Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Come On, Vamanos! It's a Dora Fiesta!

*Singing* - Come on vamanos, everybody let's go!!!!!!

My twin daughters, Aaliya & Alexis love Dora the Explorer. So, it was really a no-brainer when it was time to decide on a theme for their 3rd birthday party: a Dora Fiesta!!! I am so excited because I have some really great ideas for the party and I've been working on some really fun and cute DIY projects. As usual, i'm really anxious to see how everything comes together. I only have one MAJOR concern: the weather, ugh! Their birthday is at the end of January, so it's usually raining (keeping fingers crossed that it doesn't this year) or super cold. Either way, I'm sure we'll have a blast!

Here is a photo of me and the twins at 2 years old....awww, they grow up sooo fast!

I'll be posting from time to time with updates on the party so you'll definitely want to stay tuned.

Until next time, happy planning!

Nikola Ahaiwe
Platinum Touch Events
(310) 722-2873

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Floral Eye Candy

OMG, I spotted this on the Lemiga Events blog and just HAD to share.  If you look really closely, you'll see  a yellow zipper attached to the leaf! How creative is that!!!  The floral arrangement was designed by StudioWed Atlanta vendor, The Savage Garden, for the Atlantan Brides Evening of Luxury event.  Here are a few more pics for your viewing pleasure:


Now that is what I call attention to detail! I am a firm believer that the smallest details can make the biggest impact, and this definately backs up my theory!

To see the entire tablescape, and more pics from the event, click here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving: Preston Bailey Style!

I've spent the entire day trying to recover from the 4-day weekend. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving, shared with the people that matter to me most: my family! This was my first year cooking the Thanksgiving meal, and I have to say, I am very proud of myself because it came out great!

So, this morning, I was scoping out the blogosphere (one of my daily routines), and I came across a post on Preston Bailey's blog showcasing how he celebrated Thanksgiving with his family. I was impressed to say the least.  This man truly does everything BIG! If you don't know who Preston Bailey is, I suggest you Google him ASAP. His work is absolutely phenomenal. 

Check out a few photos of a Thanksgiving celebration done Preston Bailey style:

The flower arrangements are STUNNING!

Simply gorgeous!

So much attention to detail.

What better way to say "Thanks" than with cash?

The dinner was held at his NYC studio for 50 of his closest friends and family members. Now, that is a Thanksgiving celebration I would have loved to crash! For more photos, check out Preston's blog.

Nikola Ahaiwe
Owner/Lead Coordinator
Platinum Touch Events
(310) 722-2873

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Art of Negotiation

Illustration by Cheryl A. Pamplin

Want to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to choosing your wedding vendors? Below are five tips to help you negotiate the best possible prices and services:
1. Stick To Your Budget
Before meeting with any vendors, sit down and create a realistic budget for your wedding.  Create a list of the different types of vendors you will be working with and the maximum amount you are able to spend on each service. Once you have the numbers in your head, it will be harder to lose sight of your ultimate goal. If a vendor offers packages, they may be willing to tweak it to fit your budget.

2. Do Your Homework
A good strategy for negotiating with vendors is to know what their competitors are charging for similar services.  Get an itemized quote from each vendor you meet with, then make a comparison. Use this as leverage in your negotiation.  If another vendor is offering more bang for your buck, point it out to your vendor of choice and see if it would be possible to throw in a few extra services or provide a discount to make up the difference.

3. Be Willing To Compromise
The are of negotiation is all about give and take. A vendor is more likely to oblige your request if you are willing to meet somewhere in the middle. Don't walk into an appointment with the mentality that you are going to get the vendor to lower their price or you'll walk away.  Find a way to compromise. Perhaps your venue may extend a discount if you have your reception on a non-peak night (think weekdays, or maybe even an afternoon reception),  or ask your photographer to throw in a few extra shots if you agree to use him/her for your engagement photos. Remember, negotiating is not about getting something for nothing. It's all about finding a happy medium.

