Create a perfect wax seal on invitations

Wedding Invitations set the tone for your entire event.

Many couples like the old world look of the wax seal on their wedding invitations, especially for weddings in New Orleans, where the history is such a prominent detail in the wedding theme.  Your invitation sets your tone for your entire event, so if you want to make a big statement, a wax seal is a great detail to add.  Unfortunately there are some negatives to using them.  The first is that they aren’t a quick process.  Each one takes about 15 seconds to do. The second is that they cost more to mail.  Because the post office can’t send an envelope with a wax seal through the mail sorter machine, they have to hand-sort them. That additional effort could cost you up to a dollar or more per envelope, so keep that in mind when you’re making the choice to use or not to use a wax seal.  If you decide the look is worth the time and expense, here is a short video on how to make the seal look like it was done by a pro!

Want help on your wedding invitations and planning from a professional? Contact us to get a quote.  Day-of, Consultation and Management, and Full Service Packages are available, as well as a la carte services like Second Line Planning and Hotel Welcome Gifts!  

Totally Dazzled Features New Orleans Wedding Expert, Carolyn Arthurs

Today’s Expert: Carolyn Arthurs from All About Events – New Orleans

January 31 2018

Carolyn Arthurs is All About Events and weddings in New Orleans

Carolyn Arthurs | All About Events

All About Events – New Orleans is owned and run by Carolyn Arthurs, a New Orleans native with over 20 years of event management experience. Their weddings are lively, full of character, and exude fun – perfectly capturing the New Orleans atmosphere.

The company specializes in destination New Orleans weddings and their signature theme is the culture and vibe of the amazing city. Having recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary, planning weddings almost exclusively, Carolyn is proud of the way her business has grown to this point.

“Now weddings are 90% of my business and I focus on Destination New Orleans as a way to give back to the city.”

Although she’s been in the event planning industry for over 20 years, her first wedding was in 2007 after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. She planned the entire wedding remotely from California and it was a huge success. So much so that the couple still keep in touch with her to this day.

This wedding was a huge success, despite it being her very first wedding. Her business was started with no financial help from outside sources and she lovingly built it from the ground up. Being a female entrepreneur and overcoming the many challenges that any business person faces as well as some that were unique to her business is something that she is incredibly proud of and both the growth and progress of her business and skill-set has reminded Carolyn that she is extremely lucky to be doing what she loves most despite the challenges that have arisen from time to time.

Tiffany + Todd | All About Events New Orleans
Credits: Tiffany + Todd | Twirl Photography – All About Events New Orleans

Carolyn Arthurs Interview Quote

Carolyn Arthurs All About Events Main Collage

Carolyn’s dedication to giving back to the city by way of booking destination weddings in New Orleans was, in part, inspired by Hurricane Katrina and the events that came after for her personally. Carolyn started organizing events when she was 18 for non-profits and organizations. In 2003, she started All About Events as a way to let her personal style and creativity flourish as she felt limited by the options and visions of the people she worked with. She wanted to find a way to expand her own vision. Originally, weddings weren’t part of her plan for her business as she felt they too were limited in creativity and style, and at the time, in the area that she lived in, they were!

“I learned so much, but what I learned that was most important was that weddings don’t have to be cookie-cutter and redundant.”

When Hurrican Katrina hit, Carolyn evacuated to Houston with what she had; 5 days worth of clothing, her All About Events things, her dog, and her fish. She drove to California and found work at a rental company as a supervisor of events setups. It was at this company that she realized weddings don’t have to be cut and dry with a boring singular vision. There are many options and many variations available and as she reflected on the current state of New Orleans, she realized that her business might not have an immediate future in parties or events but there would certainly still be people getting married. That’s when Carolyn decided to focus on creating unique and exciting New Orleans destination weddings.

Carolyn added weddings to her events website and got her first call to plan a Jazz fest weekend wedding in New Orleans. From that moment, it seemed like everything just fell into place and currently, weddings are 90% of the business All About Events receives.

Her background is in show business. Her ideas are larger than life and exciting, however, she can materialize those ideas on a budget, making her weddings unique, practical, and cost-effective. She’s had experience and learned from the best in the business, allowing her to use her skills to create events and weddings that cater to everyone’s tastes. She customizes her events for both locals and out of town guests.

