Wednesday, March 28, 2012

5 Tips for a Successful Wedding Dress Shopping Experience

Shopping for your wedding dress is supposed to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your wedding planning experience. However, without proper planning, the experience can be a little stressful. 

Here are 5 Tips to help you have a successful wedding dress shopping experience:

1. Make an Appointment: It may sound obvious, but making an appointment ensures that you'll have a block of time dedicated to ONLY you. A professional bridal consultant will be able to give you their undivided attention and help you find the perfect dress for your big day.  In fact, some stores may not even allow you to try on dresses without an appointment. 

2. Set Your Budget: It is very important that you are honest with your bridal consultant about the absolute maximum you can spend on your dress.  This way,they will not blindly pull dresses from the rack that you may not be able to afford. Once your budget has been set, stick to it and DO NOT try on dresses that are outside of your price range.  The worse thing you could do is fall in love with a dress that you cannot afford because everything else that you try on will pale in comparison.

3. Bring in Photos: Although you may be able to envision your dream dress in your mind, it's sometimes hard to clearly articulate your vision to others.  Having photos of styles that you like will take away some of the guess work, making it easier for your bridal consultant to pull similar dresses/styles that you are interested in.

4. Ditch the Crew: Too many conflicting opinions tends to complicate an appoinment.  As a rule of thumb, you should let no more than two people tag along with you.  These should be those that are closest to you (maybe your mother and maid of honor), and whose opinions you value and trust.  Although you'll definitely want input and constructive criticism, remember, the decision is ultimately yours.  Most brides know they've found THE dress the instant they put it on...think of it as a love at first sight type of moment.

5. Remember the Sample Size Rules: Don't be alarmed if you have to try on dresses in sizes that are different from your normal dress size.  Wedding dress manufacturers have their own sizing charts, so the size of your gown will be based on your measurements. Don't focus on the numbers, but more so on how the dress compliments your body.

What are/were your biggest fears about shopping for your wedding dress?  What other helpful tips can be added to this list? Please leave a comment below.

Nikola Ahaiwe is a Los Angeles wedding /event planner and owner of Platinum Touch Events, a boutique event planning firm servicing southern CA. To  learn more about Platinum Touch Events, please visit our website and become a fan on Facebook to stay connected!

Nikola Ahaiwe
Owner/Lead Coordinator
Platinum Touch Events

Phone: (310) 722-2873

Friday, March 23, 2012

5 Spring Cocktail Recipes

Happy Friday my lovelies!

Is anyone else as excited for the weekend as I am?  Although the weather here in SoCal hasn't been the best over the last couple of weeks (can you say Spring showers?!), it has certainly been a welcome change, considering we don't get much rain.  Not sure if I'm the only one, but I LOVE rainy days, especially when I can stay inside, snuggle up under the blankets, and catch up on my tv shows!

As we move into the first weekend of Spring, I thought it only appropriate to share a few Spring Cocktail recipes that are sure to be a hit at your next get-together.

Enjoy and have a happy and safe weekend :)

Green Flash Cocktail Recipe
1 oz vodka
1/2 oz Peach Schnapps
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
3 oz orange juice
3 0z sprite
1. mix ingredients together, serve over ice.
2. garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry
3. lean back, savor the tropical evening and enjoy
Blue Egg

2 oz. Russian Standard Vodka
0.5 oz. pineapple juice
0.5 oz. lime juice
Blue Elixir #9
Combine Russian Standard, pineapple juice, lime juice, and Blue Elixir in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass and pour grenadine so it sinks to the bottom. Garnish with orange, cherry, and sprig of mint.

Watermelon Tini Shots
2/3 cup cubed, fresh watermelon
2 tsp Vodka
1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
watermelon slices

In the container of a blender, process watermelon until blended. Over a small bowl, press watermelon puree through a fine wire mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to squeeze out juice. Discard the solids. In a bowl, put 6 tbsp watermelon puree, discarding remaining puree. Stir in vodka, sugar, and lemon juice, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Pour into iced shot glasses and serve at once. Garnish with watermelon slices, if desired.

Spring Fling

3 ounces amaretto liqueur
2 ounces vodka
4 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
2 ounces cranberry juice cocktail
Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lime or lemon

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker (with an ice cube or two if there’s room). Shake to mix ingredients. Divide between two ice-filled old-fashioned glasses.

Blue Cottontail
1-1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce triple sec
1/4 ounce blue Curacao
Orange peel (for garnish)

1. Shake ingredients well
2. Strain into a chilled martini glass
3. Flame the orange peel over the glass

Do you have a favorite Spring Cocktail? I'd love for you to share the recipe in the comments below.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

4 Ways to Relieve Wedding Planning Stress

The day he proposed was probably one of the greatest moments in your looked him in the eye and squealed "Yes" with no hesitation! Fast forward a few weeks after the initial shock and excitement has calmed down, and the actual planning of the big day has started.  Since you've most likely never done this before, you had NO IDEA how much time and energy would be needed to meet the demands of planning your nuptials.  On top of that, you still have your everyday obligations to work, school, family, etc. (Insert scream here).

Before you start pulling your hair out, Stop. Breathe. Relax.

Wedding planning should be a fun and memorable experience.  Don't let the stress of planning your big day ruin that experience for you.  Here are 4 great ways to relieve wedding planning stress:

 1. Hire a Wedding Planner - Ok, I might be a little biased, but one thing is for sure: hiring an experienced and professional wedding planner is a sure fire way to help relieve wedding planning stress.  The key words here are experienced and professional.  The right planner will put your mind ate ease in knowing things are being taken care of properly and on schedule.  Relieving yourself of some of the more stressful tasks, such as researching vendors, staying on top of your budget, trying to figure out floor plans, etc. can free up more of your time to do the fun activities like shopping for your dress!

