Knot conducts a survey every year and in their recent survey (which was about 7,600 couples across the country who originally set their wedding date between January 1st and December 31st, 2020) they found that one out of every two couples (47%) had rescheduled a reception into the next year. Covid didn’t of course stop everyone from getting married. The survey also shows that about 32% of couples went forward with a minimony or legalizing their union, but still planned to throw a reception in the year ahead. Another 15% of surveyed couples, decided to postpone their 2020 wedding ceremony and reception and after a year of pivoting plans, 60% of couples felt confident about their rescheduled wedding reception. Covid really made things look different for the wedding industry and left many couples and vendors uncertain about the future. If you’re a couple that decided to hold off on picking your date, now is the time to really start thinking about what you want to do. Below, you'll find a few suggestions on how to get the planning ball rolling again! Plan ahead Now that the world has reopened, you’ll find that some venues have had to reschedule other couples because they have to honor their contract. It is unfortunate, but the venue will work with you on another date that works best. It is better to set your date later in the year or early in 2022 to make sure that you get the date that you really want. So be sure to stay a little open minded about your dates. Research and Connect with vendors It’s never too early to connect with vendors. Many are still offering virtual tours and meetings. This would be the perfect time to hire a wedding planner. A wedding planner like me will help you with all of the details. Communicate with your guests Using a wedding website is such a great way to communicate with your guests. You can do almost anything on the website and all you have to do is provide your guests with your personalized wedding website link. You can have them RSVP as well as keep them updated on accommodations or any changes. Be patient with your guests Even though restrictions have been lifted, some family members and friends may still be a little hesitant to travel and that is ok. You may want to still add a virtual component for those that are still not able to travel. Remember, COVID is not TOTALLY gone. Still have a socially distanced layout, as well as masks for those that are not vaccinated or those that are vaccinated and feel more comfortable with a mask and extra hand sanitizer on deck. There’s nothing wrong with taking the proper precautions. It is also a good idea to check in with your venue to see what their regulations are in regards to the pandemic. Be safe and have fun! This is still a wedding and a wedding requires you to have FUN! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly via email at Von@LovelyEventsbyVon.com. XOXO, Von Marie Von Marie Moniz is the Owner and DIY Wedding Planning Guru of Lovely Events by Von. Lovely Events by Von is all about empowering couples throughout their wedding planning journey by providing a fun, straight-forward and stress free approach to the wedding planning process while helping couples navigate through the overwhelming chaos that is DIY, Pinterest and YouTube videos so that when their day comes, they'll be able to keep calm, stay lovely, party on and enjoy THEIR wedding day!

The Guest List : 4 Ways to Trim it Down

Creating your guest list can be one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning. Usually some of the reasons why the guest list can be difficult is because you're either on a tight budget or you have gone over the max allowed at the venue. Now a days, you most likely have to cut your guest list down due to the Coronavirus pandemic. (for the updated guidelines for wedding according to the CDC please click here). Deciding on who gets the invite to your wedding is definitely easier said than done, but no worries, I'm here with some helpful hints on how to handle this dilemma. Set boundaries/rules Make sure that you and your partner have a discussion on who definitely needs to be there, and who you can do without. Have your set of A lists ready. Throw any and all expectations out the window Don’t feel obligated to invite someone that You haven’t spoken to in the last five years Invited you to their wedding and Distant relatives. It is not mandatory to invite someone just because they invited you and just because you have a distant cousin on your Facebook page, doesn’t mean they need to get an invite. They may feel a little hurt, but if you’re trying to save some money, then it needs to be done. If you feel that it is necessary, you can soften the blow by sending them a message or calling them to let them know that they are not invited and this is why. Get rid of "Plus Ones" You can definitely eliminate the plus ones when it comes to family, They will have plenty of people at the wedding to speak to and they should definitely understand that you are trying to save money. I would possibly keep the plus ones for friends who will not know anyone at the wedding and couples that you’re both friends with. It is all up to your discretion of course. If you're feeling pressured to invite everyone on your guest list and assuming that you're wedding will be in 2021 when the pandemic is hopefully under control and that you're not going over the max allowed at the venue. you can considering cutting back in other areas such as: Favors: You don’t always need favors, instead if you’re renting a photo booth then that can be your favor! Food: You can have a buffet or a family style dinner instead of a plated meal. If you’re having a wedding at a non-traditional venue, you can also have a potluck. Venue: This is where you will spend a big chunk of money. Choose a different venue, a non-traditional venue, or one that is less expensive. The Coronavirus has disrupted all of our lives and even though this may not have been your original wedding day plans, remember that you're still getting married to the love of your life, you just have to get a little creative on how you include your loved ones. If you enjoyed this blog, please be sure to subscribe to my mailing list and join my private Facebook group Southern New England Bride, for more wedding related topics! XOXO Von Marie Von Marie Moniz is the Owner and DIY Wedding Planning Guru of Lovely Events by Von and Co-Founder of the Southern New England Bride. Lovely Events by Von is all about empowering couples throughout their wedding planning journey by providing a fun, straight-forward and stress free approach to the wedding planning process while helping couples navigate through the overwhelming chaos that is DIY, Pinterest and YouTube videos so that when their day comes, they'll be able to keep calm, stay lovely, party on and enjoy THEIR wedding day!