4. Don't Be Afraid To Ask
Have you ever heard the term "closed mouths don't get fed"? Well, when it comes to negotiating, this statement couldn't be any more true.  If you want something, simply ask. The worst that can happen is that you'll be told no, but usually it's a "No, but what I can do is..." More often than not, vendors are willing to be flexible...within reason. After all, there goal is to please you, the client. The bottom line is if you don't ask for what you want, you run the risk of not getting what you want.

5. Be Nice, But Firm
The right choice of words and tone of voice is the key to negotiating successfully. Always be polite when asking for a discount or upgrade, never give the impression that it is your way or the highway. It is a proven fact that most people respond favorably to kindness. But remember, don't let your kindness be mistaken for weakness. Be very clear and direct about what it is you are asking for, in the nicest way possible. Don't forget to smile!

Remember, the goal is not just to get a vendor to come down on their price, but to be sure you are getting the most value for your money.  Never insult a vendor by demanding you get a certain price. You will be working with professionals who are experienced in their particular field, so they should be paid as such!

Happy Planning!

Nikola Ahaiwe
Owner/Lead Coordinator
Platinum Touch Events
(310) 722-2873

Friday, November 12, 2010

Trend Alert: Swag Tables

If you've been following along with the blog (which I hope you have!!!!!!), you will know I have an OBSESSION for dessert tables.  I absolutely love how well they work with practically any type of occasion, from large events such as weddings, to smaller celebrations, like birthday parties.

I recently came across a post from one of my favorite blogs, Hostess with the Mostess, that mentioned a new popular trend: Swag Tables! Now, call me easily excitable, but I was swooning over this new concept. A "Swag Table" is set up as an alternative to the traditional party favor.  Instead of picking ONE favor to send guests home with, you can create a buffet of favors, giving your guests several options to choose from (who doesn't like options???).  You can also add an activity section to the table, where guests can make their own creations to take as a favor.

Check out the Hollywood-themed swag table Jenn of Hostess with the Mostess designed for a segment of FX  Network's DVD on TV:

Loves it!!!!! I can't wait for the opportunity to create a swag table at my next party!

Nikola Ahaiwe
Owner/Lead Coordinator
Platinum Touch Events
(310) 722-2873

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween Dessert Table

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of creating a dessert table for a Halloween party.  I'm pretty pleased with how it all came together.  There was no specific "theme", but I worked around the color scheme of orange, purple, and black: classic Halloween colors! Here are a few pics:

"Mummy Treats"

"Liquid Death"

Halloween Dessert Table

"Poison Cupcakes"

Another shot of the "Poison Cupcakes"

Spiders dangled from the cupcake tier

A close-up of the "Mummy Treats"

My favorite detail: the skeletons on the candy jars

Eyeballs in the drinks made for a nice touch!

I hand-made these paper pom-pom flowers in the color theme for the table and hung them from the ceiling.

The drinks: "Beetle Goo"

The drinks: "Witch's Bubbly Brew"

The drinks: "Spider's Juice"

The drinks: "Liquid Death"

Candy Corn, Laffy Taffy, Orange Slices, & Peach Gummy Rings for the candy section

Creating dessert tables is quickly becoming one of my faves! Leave a comment, and let me know what you think. If you would like Platinum Touch Events to create a custom dessert table for your next party, event, or holiday gathering, email me at


Monday, October 25, 2010

WUW's Blissful Wishes Ball/Auctions

Wish Upon a Wedding is the world's first nonprofit wish granting organization that provides weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances. Less than one year old, the organization has 16 active chapters, and
will have granted 12 wishes by the end of 2010. 
During the month of November, they are hosting several fund raising galasand auctions throughout the country, and would like to invite you to participate.

Whether you are a bride or groom to be, a wedding industry professional, or you simply love the concept behind their mission... YOU can help make Wedding Wishescome true, while raising crucial funding needed to sustain this wonderful, new nonprofit organization.

Here's How:

 A Gala Celebration to Benefit Wish Upon a Wedding

The Blissful Wishes Ball is a festive way to support Wish Upon a Wedding.  Enjoy a nice night out on the town with an elegant dinner, entertainment, music, dancing, and incredible auction items.


For the first time in history, couples getting married can plan their entire wedding from virtually any city in the United States, knowing that every penny they spend will go
directly towards helping a couple in need.  It's so EASY to bid.  Find everything from
invitations to flowers, catering to DJs, photography to wedding planners, honeymoons and more.