2. Date Night - Constantly being in "serious wedding planning mode" can put a damper on your romantic life.  It is important to not get so wrapped up that you forget to make time for your significant other.  Schedule  regular date nights and get out and enjoy one another.  After all, that is what married life is about: enjoying spending your life with the one you plan to spend the remainder of it with!

3. Spa Day - Gather up your bridesmaids and schedule a day of pampering!.  A soothing massage, mani/pedi, and/or facial will not only soothe your body, but your mind as well.  The relaxing atmosphere will more than likely make you forget about your wedding planning woes.

           4. "Wine" Down - Sometimes it's the little things in life that bring us the most pleasure.  Relaxing with a glass of wine at the end of a long and stressful day is a great way to relax and unwind.  Curling up with a good book or renting a movie you've been wanting to see while sipping on a glass of wine is the ultimate relaxing night in.  Not a wine drinker? No problem, a nice cup of hot chocolate or tea works as well.

What are some other great ways you can think of to help relieve wedding planning stress? Please leave a comment below.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blushing Brides

I know I've said it a hundred times before, but I LOVE it when brides dare to be different and do something a little out of the box when it comes to planning their big day!

What better way to do that than to add a little color to your wedding dress instead of going with the traditional white, off white, or cream gown?!

I am absolutely loving blush colored (think light pink) wedding dresses at the moment!  There is just something about this soft hue that is so romantic and feminine.  Adding a touch of blush would definitely up the wow factor when your guests (and love of your life) get the very first glimpse of you walking down the aisle.  Oh, how I can hear the oooh's and ahhh's now!!!

If you're not bold enough to rock a blush colored gown down the aisle, perhaps you would be a little more open to rocking the color under your these gorgeous heels.  Aren't they stunning?!

Would you consider adding a hint of color by wearing a blush colored dress?  Have you ever attended a wedding where the bride wore a blush gown? Please leave a comment below.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

{Color Crush} Yellow + Gray

Today is the first day of Spring, so it is a safe bet that you are going to start seeing a lot of soft colors being used in wedding/event decor. A really popular color combo right now is Yellow + Gray.  Usually, I'm not a big fan of gray because I feel that it is such a dull, boring color.  However, when it is paired with a bright and cheery color like yellow, it instantly goes from drab to fab!


I'd love to hear what you think of the popular Yellow + Gray color combo.  Please leave a comment below.

Friday, March 16, 2012

{Styled Shoot} Modern St. Patrick's Day

This past week, I have been working feverishly on this Modern St. Patrick's Day mini photo shoot.

Although I've set up dessert  tables before, this was the first time I made all of the desserts (with the exception of one), and let me tell you, I was one tired mama lol.  It's a pretty hard task to accomplish after working a full day, and coming home to two toddlers that need your attention (and can't get enough of saying your name)! 

But I did it...and I was pretty pleased with how things came together.  Of course, in hindsight, there were a few things I would have done differently, but maybe that's just the perfectionist in me.

But enough about that...let's get on to the good stuff: Pictures!

I wanted to do something a little different from what I've been seeing when it comes to St. Patrick's Day parties.  Instead of the typical rainbow or all-green backdrop, I opted to give it a modern flair by going with zebra print!  I then added my green elements (desserts) and kept with the theme by adding a touch of rainbow.

I hope you enjoy what I came up with:

 I hand-made this ribbon banner and added a few shamrocks to make it a little more festive!

 The entire dessert table

Chocolate cupcakes with two shades of green frosting.  I finished the look with printable cupcake toppers by Anders Ruff.

 Cake pops covered with sprinkles.  I added these cute little printable flags by Anders Ruff Custom Designs.

 I made several mini cupcakes and colored them to match the colors of the rainbow and placed them inside of  these cute little push pop containers I got from CupKate's Event Design.  I covered the bottom of the holder with gold coins to represent the "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow".

 I wrapped water bottles with labels by Anders Ruff Custom Designs.

 This is the one thing I did not bake.  I prettied up these Oreo Cakesters by rolling them in green edible sugar pearls!

 I have been wanting to attempt an "Ombre" cake for a while, and figured this was the perfect opportunity! Although I wish I had made the cake just a little taller so that I could have added one more shade of green, I was pretty pleased with how it came out.  Not bad at all for a first try!

Photoshoot fail of the week: As I was wrapping up the shoot, I bumped into the table and the cake stand went tumbling over...luckily I was able to save this one slice to show you the inside of the cake!

I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section below.

Stay tuned for an Easter themed shoot!

Monday, March 12, 2012

{Color Crush} Navy + Hot Pink

This week's color crush is Navy + Hot Pink!

I love how these two bold colors compliment one another.  It's a fun and modern color scheme that would be perfect for an intimate beach wedding, or even a more formal, lavish affair.

When paired together, these two colors definitely make a dramatic statement!



What do you think of this color combo? Please comment below.

Nikola Ahaiwe is a Los Angeles wedding planner and owner of Platinum Touch Events, a boutique event planning firm servicing southern CA. To learn more about our services and packages, please visit us on the web at

Monday, March 5, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Party Inspiration

Wow, can you believe it's already March???  It seems like just yesterday we were counting down for the New Year!

With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, I've decided to do an inspiration photoshoot and cannot wait to share the photos with you next week!  In the meantime, I've rounded up some great St. Paddy's Day party ideas to hold you over :)





Do you have any special traditions for celebrating St. Patrick's Day?  I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below and share this post on your social networks :)

Nikola Ahaiwe is a Los Angeles wedding /event planner and owner of Platinum Touch Events, a boutique event planning firm servicing southern CA. To  learn more about Platinum Touch Events, please visit our website at and become a fan on Facebook at to stay connected!