Guest Blog: Makeup Artist Sanitation Standards During The Covid19 Pandemic (& Beyond)

We are SO excited to share another guest blog with you this month! Meet Carla Balzano owner of Creative Contour by Carla This Boston MUA specializes in Wedding makeup. She believes that every bride needs to look and feel like the best version of themselves and that’s exactly why you need to hire her! This beauty is extremely talented and we are so excited to have her write our July guest blog!! Here's what Carla had to say about Sanitation Standards During The Covid19 Pandemic (& Beyond) Hey beauties! I am so excited to be featured on the Lovely Events by Von blog! For those of you who don’t know me: hi! I’m Carla, Owner of Creative Contour by Carla. Boston Makeup Artist here! Wedding and special event makeup looks are my specialty! While things are slowly opening up here in Massachusetts, makeup applications are part of phase 2, part 2. As you all know, makeup is a very intimate service where I am in very close proximity to my customers. Of course, as an experienced professional, I take my job very seriously. One of the most important parts of my job is sanitation. Because we are very much still in the midst of the covid19 pandemic, I am taking extra precautions during each Makeup Experience. Today, I am going to discuss each of the extra actions I am taking to keep you safe. 1. Wearing PPE This may sound a bit excessive at first, but remember the close proximity I will be to each client. Wearing PPE, or personal protective equipment, will ensure that I am preventing the spread of any contagious conditions from person to person. The PPE I will be wearing are gloves, face mask, face shield, and hair cap. These items are necessary to prevent the spread of any germs, bacteria, or contagious disease. 2. Separate Brush Sets Per Person Beauties, this is an action that I already take for each group, but I wanted to remind you of its importance. This is the most hygienic way to effectively provide my makeup services for every group. Here’s how it works: once I am finished with one makeup application, I put all of the used brushes in a sealed bag. I do not touch those brushes again until I am home and ready to wash them. 3. Disposable Makeup Palettes If you’ve ever had a professional makeup service, you may have noticed that the artist uses a palette to work off of instead of their hand or directly dipping into each pan (by the way, no makeup artist should ever dip into any pan with their brush directly, cause…ew). I am taking this practice one step further by using disposable palettes instead of my stainless steel palette. While my stainless steel palette is always cleaned in between each person, I’ve found that the most hygienic way is to use a disposable paper palette. 4. Maintaining Strict Cleanliness Procedures Again beauties, this is a practice I’ve always done, but wanted to discuss the importance behind it. I’ve made it my mission throughout my career to maintain a high standard of cleanliness. Yes, my customers do notice this (which I want them to). Unfortunately, I’ve learned this year that cleanliness isn’t always the standard amongst makeup artists. I’m here to say it must be. I’m also giving you permission to call out any makeup artist who does not maintain this standard. So what is my standard of cleanliness? The first huge factor is maintaining clean hands: I always make sure to wash my hands between each person or sanitize them with 70% isopropyl alcohol. This is the best practice to ensure cleanliness for each service. 70% isopropyl alcohol is the federal standard set by the CDC. The next huge factor is scooping out product. This practice alone is a strong preventative action. I sanitize my spatula, then scoop out product onto my palette. You will never see me double-dip a brush into any makeup product in my professional makeup kit. Remember the 70% alcohol? I use that product a lot. I use it to sanitize any tools, outside of brushes. (Remember, I take brushes home to wash them properly.) I also use it to clean my makeup chair and any surface I work on. 5. Using disposable aprons for each customer Beauties, I normally don’t use an apron for each person. Sometimes I get clumsy and drop something, so an apron will prevent your top from getting stained. The disposable aprons I have are paper and can be recycled. 6. Taking Each Person’s Temperature During the pandemic, this will be a necessary practice. I have a contactless thermometer. Depending on what other symptoms the person has, and because of the contagious nature of the covid19 virus, I may have to refuse service as a safety precaution for the rest of the group. 7. Working In A Well-Ventilated Room This step is an absolute necessity. Ventilation is extremely important during this time. 8. Socially Distancing From Others I must socially distance myself, my makeup chair, and full professional kit from others. This includes the room entirely. If you have a large group, please understand that makeup services must be in a completely separate area or room from your group in its entirety. This is the safest option for both your group and me! Beauties, this is part of the job to maintain such a standard. Cleanliness is a huge part of makeup artistry. I will continue to prioritize not only cleanliness, but safety, as well as beautiful makeup! I am so excited to dive back into working (safely)! I hope to see you all in my chair one day soon! If you’re digging my vibe, feel free to check out my website: www.creativecontourbycarla.com and follow me on social media: @creativecontourbycarla! And of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly: creativecontourbycarla@gmail.com! I wish you all good health, safety, and lots of love! <3 Carla

Guest Blog: Quarantine Date Night Tips by First Bite Catering.