As All About Events has grown over the years, Carolyn has added interesting services to her website. Couples and event hosts can order welcome gifts for their guests and have them delivered to the hotels where they will be staying through a service called HotelWelcomeGifts.com.

They also organize the Second Lines, including the permits, routed, handkerchiefs and brass band…making them a truly well-rounded event organization company for anyone planning on a unique New Orleans experience.

Browsing through their portfolio, I found myself completely drawn to the fun in just about every photograph. The couples not only look absolutely enamored with each other but they’re having a great time celebrating their love. From walking the streets to dancing on the sidewalks, these weddings are full of life and full of character.

Carolyn brings in all of her favorite trends into her weddings, giving her events a distinctive style while still ensuring that each couple’s tastes and personal choices are reflected in their wedding. Her favorite trends at the moment are rich, dark colors. She loves mixing reds and blacks with a touch of mixed metals here and there. Taking a scroll through photos of her previous weddings you can feel the warmth that the combination of dark colors and rich elements gives.

 

A STUNNING PORTFOLIO BY ALL ABOUT EVENTS NEW ORLEANS

D'Arcy + Kevin | All About Events New Orleans

Credits: D’Arcy + Kevin | Twirl Photography All About Events New Orleans

Kayla + Darius | All About Events New Orleans

Credits: Kayla + Darius | CR Photography – All About Events New Orleans

Rebecca + Sean

Credits: Rebecca + Sean | Photography by Dark Roux – All About Events New Orleans

Main collage credits :  Tiffany + Todd Wedding Twirl Photography, Rebecca and Sean Wedding | Photography by Dark Roux

 

GET IN TOUCH WITH CAROLYN ARTHURS

To get in touch with Carolyn Arthurs, please visit her website’s contact page. Scroll through the portfolio and list of servicesto find more information. You can also follow the company on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and Google Pluswhere you’ll be immediately inspired by the New Orleans style.

Originally Posted on www.totallydazzled.com’s blog 1/31/2018:   Totallly Dazzled Featured Expert: Carolyn Arthurs

Getting Your Marriage License in New Orleans

Getting your marriage license in New Orleans can sometimes be a hassle that will make you want to run to Vegas.  But don’t fret!  There are ways to make this step much easier.  First, don’t even think of trying to go to the Jefferson Parish/Orleans Parish office of vital records.  It’s worse than the DMV.  Instead, spend $2 and take the scenic and relaxing Algiers Ferry across the muddy waters of the Mississippi to its ferry landing.  Once you’re on dry land, look for the clock tower (not unlike the one Doc Brown frequented in Back to the Future).  This marks the Algiers Court House.  Here is where you will find salvation.  If you take a car on the ferry, spend the $5 to park across the street from the building.  If not, its a nice, short stroll to the entrance.  Once inside, you may or may not go through a metal detector and security check, depending on the break schedule of the security guard.  Ladies, you may want to pack light, leaving behind the abyss that we all call a purse, just to shave off even more time, in case the guard happens to be at his post.  Head up the gorgeous wooden staircase and toward the beautiful windows to the judge’s office.  You may find another couple waiting there, but usually not more than that.  Tell the secretary that you are there to get your marriage license and she will hand you some forms to fill out.  If you’re really organized, you can do this paperwork in advance by printing it online ahead of time.  The application can be found on the Louisiana Dept of Health website here.

Once your paperwork is complete, pay the $27.50 (money order, cash or check only and they don’t always have quarters for change) and within a few minutes you’ll be walking out with your license and detailed instructions on how to process it after the ceremony.  This is going to be the job of your officiant, who will want to fill out whatever he can in advance and just have you sign on the dotted line along with your witnesses at the event.  Then he’ll take some of the paperwork with him to turn in and leave the pretty, souvenir, strictly decorative copy with you.  If you lose it, it does not mean your marriage is null.  It means you will only have the ugly copy for your records, once it comes back to you in the mail.