Simply visit their online auction site here to choose from hundreds of items from the industry's best vendors.

Even if you are not getting married, check it out for other exciting items, such as dinners in top-rated restaurants, entertainment, sporting events and popular autographed memorabilia. Every cent earned goes towards Wish Upon a Wedding and their mission to provide these heartfelt Wedding Wishes.

About Wish Upon a Wedding

Founded in January of 2010 by CA wedding planner, Liz Guthrie of San Jose Wedding Consultants, Wish Upon a Wedding was created to help couples who did not have the time, money, resources or strength to plan a wedding on their own, because of terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances. The organization now celebrates the courage, determination and spirit of these couples by granting their dream wedding wishes. It is their goal that chosen recipients can inspire other couples facing similar situations to find hope and strength, while raising awareness for terminal illness.


Growing up with a sister who was deaf since birth, and raised by parents who ran a board and care home for people facing numerous disabilities and life hardships, Liz learned early on to value the many blessings in life, and the importance of helping others. Volunteering throughout her life for a variety of nonprofit organizations, Liz was looking for a way to combine weddings and community service. 

After producing the San Francisco Dream Wedding Giveaway in 2009, a contest in which onlyone couple would be granted a dream wedding, Liz came up with a way to merge her two passions. While going through the process of giving the wedding "prize" to a woman suffering from stage IV Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Liz  created Wish Upon a Wedding. Overnight, Liz decided to change wedding history, and the way we give, by launching a nonprofit organization that was totally unique and had never existed before.


Supported by industry leaders such as Sasha Souza, David Beahm, Stella Inserra, Jenny Orsini, Kevin Covey, Stacie Francombe, SylviaWeinstock, Steve Kemble, Mindy Weiss, Mary Dann, and Ivy Robinson (to name just a few), the organization has experienced rapid growth and seen voracious acceptance throughout the country.
To date, eight couples have benefited from the generous work of Wish Upon a Wedding. Over 4,000 volunteers have signed up to become Wish Granters. Their facebook page has attracted over 10,000 fans. None of this would be possible without public support.  

In Loving Memory of Wish Recipients who have Passed On

Dani and Tony married in St Louis on September 1. She passed away September 30th. Dani had suffered from Cystic Fibrosis since age 3, and had recently received a double lung transplant.


Florence and Micheal married near Sacramento on March 13. She passed away on September 28. Florence battled stage IV breast cancer, andwas diagnosed with six months to live at the time of her wedding.


Shelly and Jay married in Seattle on May 2.  Shelly passed away three weeks later. She had been battling a rare type of cancerous lymphoma, and Jay suffered from Multiple Sclerosis.

Please help Wish Upon a Wedding continue to do great things.

Attend a Gala.
Donate to or bid in the auctions.

And help them spread the word, by sharing this article with your friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances.

 You CAN make a difference in someone's life today!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Fairy Tale Come True

When a bride-to-be is asked how she would like to look on her wedding day, the most common response is "I want to look like a princess"!  With the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo collection, brides can do just that! The collection consists of 7 stylish gowns inspired by the Disney princesses (Jasmine, Ariel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Tiana, Belle, and Cinderella) most of us grew up watching.

Take a look at this video to get a sneak peek inside the collection and see how the Disney princess' unique styles were incorporated into each dress.

The collection will hit stores early 2011 and will range in price from $599-$1199.  Now that's a fairy tale come true!

"The Platinum Planner"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wish Upon a Wedding

Wish Upon a Wedding is the world's first non-profit wedding wish granting organization for couples facing terminal illness and serious life-altering circumstances.  The organization's focus is to bring joy to these couples by giving them the wedding of their dreams without thought to the challenges they are facing in life.

In it's first year, Wish Upon a Wedding (WUW) has managed to open more than a dozen chapters to serve Wish applicants.  Wedding vendors across the US have generously sponsored products and services to the organization to help support this wonderful cause.