We are so excited to have Chef Kelli Mckoy, Owner of First Bite Catering, as a Guest Blogger this week! First Bite Catering specializes in American cuisine with a West Indian flare, appetizers, hors d'oeuvres and more. Besides catering, First Bite Catering also offers healthy options that can be delivered, cooking classes and meal planning as well. Being quarantined has given a lot of us the blues. Usually a good day out would quickly fix that, but since that's not totally possible right now, we wanted some advice on how to make staying in fun. We asked Chef Kelli to share her best advice on creating a fun date night in! Here's what she shared with us! Quarantine Date Night Tips written by Chef Kelli Mckoy of First Bite Catering Before you begin, it is important to visualize what you want your date night to feel and look like. Do you want to conquer this meal on your own or would you rather enlist the help of an expert like a caterer or personal chef. Hiring help will eliminate the stress that comes along with planning. Most chefs will help with not only the cooking, but they will also help create the menu, do the shopping, prepping and even the setup. Whatever you decide, you and your date are on the right track to enjoying a low maintenance night in! Decide on a theme Choose appetizers that are easy to execute and easy to share.. Prep ahead It is best to prep at least the day before. It will make the day of less stressful. Be ready Have an appetizer ready to eat for when your date arrives. It is better to let them have something to munch on while you finish cooking the rest of the food. This will avoid anyone from getting hangry! TIP: A charcuterie board or tomato mozzarella basil skewers w/ a balsamic nectar is one of my favorite goto appetizers. Get the drinks ready Beverages should be easy to grab and ready to drink on ice, in the fridge or out on the table. Whatever you choose to drink. it should pair nicely with what you're having for dinner. Some of my favorite drinks are: A nice Red wine: Kaiken Malbec ($12) A delicious White wine: Frisk Prickly Riesling ($10) Craft beer/ beer: Sixpoint The Crisp Pilsner Golden Road Brewing Mango Cart Sam Adams Porch Rocker Keep it easy and attainable The best appetizer would be one that you can make ahead and easy enough that you can carry on a conversation with your date. Stick to 3-4 appetizers You don't want to go overboard with the appetizers, but you do want to have a few options. You don't want to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that you have to do, this is supposed to be a fun night for you and your honey. Some of my favorite appetizers to make are: (Please visit the First Bite Catering website for more delicious and easy to make recipes!) Charcuterie Board Tomato Mozzarella Basil Skewers w/ a Balsamic Nectar Coconut Shrimp w/ a Sweet Chili Apricot Sauce (recipe at the end of this blog!) Spinach and Artichoke dip Homemade Crostinis Maple BBQ Chicken Wings w/ Ranch or Jerk Chicken Skewers with a Mango Glaze Remember to take it easy on yourself! If you make a mistake on the recipe, it's ok! Things happen, just remember to breathe and go on with the flow. Spending time and enjoying each other's company is the most important part of your date night, eating a delicious home cooked meal is an added bonus! Coconut Shrimp with a Sweet Chili Apricot Sauce Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 10 mins Total time: 30 mins Yields: 4 Servings Ingredients 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 2 large eggs, beaten 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut 1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached vegetable oil or coconut oil* 1 tsp Potlatch Seasoning (sold at Williams Sonoma) or Old Bay's Thai Sweet Chili Sauce works as well. 8-15 oz jar Apricot Preserves Preparation Start with 3 medium bowls. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in one. Beat the eggs in the second bowl. Combine Panko and coconut in the third bowl. Sprinkle shrimp with pot latch or old bay seasoning, then dip the shrimp into the flour, then the eggs, and then dredge the shrimp into the coconut mixing, pressing lightly to make sure to coat the shrimp. You want a lot of coconut on each shrimp. Set the coated shrimp aside on a plate as you coat the remaining shrimp. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet, turn on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Prep a plate lined with a paper towel, set aside. Fry the coconut shrimp in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. About 6-7 at a time. Fry each side for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Place the finished coconut shrimp on a plate lined with a paper towel as you fry the rest. Serve with a sweet chili apricot sauce (which is 1 part Thai sweet sauce chili sauce to 2 parts apricot preserves). Enjoy Thank you so much to Chef Kelli Mckoy for sharing her date night tips and tricks! Please be sure to follow First Bite Catering on Facebook and Instagram, visit her website for more awesome recipes, or send her an email, kellimckoy@firstbite-catering.com, to book her for your next event! Always remember, Keep Calm, Stay Lovely and Party On! XOXO, Von Marie Von Marie Moniz is the Owner and DIY Wedding Planning Guru of Lovely Events by Von and Co-Founder of The DIY Blushing Bride. Lovely Events by Von is all about empowering couples throughout their wedding planning journey by providing a fun, straight-forward and stress free approach to the wedding planning process while helping couples navigate through the overwhelming chaos that is DIY, Pinterest and YouTube videos so that when their day comes, they'll be able to keep calm, stay lovely, party on and enjoy THEIR wedding day!