Here are a few details you really need to know before you start this process:

  • There is no blood test needed in Louisiana to get your marriage license.
  • You will need to show divorce papers, death certificates, visas, passports, and/or military ID’s when applicable.
  • You need to have both sets of identification (bride and groom) with you to get the license, but you don’t both have to be there.
  • You must get the license within 30 days of the marriage date and have a 72 hour waiting period between the time you get the license and the time you get married.  By “time” I mean exact time.  They will ask you what time your ceremony is and count back from there.  If you are from out of town or military, you can ask for an exception to the 72 hour wait and get a 24 hour waiver.  Its not difficult to get.  You just need to ask for it.
  • The state marriage license is not the same as the one you get from a place of worship.  You’ll need both if you’re doing a church ceremony.
  • They will not automatically send you a copy of the registered marriage license.  You keep the decorative one, but if you want a copy of the official, order it while you’re there.
  • Not every state allows their marriage licenses to be transferred to a different state.  If you plan to get a marriage license in Louisiana, but are getting married in another state, you’re out of luck.  Louisiana marriage licenses do not transfer to other states.  To learn if your state license can be used in Louisiana, contact your state’s marriage license office.
  • To see the official requirements on getting a marriage license in New Orleans, visit the Louisiana Dept of Health website.

After this 20 minute-or-so process, you’ll be happy and stress-free on your way back to the ferry landing.  If you’re there around lunch time, stop off at one of the little cafes around the corner from the courthouse for lunch.  The ferry comes every 15 minutes, so you’ll have lots of time to catch your ride!

 

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A Bride’s Guide to Cake Pulls

If you aren’t from New Orleans, you may not have ever heard of cake pulls.  Its a tradition that seems to have only lived on from Victorian times in the heart of our timeless city.  There are lots of articles online about the history of the Cake Pull.  This post is about what cake pulls are, who does them, and how you can incorporate them into your wedding.

Originally, cake pulls were charms on white ribbons inserted into the back of the wedding cake in the icing or into the cake itself.  Many variations of this have come up over the years, including long, cascading ribbons, beaded bracelets or necklaces, and even key chains with the charms on the end.  Their meanings focused on marriage, family, good luck, and fulfilled wishes.  And then there was the one no one wanted….the thimble, which meant you’d be an old maid.  I can remember, when I was a young teen, being picked to pull.  I felt both honored and scared at the same time.  What if I got the thimble?  It would be so embarrassing!  Luckily, I never got the thimble.  But I also never got the true love or next to have a baby and now I’m a child-free, single divorcee.  Maybe I can blame the cake…

Now that brides are more mature and independent, the charms and the rules have changed.  Many brides choose their charms instead of buying the traditional set, and can decide what the meanings will be for each lucky friend who gets a chance at a pull. Destination and local weddings alike pick symbols of their love for the city like a streetcar, a gas lamp or a fleur de lis, and make up positive fortunes to go with each.

SO, WHAT ARE THE CHARMS?  Charms are usually sterling silver and less than 1/2 inch in size.  The prices can range from hundreds of dollars on the coveted, local Mignon Faget brand, to less than a dollar a charm at String A Bead.  Meanings for the charms are fortunes or well wishes and can be whatever you want them to be for your particular group of women.  There are so many charms to choose from! I’ve become quite an expert on making up meanings for seemingly meaningless charms.  A crawfish? hmm…. A life of plenty!  A martini glass? …Your cup will runneth over!

Here’s is a common list I use a lot:

  1. The Fleur de Lis = A life of many blessings
  2. The Streetcar = A life of leisurely travel
  3. The Gas Lamp = A bright future
  4. The Crown = A life of great success (or live like a queen)
  5. The Mardi Gras Mask = Life of mystery and intrigue
  6. The Clover = You’ll have good luck
  7. The Jester = A life of filled with Laughter
  8. The Heart = A life filled with love

HOW MANY? Notice I have 8 charms listed above.  This is for practicality as well as for photos.  Keep the number of girls under 10.  Any more than that won’t fit around the cake.  And if you want the pulls to stay in the back, rather than go all the way around the cake, stick to 6 or 8 pulls.

WHO PULLS?  You’ll find a lot of articles online that say that the bridal party does the cake pulls, but from my personal experience, that’s not the case.  Traditionally, the ladies who pull are single friends or family that are special to the bride or groom but aren’t so close that they would be a bridesmaid.  This is a way to recognize these special people without having to extend a bridal party invite.  Many times these ladies are high school friends who still mean a lot or a cousin you were close to at one time but may have distanced from as an adult.  I’ve even seen the pulls include a stepmother or stepsister.  This is not to say that a bridesmaid can’t be a part of the cake pulls, or that you have to choose outside of the bridal party at all.  There are many ways to do it and you should choose the one that works the best for you and your friends.  Usually everyone is surprised with the list and only the bride, the wedding planner, and the person on the mic know who will be chosen.

WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN?  When its time to cut the cake, you’ll do the cake pulls first.  An announcement is made for all of the ladies that will pull to come to the cake table and the cake pulls are done before the bride and groom cut the cake.

HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?  Each one chooses one ribbon or strand and holds the end to pose for a photo with the bride.  The bride stands in the middle and the girls stand on either side, hence the even number for a more balanced picture (if you have an uneven number, the bride can stand at one end with the girls behind her). After the photo, there’s a count to three and they all pull at the same time, creating a great shot of all of the hands in the air with beaming smiles of anticipation and whimsy on their faces.  The charms are covered in icing, so its always interesting to see who chooses to stick the charm in their mouth to not waste a morsel of buttercream and who chooses to wipe the charm on a napkin.  Once the charms are revealed, the bride reads the fortunes out to them one at a time.  The charms become a memento of the evening for those special friends.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? Here are some examples of cake pulls and of ways that they can be inserted into a cake.  Use your imagination!  There are no rules or etiquette as far as style and placement is concerned.  Just remember to tell you photographers what your cake pull plan is, so that they are prepared to get the best shot and use the best angles and lenses.

To learn more about the history of Cake Pulls, click here for a good article from the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

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The Persian Wedding Experience (from a non-Persian perspective)

This post was originally published on blogspot on Monday, May 21, 2012

This weekend I designed my first Persian Wedding for Tala and Kian. Tala came to me asking for help with the décor for the event, with a general theme of a Moroccan Lounge with blues and greens as the color palette. She knew she wanted candles and flowers and an air of romance, but, like most brides, her vision changed daily. Email after email came through with lovely designs she’d found on Pinterest, TheKnot, and Style Me Pretty, among others. With each photo, the design changed, and the result was a very romantic, glowing PINK wedding!

Throughout the experience, I learned a lot about the Persian wedding traditions. I’d done some planning for Persian parties and receptions in Los Angeles and remembered the elaborate displays of food and the fantastic Persian music—a DJ accompanied by a conga drummer that made everyone rise to their feet and dance, but I’d never seen or dealt with the ceremony. It’s really a beautiful setup, with symbolism and history in every detail.  The Sofreh (ceremony table) is set with elements like spices, apples, grapes, pomegranates, honey, and candles. A large mirror faces the couple that sits at the end of the low table, the couple facing their guests. As the two entered, the guests applauded their arrival and at the end of the ceremony, the couple stood to receive well wishes and gifts from close family and friends.

Tala and Kian had an English interpreter for the Persian ceremony, and I learned what each item I’d set up on their Sofreh meant to them. This website explains very well all of the elements and their meanings: http://www.persianmirror.com/wedding/sofreh/sofreh.cfm#spread

At the reception, the couple’s first dance was to traditional Persian music and was a conversation in undeniable seduction. They followed this ritual with a customary American bride and groom dance. Guests joined the couple on the dance floor throughout the evening and the room revved with energy when the DJ switched from the American style of music to the Persian dance music. My favorite part of the evening was the cake knife dance—yet another ritual involving an unmistakable element of seduction. Ladies from the pool of guests take turns dancing with the cake knife, enticing the groom to want to get the knife from them by giving them money. Gentlemen guests do the same, dancing for the bride and teasing her (usually in a comedic way) into reaching for the knife. The guests take turns, refusing to give up the knife, but taking the money and passing the knife to the next woman or man in the audience. The last of the guests to dance for the bride and groom finally gives them the knife, to the applause of the bride and the rest of the guests, and the cake cutting continues.

Here is the explanation of the cake knife dance from www.persianmirror.com :

The purpose of the Persian Knife dance (Raghseh Chagoo) is for the couple to retrieve a knife from the dancers so they can cut the wedding cake. The dance starts with one person dancing a typical Persian dance, with the knife and basically asking the couple for money. Once the dancer gets the money, the knife is passed on to the next dancer. The bride and groom continue to offer money to try and get the cake knife. A little back and forth, and a few dance moves later, the couple finally are given the knife and are able to cut the cake. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDi0uFYw8TQ&feature=related

Best Wishes to Tala and Kian!

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