Yesterday, the organization posted a sad announcement on their national Facebook page: their first-ever wish recipient had succumbed to cancer.  They also posted a link to the story of the couple's wedding.  After reading the story, I was overcome with emotion.  It was at that moment I realized the impact that this organization has made, and will continue to make, on many lives.  It was also at that moment that I decided that I wanted to be a part of this amazing movement that is helping to celebrate more than just the union of two people, but is helping to celebrate LIFE.

As a wedding planner, I am fortunate to be a part of one of the most special days of a person's life: their wedding day.   I can only imagine how much more special it is to a couple that has been burdened with terminal illness of a loved one.  So, in saying all this, I have decide to apply to become a wish granter for Wish Upon a Wedding.  It would be my pleasure to assist in any way possible to such a wonderful cause.

If you, or anyone you know, could benefit from the services of Wish Upon a Wedding, visit their website or call (877) 305-WISH to find out how you can submit a wish application.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What's Happening - October 2010

It's that time again: another round up fabulous wedding events happening in SoCal.  We've created the list to keep you informed, prepared, and inspired when it comes to planning your BIG day.  So without further ado, here are just a few of the bridal events taking place this month:

Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010
BrideWorld Expo
 Pasadena Convention Center
300 E. Green St.
Pasadena, CA 91101

$10/$8 pre-registered
 Pasadena's largest wedding expo, featuring over 150 local wedding professionals, products, and services.  There will be fashion shows between 12p-2p, and a planning seminar at 1p.  Free magazines and workbooks when you register in advance.

Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010

The Wedding Party
Crate & Barrel
South Bay, Del Amo Fashion Center
21710 Hawthorn Blvd.,
Torrance, CA 90503
This is a free event.  Plan your new home together, get advice from design and registry experts, and enjoy food, drinks, and fun.  RSVP here.

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010
WSEA Bridal Faire
Port's of Call Restaurant
LA Harbor Berth 76
San Pedro, CA 90731
$5 in advance
Door prizes, complimentary cake and food tastings, along with a bridal couture fashion show displaying the season's hottest styles and trends.  For more info, visit the WSEA website.

Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010
Expo Bridal 3rd Annual Fall Bridal Show
Universal City Hilton
555 Universal Hollywood Dr.
Universal City, CA 91608
$7 with online registration plus one free guest
Here, you'll find all the services you'll need for your wedding plus, you can enjoy the live gown fashion show, cake samples, free massages and free vendor giveaways.  For more information, call 213-272-0748.

Happy Planning!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Halloween Inspiration

I'm so excited about putting together a Halloween party this year!  My mind has been overflowing with creative ideas!  Although I'm looking forward to the party as a whole, I'm most excited about doing a fabulous table spread of yummy desserts!

I found a few pics on the 'net that gave me just the right amount of inspiration that I needed:

My creative wheels are spinning out of control now and I can't wait to see how it all comes together...and I promise to share the pics!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Bride Wore What?!

Do you want to up the "wow-factor" on your big day? Maybe you should consider a bold, dramatic color for your wedding gown!  Traditionally, brides wore white to symbolize purity and joy, but in this day and age it's all about personalization.  Couples are looking to create a wedding that reflects their own unique, personal style.  By choosing a gown in a not-so-typical shade, the bride is sure to stand out and give guests something to talk about long after the "I do's".  Whether it's a color that has a special meaning (i.e the color you wore on your first date) or simply a shade you feel compliments you best, the key is choosing a gown that makes you feel your absolute best when you walk down that aisle.

So, break all the rules and dare to be different in a colorful gown that has "you" written all over it!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Let the Groom Have His Cake (and Eat It Too)!!!

Trying to figure out how to incorporate your groom's style into the wedding? Why not surprise him with a groom's cake!

The grooms cake has long been a tradition of the south and is becoming an increasingly popular trend in other parts of the country.  It is usually given as a gift from the bride to the groom, and is the perfect way to showcase the groom's interests and hobbies. It is usually displayed next to the traditional wedding cake, then cut and boxed for guests to take home (makes an awesome wedding favor!).

Side note: As the story goes, single women are supposed to sleep with the slice of cake under their pillow so that they can dream of their future husband!

Here is a roundup of some creative groom's cakes:



So, let your groom have his cake and eat it too (pun intended)!!!

"The Platinum Planner"