How to Reduce Stress While Planning Your Wedding

We all know that planning a wedding, especially with little to no outside help, can be very stressful. It’s easy for us to let our brain wander into negative land but, there are a few ways that you can mentally prepare yourself before your wedding day! Assess the situation Sit and really think about the things that you know you can handle and what you know you’ll need support with. Be very honest with yourself and everyone around you. Being self-aware about the things that will cause you stress and having a plan on how to manage it will definitely help keep the stress level at bay! Schedule in some “Me” Time It is so important to make time for some R&R. Planning a wedding is hard work, man! Make time to (virtually) hang out with friends, family and most importantly, your significant other. Pamper yourself with an in-home spa day, Netflix nights, Zoom calls with friends and family, or even just schedule naps! Whatever will help relax and declutter your mind for a day! Keep Everything organized Calendars, journals and folders will be your new best friend. Keep all of your contracts organized both hard copies and digitals in a physical folder and in a folder on your computer. Keep your calendars up to date with appointments and keep an organized journal with questions and notes from your meetings with vendors. Delegate tasks If you start getting overwhelmed with everything on your to-do list, don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own. Although larger tasks like making calls and scheduling appointments with vendors is better for the couple to do, don’t be afraid to ask for help with smaller tasks like, addressing and stuffing envelopes, centerpieces and favors creations. This will give you enough time to focus on the bigger tasks like getting in touch with your vendors and keeping track of your appointments. Choose the right vendor team If you’re planning your wedding without the help of a wedding planner, be sure to do your research and meet with as many vendors as possible. Building the trust and making sure you are constantly communicating ESPECIALLY during this pandemic is extremely important. Like any relationship, open and honest communication is key. Hire a Planner The job of a wedding planner is to make sure that everything is running smoothly. If you are finding it difficult to juggle all of the vendors, you may want to consider hiring someone. A planner is going to be a major resource when it comes to vendors and keeping the stress at a minimum. Visualize the wedding day going well Don’t think about what can go wrong. Visualize the morning of, the ceremony and how your wedding party is going to remember the order in which to stand at the altar. Visualize the reception and how everything is going to run close to on time and everyone is going to eat, dance, and enjoy making memories with the happy couple. Invite all of the happy thoughts and do not let the negative cloud your mind. Things may not go as planned, but remember the importance of the day. No matter what happens, you’re going to marry your best friend, and that’s all that matters. If you enjoyed this blog, please be sure to subscribe to my mailing list and join my private Facebook group The DIY Blushing Bride, for more wedding related topics! Happy Planning! XOXO, Von Marie Von Marie Moniz is the Owner and DIY Wedding Planning Guru of Lovely Events by Von and Co-Founder of The DIY Blushing Bride.

Lovely Events by Von is all about empowering couples throughout their wedding planning journey by providing a fun, straight-forward and stress free approach to the wedding planning process while helping couples navigate through the overwhelming chaos that is DIY, Pinterest and YouTube videos so that when their day comes, they'll be able to keep calm, stay lovely, party on and enjoy THEIR wedding day! #CoronaBride #DIYWeddings #TheDIYBlushingBride #CoronaGroom #Wedding2020 #Wedding2021 #COVID19 #Coronavirus #WeddingTIps #WeddingPlanning #WeddingCoordiator #HowTo #Guide #DecreasingWeddingStress #WeddingStress

How to Postpone your Wedding due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In these unprecedented times, couples getting married in August are starting to reschedule their weddings. I’ve seen many couples that are wanting to hold off, but some of the venues rather be safe than sorry and will either refund your deposit or reschedule you to a later date.

As of today, the CDC has not updated their official statement on its website and gatherings are still limited to no more than 10 people. I know that this has been EXTREMELY stressful for our couples, but below is a guide on the steps that you should take when postponing your wedding due to the coronavirus. Talk it Over with your Partner. It is so important to be on the same page as your partner, talk about your feelings, and form a united front. Not everyone is going to understand the pain and disappointment that comes with having to reschedule your wedding, especially after all of the hard work, time and money that you’ve put into your big day. Take the time to grieve over the change of date and then come back strong for your plan B! Your Venue should be your First Contact. If you are wanting to keep the same plans, just a different date, the venue should be your first call. They will let you know what dates they have available. Once you get a couple of dates from your venue, then contact your vendors with these options.

