A Modern Twist

gala_0006WOW!  We’re exhausted, but overjoyed.  The Friday night Art Museum Gala went off without a hitch.  Events like these make our job so enjoyable.  We want to take a moment to thank vendors like PassionFlower, Campus Catering, Premiere Valet and West Coast Event Productions.  Here are a few photos of the spectacular event.  We hope these not only provide you with inspiration, but a deep appreciation for this truly magnificent venue.  To book events at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, please call (541) 346.6491. moagala_4_09_1983moagala_4_09_2003moagala_4_09_2053

Champagne and Diamonds

PrintPlease join Cocoa Belle Events in celebrating 75 years of fabulous art and culture at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art this Friday, April 3 from 6-9pm.  The evening’s celebration, hosted by University of Oregon President, Dave Frohnmayer, will consist of multiple musical performances, elegant 7-course revolving hors d’oeuvres, and libations to lift the spirits.  Each guest will have a chance to win a 1 ct. diamond from Skeies Jewelers.  Valet parking is provided.  If you are interested in attending, tickets are $150 and you may reserve your spot at this fabulous event by calling (541) 346-6413.

Tips on Tipping

7_17_08_0063Should I tip my event staff and vendors?  This question rarely comes up in conversations I have with clients.  That’s probably because rules for tipping tend to be somewhat loose in the 21st century.  But an event is much like any other service you pay for…like getting your hair cut, or taking a taxi to a restaurant.  When someone provides you with a valuable service, it is polite to consider tipping them for their time.  Tipping is just another way of showing appreciation and respect for someones work.  In the events world, custom dictates that you don’t have to tip the following, though if someone has done an especially wonderful job, you may want to offer a gratuity or simple gift: florist, photographer, videographer, baker, stationer, wedding planner, religious officiant, organist, soloist or alter boys.  Below are some guidelines which are meant to assist you in your planning efforts, however, we do understand each situation is different because of varying social and regional customs and standards.

Caterer, Maitre d’, Club Manager, Hotel Banquet Manager.

Plan to tip anywhere between 15 and 20 percent of the total food and drink bill. But pay close attention, gratuity for these service providers is often worked into the food and beverage or hotel contract.



Plan to tip 15 percent of the total food bill for the waitstaff.  But again, be aware of your contracts, because this cost can be built in.



Just as you would tip 15 percent to food service staff, bartenders should receive the same amount.


Reception Musicians/DJ.

Some believe this is not necessary.  But for a majority of the events we plan, the band or the DJ plays an integral role in the success of the event.  If they can work the crowd and get people dancing without being offensive or annoying–they have contributed tremendously to your event.  We believe that each musician and/or DJ should be paid about $25-$50 each.


Limousine Drivers.

More often than not, gratuity for this service is built into the hourly rate, but check before you sign any contracts.  If it is not included, expect to tip about 15 to 20 of the total bill.


Delivery Truck Drivers.

Plan for about $5 to $10 per driver.


Valet Parking Attendants.

Standard practice would be about $1 to $2 per guest.  However, some believe $1 to $2 per vehicle is sufficient.  Just make sure you alert your guests with a simple sign that reads “Gratuities have been arranged by the host” so your guests don’t feel obligated to tip as well.


Powder Room and Coat Check Attendants.

Plan to give 50 cents to $2 per guest and again, remember to put up a sign so your guests are aware of the arrangement.


Hairstylist and Makeup Artist.

Plan to give each about 15 percent of the total bill.


When tipping, it is always gracious to add a short note of thanks to each vendor.  Sometimes it is best to write these notes in advance of the event because on the day of, thoughts may slip your mind in the hustle to get things done.  And as always, we suggest that after the event dust settles, it is important to send a hand written note to each vendor or service provider.  A tremendous amount of labor goes into planning and executing an event, and a simple note of thanks can go a long way.

Why hire a wedding coordinator?


Wedding Coordinator

Wedding Coordinator


Q.  I have a small wedding budget, so hiring a wedding coordinator is not feasible, right?

A.  Actually, not exactly.  Wedding planners aren’t magicians but his/her specialties will help you in finding great vendors that marry your budget (no pun intended) and often bring original ideas to the table.  Every situation is different.  So ask yourself a couple questions…

1.  Is your wedding complicated in that it’s becoming large and elaborate? 

2.  Are you planning a destination wedding or planning your wedding from a distance?

3.  Are you far from being a multi-tasker?  

4.  Do you get stressed out easily or get overwhelmed with a lot of decision-making?

5.  Do you have a family (or in-laws) that like to stir the pot or argue for the sake of arguing?


If you answered YES to any of the questions above then you probably should consider hiring a wedding coordinator.  Here are the top 10 reasons you should hire a coordinator:

1.  Suggest vendors and venues.

2.  Accompany you to appointments and manage the flow of each meeting.

3.  Help you create and stick to a budget.

4.  Translate vendor contracts so they actually make sense to you.

5.  Keep planning organized and on-track.

6.  Provide you with useful tools and original ideas to make your day memorable.

7.   Serve as a third party mediator to settle any arguments related to the wedding details.

8.  Access fabulous linens and table top decor for a reasonable cost.

9.  Give you a safety pin on your wedding day when your bustle breaks.

10.  Manage last minute, stressful details that arise on the day of the event.

Invitations: Part I

This will be the first of many posts about invitations.  Invitations are one of the first items that your guests see relative to your soiree.   They set the tone for the event, as well as the subsequent printed pieces for the engagement (i.e. programs, place cards).  We recommend taking time to visit with several different stationary stores, designers, and websites to get a sense for the papers, colors, typefaces and designs that speak to you.  But before you select anything, it’s good to know what is available to you with regard to printing styles.  Formal and semi-formal invitations can be printed in a variety of ways.  Whatever you select will be a matter of personal preference and budget, but the general rule of thumb: the more formal the occasion, the more formal the printing style.  Here are your options:

  • Engraving.  Engraved invitations are by far the most traditional printing style for formal invitations; primarily because this method of printing has been around the longest. Engraving results in a raised print that is pressed through so that it can be felt on the back of the paper.  It is traditionally the most expensive form of printing.
  • Thermography.  Thermography results in raised print that is shinier than engraved print and does not press through the back of the paper.  Therefor, it is less expensive than engraving.
  • Letterpress.  Letterpress is when a reversed, raised surface is inked and then pressed into a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right reading image.  Letterpress tends to be an expensive option but the results are quite fantastic.
  • Lithography.  Lithography imprints lettering with ink but results in neither raised nor pressed-through lettering.  It is less costly than the printing styles listed above.
  • Laser.  Invitations can be printed on a laser printer.  This can be done at a print shop or in the comfort of your own home.  Blank imprintable invitations are available at many stationary stores.  This is the least expensive option, however, there is room for error.  A word of caution: double check that your printer can handle the weight of the paper you have selected and great care should be taken to ensure that the paper is fed into the printer straight and evenly.
  • Handwritten.  Handwritten invitations are more appropriate for smaller occasions (dinner parties, small weddings, showers).  It is a lovely way to personalize an invitation.

Do you have a favorite printing style?  Tell us about it!

For ideas, go to http://www.finestationary.com.

Results are in…

The results from our poll on wedding dress designers are in. Drum roll please! Our winner is Badgley Mischka.  Coming in second, Monique Lhuillier.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to cast a vote.

To view Badgley Mischka’s divine creations, go to http://www.badgleymischka.com/

Photo courtesy of Brides.com.

Cast Your Vote









Photo courtesy of Brides.com.