Let your Vendors know your Decision Right Away. As I mentioned on my previous post from April 17th, Covid -19 vs. Your Wedding, Communication is key! It is so important to talk to your vendors about possible dates because as you can imagine, we are going to be bombarded with so many calls from couples that will be getting married next year. It is also important to keep in mind that your vendor may be a small business owner. This means that they have been impacted by COVID 19 financially if they are parents, they will need to find additional childcare. With daycares and schools canceled, they will need as much of a heads up as possible.

Be Flexible with your day. Try to keep an open mind when you are rescheduling. Saturday dates are very popular so rescheduling for another Saturday next year may not be possible or you’d have to push it into 2022 for some of the venues. Consider some other days of the week, like a Monday, Thursday, Friday or Sunday. Your guests will still attend, I promise, especially because any of those days can be turned into a long weekend! Not to mention, you may also get a better deal during the off season AND on a date during the week! Review your Wedding Insurance. If you have taken the extra step of securing insurance for your wedding, you’ll very quickly want to contact your insurance agent to find out whether something like this is covered. Most of the time, it’s a no, but this is something that has never happened before, so they may be able to work with you! You never know, but it doesn’t hurt to try!

Think about what you’re going to say to your Guests. I know, this part is super scary but it doesn’t have to be. Your guests WILL UNDERSTAND and trust me, they are also wondering what the plan. Keep your guests in the loop and be straightforward and to the point. If you have a wedding website, you can relay your message via your site or even on Facebook if you’d like. You may want to think about calling your older guests. You can split the list between you, your partner and maybe even your parents to help with those calls.

Think about ways to help your guests. I know that this is your day and you’re trying to deal with the rescheduling of the date, but there are small things that you can do to help out some of your guests. If you have a room block, you can reach out to the hotel to see if you can negotiate a full or partial refund on behalf of your guests. This is a great way to show your appreciation for your guests.

Celebrate the Day Anyway. No matter what, this date will still hold significance and you should still make it feel special. Plan a fancy date night, order from your favorite restaurant, have some champagne, and just enjoy your night! If you enjoyed this blog, please be sure to subscribe to my mailing list and join my private Facebook group The DIY Blushing Bride, for more wedding related topics! XOXO, Von Marie Von Marie Moniz is the Owner and DIY Wedding Planning Guru of Lovely Events by Von and Co-Founder of The DIY Blushing Bride. Lovely Events by Von is all about empowering couples throughout their wedding planning journey by providing a fun, straight-forward and stress free approach to the wedding planning process while helping couples navigate through the overwhelming chaos that is DIY, Pinterest and YouTube videos so that when their day comes, they'll be able to keep calm, stay lovely, party on and enjoy THEIR wedding day! #CoronaBride #DIYWeddings #TheDIYBlushingBride #CoronaGroom #Wedding2020 #Wedding2021 #COVID19 #Coronavirus #WeddingTIps #WeddingPlanning #WeddingCoordiator #HowTo #Guide

How to host an EPIC virtual Cinco de Mayo Party!

Being quarantined has not been fun for a lot of us, BUT many of us have been finding different ways to stay busy and most importantly, stay virtually connected! If you’re someone that likes to celebrate Cinco de Mayo ( or even if you’re not) then this epic virtual party is right up your alley. So what is Cinco de Mayo? Cinco de Mayo literally means 5th of May in Spanish and it is often mistaken to be Mexico’s independence day, but it’s actually not. It is a day that signifies the underdog victory over France in the battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It’s also considered a relatively minor holiday in Mexico. Cinco de Mayo started to gain popularity in the United States in the early 1960s when many Mexican-American activists entrenched in the country’s growing civil rights movement used the day as a source of pride. Close to two decades later, in 1989, an ad campaign by an import of beers like Modelo and Corona was introduced around the day. The campaign was initially targeted toward Latinos but eventually broadened with print and TV ads. This year, Corona’s website featured a ticking “Countdown to Corona de Mayo” in the hours leading up to May 5.” ( Please click here to read more about this fascinating history) Choose your video conferencing platform - Zoom or Google Hangouts: If you weren’t familiar with these video chat platforms, I’m sure you are now! Both have great advantages, but I do prefer Zoom because you’re able to see everyone at the same time instead of only having the “speaker” view option. Both of these platforms are free to use. Take a look into both and makeup your mind on which one you prefer. I will say however, that the Zoom free version allows 45 minutes to chat. Create and send out your invites - After you decide which video conference platform you’re going to use, create your invites! I personally LOVE using a website called Canva. It is free to sign up and you can find useful templates that you can edit and make your own. After you’ve done this, you can post it on your personal facebook/Instagram page or send the invites out individually. Find the perfect space - Pick the best spot in your house and get to decorating. You want to make sure that there aren't too many distractions behind you, except for whatever decorations you're able to put out. Definitely make sure that you have enough lighting as well! Decorate your space - Colorful decorations are the way to go! Get as creative as you can with paper flowers, Mexican flags, balloons, piñatas, maraca’s etc,. I know we are in quarantine, but if you are able to get to a Walmart while you’re out doing your weekly grocery shopping trip, then you should be able to find a few items there! Cocktails! - Pick a Margarita to make ( I love using Pinterest for this, check these out) send out the recipe to your guests and have a blast! You can either have fun making the cocktails together or have them ready by the start of the party! Are you wanting to keep it healthy? Not a problem, I got this really great tip from my neighbor… get some vodka and mix it with a little Crystal light! Yum! Mexican themed dinner - A great Mexican theme has to have tacos and nachos! You can also have guacamole and salsa to munch on before dinner starts. Get the tunes ready - Every party needs some music. Get your favorite playlist and set the mood right! Games - I love me a good Trivia night. Find some fun games that you can play online or make up your own. HAVE FUN! Just because we can’t be in the same room, doesn’t mean we still can’t have fun and if you're lucky enough to be quarantined with your family then these are some fun ideas that you can also do with them! Always remember to keep calm, stay lovely and party on! xoxo, Von Marie Von Marie Moniz is the Owner and DIY Wedding Planning Guru of Lovely Events by Von and Co-Founder of The DIY Blushing Bride. Lovely Events by Von is all about empowering couples throughout their wedding planning journey by providing a fun, straight-forward and stress free approach to the wedding planning process all while helping couples navigate through the overwhelming chaos that is DIY, Pinterest and YouTube videos so that when their day comes, they'll be able to keep calm, stay lovely, party on and enjoy THEIR wedding day!

COVID-19 vs Your Wedding: Planning your Wedding During a Pandemic.

Wedding planning is already stressful enough, but throw in a pandemic and the normal pre-wedding jitters are now so small compared to how the Coronavirus may impact your big day. There is so much running through a couples mind right now. Invites have already been mailed. Should you postpone your wedding? Is it so bad if you still have a wedding even though we’ve all been advised to practice social distancing? What’s the best way to handle all of this and how will you be able to prepare? As of March 15 2020, the CDC has recommended that all large gatherings be postponed for the next eight weeks. So if your wedding is in June then you may not have anything to worry about, but it does help to have a plan B just in case. (Read more about the CDC statement here) The most important thing to remember is that having open and honest conversations with all vendors is going to be crucial. Stay up to date with the news as it pertains to large gatherings and do not stress out about any of this! This is something that we have never dealt with before, so of course it is scary, but it also means that vendors will try their hardest to accommodate for your new date. So what should you do? If you’re getting married after May - I am not recommending that you postpone your wedding as of right now but it doesn’t hurt to talk with your venue to see what your options are as far as dates. I would recommend keeping the new date to late 2020 or early 2021 if you can. Because there are so many couples that may need to postpone their wedding, you may also find yourself getting married on a day other than a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. It’s ok! The day doesn't matter, although a weekday wedding is going to save you money, what matters most is that you get to celebrate with your closest family and friends. Keep your vendors in the loop - After you speak to the venue contact your vendors and have an open and honest conversation with them. Talk about possibly needing to postpone, cancellation and rescheduling policies. You have to remember that this is all new for EVERYONE. It’s ok to not have a clear answer right now, as long as it’s all worked out in a reasonable amount of time. Keep them updated on any future date that you are looking into and come up with a plan on when a tough decision will need to be made. Keep your guests in the loop - If you have a wedding website, Facebook or Instagram, this would be a great time to update your guests with what the backup plan is. Your guests will have questions and it is good to be proactive. Let them know that you’ve been watching the news closely and you know things are crazy right now but you will update them as soon as you guys figure things out yourselves. If you’re able to give them a timeframe of when you will inform your guests about a possible postponement. Keep that line of communication open at all times! Consider a Virtual Ceremony - If you’d like to keep your original ceremony date, it’s not a bad idea to live stream or zoom in your friends and family for the ceremony and then have your big reception after the pandemic. Talk to your officiant to see if they are up to it, I'm sure they will be! Plan for a smaller guest count - Some may not be able to make it to your backup date and others may still be afraid of flying and getting sick, and that’s ok. Try to focus on the positives and don't worry so much about the things that are out of your control. Hold off on major decisions - If you’re getting married in 2021, it is best to hold off on any major decisions right now. Things are so uncertain at this time but there’s plenty of time to plan for 2021. Keep doing your research just hold off on putting any large deposits down until we get a better feel of what the rest of year will bring. Hire a planner - Now is the perfect time to hire a planner. We are here to help when things get crazy. If you’re postponing your wedding, we will be here to help you figure out all vendors' situations and to guide you on the next steps. We will also be here to listen and let you vent when things get hard. I know that it is easier said than done, but don’t stress out! I promise, you are not alone in this. Reach out to your vendors, wedding Facebook groups, friends and family members. We will get through this together. Your big day is coming, it just may take a little longer than expected. Whatever you do, keep it positive and always remember... Keep Calm, Stay Lovely, Party on!! xoxo, Von Marie Von Marie Moniz is the Owner and DIY Wedding Planning Guru of Lovely Events by Von and Co-Founder of The DIY Blushing Bride. Lovely Events by Von is all about empowering couples throughout their wedding planning journey by providing a fun, straightforward and stress free approach to the wedding planning process all while helping couples navigate through the overwhelming chaos that is DIY, Pinterest and YouTube videos so that when your day comes, you'll be able to keep calm, stay lovely, party on and enjoy YOUR wedding day!

Ten Thanksgiving Traditions that you Should Definitely Try this year!

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that you either LOVE or you can kinda sorta do without. But even so, for most of us, it is the one time a year that we can get together with our families and closest friends to share a meal and some laughs. One of the best things about spending this time with loved ones are the traditions that you build along the way. I'm sharing a few of my favorite traditions that I've either experienced myself or have heard about from others. I hope that for this holiday season you get to enjoy some old and new traditions! 1. Binge watch a new show or a new one. After the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, turn on a favorite or new show! You can start this at any time during the day but whatever you decide to do, make sure that it's a show that everyone will enjoy. 2. Celebrate everyone's birthday. Bake or buy (no judgment!) a cake and celebrate everyone's birthday. This is especially fun if you only get to see your guests during the holidays. 3. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. It is an amazing feeling when you get to help others that are in need. Volunteer at any local kitchen or organization that is serving food to those that are less fortunate. The kitchen will always appreciate your time and those eating there will too. 4. Try a Turkey Trot. I know, running is not the first thing you think of when you think about Thanksgiving but why not try something new?! The food will be oh so satisfying after a nice 5k. 5. Keepsake Tablecloth. Use a white tablecloth and permanent markers to write down all the things that you are thankful for this past year. Wash the tablecloth on the gentle cycle and store it away for the next year. Bring it back out the following year and do it all over again. Take the time to reflect on any changes, whether good or bad, and challenge yourself to do better. 6. Create crafts with the kids! Either before, during or after dinner, this will be a fun way to connect with your littles. Go the extra step and display their work of art for all your guests to see! 7. Take a Thanksgiving family trip. You can stay as close or travel as far from home as you'd like to or are able to. The time away as a family will surely help with bonding time. 8. Toast all around. Before dinner starts, take the time to go around the table, and have everyone mention at least three things of what or why they are thankful for this year. 9. Leftover Party. This is perfect for a Friendsgiving the day or weekend after Thanksgiving. Get together to share some of your Thanksgiving leftovers and some laughs or family horror stories! 10. Squeeze in a little alone time. Yes, of course you want to spend time with your loved ones, but the day can be so exhausting and overwhelming that you may end up not fully enjoying your day. Go for a hike, get your nails done, or just take a nap. Anything you need to do to recharge. Shit happens, and life can become very unpredictable but try to remember that this is just one moment in time and if you're up for the challenge, things will change for the better. Whatever you decide to do or wherever you decide to go for this holiday season, always be grateful for the things that you do have and have been able to accomplish. Happy Thanksgiving, Loves! Wife and mother of two young children, Von Marie Moniz is the Event Planner and Owner of Lovely Events by Von. Clients love her bubbly personality and attention to detail. Planning is what she does, relaxing and enjoying yourself is what you will be doing when you hire Von for your next event. #familytime #family #friends #lovedones #love #dinner #holiday #holidays #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdinner #thanksgivngleftovers #gathering #planning #dinnerplans

5 Fun Ways to Live your Best Life on this Fourth of July

Independence Day, more commonly known as the "Fourth of July" or "Da Fourth" is here! July 4th is the anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776. Many in the United States love celebrating this holiday and I am one of those people that loves to celebrate with being at the beach or in a pool, grilling outside, consuming many alcohol beverages, responsibly of course and fireworks. For my family, we usually head over to my in laws for a low key gathering, other years have been different and sometimes adventurous. If you don't have any plants yet, and still thinking about what to do here are some of the many ways that you to celebrate. 1. You can stick to the traditional route and take a trip to the beach or the pool, grill some food outside and have some fun with family and friends. If you're hosting a large-ish group, you want to make sure that you have enough food, drinks and entertainment to go around. TIPS: Don't be afraid to ask your friends to bring a dish or alcohol to the party. Most people will be ok with bringing something to a cookout. This is especially helpful when you're on a tight budget. Lawn games are always a great way to entertain. Giant Jenga, Horseshoes, Bocce, Giant Connect 4, Bucket Ball, the possibilities are endless. If you're able to, set up different games around your yard to help facilitate movement around your home. Music is another great way to entertain, many of us have bluetooth speakers, but if you don't Walmart, Target, and even Five Below will have speakers at a very reasonable price. Create a playlist from your Apple Music, Spotify or Pandora and just let the late 90's and early 00's hits play! 2. Go on a road trip. If you're able to take a few days off from work, then plan ahead and take a mini road trip. Go to a water park, camping, or keep it REALLY spontaneous and figure out your destination while on the road! TIPS: Pack the essentials, but try to keep the baggage to a minimum. Give yourself some spare time just in case you run into something unexpected. Take lots of pictures to document the journey. 3. "Take me out to the ball game!" Yes! Baseball. You can make it a family night, make it a boys night, or make it a girls night! Surrounding yourself with other hardcore Red Sox fans is sure to be an interesting and fun night. TIPS: Head out to Fenway early enough because it gets CROWDED! You want to make sure that you're able to find parking and enough time to walk in to the ballpark. Really love this idea but didn't buy tickets. Well, you can still buy some! Just click here.You're welcome. ​​4. Parade! There's always a parade for the fourth of July and most of the cities/towns will post the schedule ahead of time. It's not going to take up your whole day, but you can start with a parade and still have time to do other things. TIPS: If you're going to the parade with little ones, finding a prime spot is crucial. If you live close by the parade route, you can set up camp early and walk over to your saved spot once everyone is ready to go. It may be hot, make sure to pack plenty of water and pack some sunscreen. 5. Outdoor Movie Night. Get yourself a projector, find the best spot in your yard to project the movie on. Pick a movie, set out blankets, get plenty of snacks and have a blast watching a movie marathon. It's cheaper, less crowded and much more comfortable then going to the drive in. TIPS: You can purchase a projector from Amazon. If it was a last minute thought and you can't get one online, try Walmart or Target, however, it might cost a little more and not every location carries a projector. You can also try your local Best Buy. You can build your own screen by having a dark sheet behind a white sheet and weighting down the bottoms of the sheets so it doesn't flap in the wind. Adding the black sheet to the white sheet will create a clean and crisp image! A white wall will work as well. Whatever you decide to do, be sure that it's done in great Patriotic style! Always remember to be safe and drink responsibly. ​ ​HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY XXX Wife and mother of two young children, Von Marie Moniz is the Event Planner and Owner of Lovely Events by Von. Clients love her bubbly personality and attention to detail. Planning is what she does, relaxing and enjoying yourself is what you will be doing when you hire Von for your next event. #july #fourthofjuly #partyplanning #partyplanner #familytime #movienight #baseball #familyinvolvrment #home #bachelorpartyplanning #celebrate #happy #holiday #weddingplanner

How to Host The best Stress-FREE Thanksgiving Ever!

November is officially in full swing and that means that Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Thanksgiving in a Hispanic home is always full of laughter, delicious food and lots of love. It's a time to give Thanks for the many blessings you've come across in the past year, and it is also the time to let your loved ones know how much you care about them and how grateful you are to have them in your life. That being said, Thanksgiving can also be very stressful for a lot of hosts, so here are a few tips on how to host the best Thanksgiving ever, without the stress. Set your time - Let everyone know what time they can start showing up. Set your budget - It's very important to set a spending budget for your Thanksgiving dinner because it is so easy to overspend on food. Set your budget and stick to it as best as you can. Create your guest list - This will help determine how much food is required to feed everyone. Stay on top of your guest list - Just because there's an RSVP date, doesn't mean that everyone will stick to it unfortunately. Reach out to everyone on the RSVP date to see if they are coming or not. Take it a step further and contact everyone a week before to make sure that they are still coming. Plan your menu - Ask your guests if they have any allergies or dietary needs. Don't go overboard - You don't need seven different cornbread or five different veggies. Definitely have variety, but don't feel the need to make so many different things. Keep it Simple - Thanksgiving Day is not the time to get fancy, so if you're looking to try out a new recipe, definitely try it out a few times before the day. It is let stressful when you stick to recipes that you know and are comfortable making. Stay Organized - Make a list of the things that needs to get done, and what you need to buy. If you've enlisted the help of others, make sure to keep a list of who's bringing what. Gather the Troops - Never turn down help and don't be afraid to ask for help! Do what you can ahead of time - cut your veggies, make your potato salad, defrost and season your turkey/meat, clean and set up as much as possible. This will save you so much time on the day of! If you want to completely skip over all of the cooking stress.... Pot Luck! Have everyone bring a dish and keep tabs on who's bringing what! Remember to relax, have fun and have a wonderful Thanksgiving :) Wife and mother of two young children, Von Marie Moniz is the Event Planner and Owner of Lovely Events by Von. Clients love her bubbly personality and attention to detail. Planning is what she does, relaxing and enjoying yourself is what you will be doing when you hire Von for your next event. #stressfree #host #bride #thanksgiving #dinner #family #gathering #gettogether #food #chef #love #planner #eventsmanagement #hispanichome #latinaboss #mombos #mompreneur #bossbabe #chictribe