Destination Las Vegas Part 2: Ceremony

May 28th, 2014

Hi Everyone, This week I am sharing the pictures of the ceremony that we did on the Golf Course Lawn at the Wynn Hotel.  There is a gorgeous waterfall on the golf course that we used as our backdrop so we knew we wanted to keep the mandap open for the view.  We used oranges and fuschias since I thought that would look really pretty against the pristine green lawn and clear blue skies that Vegas has in the early summer months. Exquisite Events wedding at Wynn Hotel

We also figured that since it was early May and typically, in our and the hotel's experience, Vegas does not start heating up to uncomfortable temps until mid-to-late May, we would not need any shade over the guests...we were wrong.

The week prior, the weather was projected to be great, in the 80s. I looked again the week of the wedding and it said 100 for the ceremony day!!  The rental companies were quoting an astronomical amount for shading and said they would not be able to get the colors in time. Now what? The next best solution would be to find parasols for the guests so we called Pier 1 and Cost Plus who both combined had about 5 parasols-we needed 100. On a whim, I asked the hotel if there was a Chinatown in Vegas. In my 25+ years of going to Vegas, I had no idea that in fact there was a quite large Chinatown located right off the strip! We took a 10 min cab ride crossing our fingers in hopes to find the coveted umbrellas and after about an hour of going shop to shop, we finally came across a vendor who was able to collect 50 parasols in our colors and 50 hand fans- SUCCESS! If you are a planner, you know that you have to come up with a Plan B, C and D sometimes and that is what is so challenging and exciting about doing what we do!

[caption id="attachment_7023" align="aligncenter" width="541"] Chinatown to get parasols[/caption] Exquisite Events ceremony at Wynn Hotel Exquisite Events ceremony at Wynn Hotel golf course Exquisite Events orange and fuschia ceremony at Wynn Hotel Floral elephant at Exquisite Events wedding ceremony 2014-05-03 09.41.23 Exquisite Events Las Vegas ceremony elephant 10268679_10152908567465353_2394634483401577925_n 10369918_10152023953096707_421331745625819795_n 10291774_10151990566391707_5641482219947115257_n Exquisite Events Las Vegas baraat Exquisite Events destination wedding baraat Exquisite Events destination wedding baraat Exquisite Events Las Vegas Ceremony Exquisite Events Las Vegas Wedding Exquisite Events Las Vegas Wedding Exquisite Events Wynn Las Vegas Wedding Exquisite Events Las Vegas Wedding Exquisite Events Las Vegas Wedding Be sure to check back next week to read about the Grand Finale of the Las Vegas Destination Wedding! Have an Exquisite day and we'll see you next Wednesday!

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Destination Las Vegas Part 1: Mehndi

May 21st, 2014

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of doing a destination wedding at the beautiful Wynn Hotel and Casino. If you have been to Vegas and have not yet stopped to see the Wynn and its sister property Encore, I highly recommend you do so! The attention to detail is beyond words from the chandeliers to the drapery to the stunning flowers that are done in house. It does make a difference that Steve Wynn himself lives on the property and walks the floors almost everyday to make sure everything is up to his very high standards. He truly brought class back to Vegas with these 2 properties. We were so excited that our clients chose Wynn Las Vegas for their wedding because there are so many gorgeous spots on the property, namely the Golf Course Lawn where the ceremony was held. It has stunning views of the grounds with a gorgeous cascading waterfall that is so picturesque which happened to be the backdrop for the ceremony. The mehndi and reception were both held at the Encore in the Brahms ballroom which has a gorgeous private patio that overlooks the pools.

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Preston Bailey designed these gorgeous floral structures for the hotel that have over 100k flowers!

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Fresh peony flowers by a slot machine-only at the Wynn Hotel!

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Mehndi Night We designed the room to have 4 Pergola tents in each corner that would house the food stations and the mehndi artist. The dance floor would have moroccan furniture around it and the stage centerpiece would be a beautiful jhula decorated with fresh flowers that came from LA.  Our colors were fuschias, oranges, yellows and reds. [caption id="attachment_7008" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Set-up Day 1 at the Encore Set-up Day 1 at the Encore[/caption] We wanted to create a very fluid environment with the food stations which included an action dosa station from MINT Bistro and a thai and slider station from the hotel-so delicious!

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[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"]1148831_10152906765350353_3986974445535088257_n Flowers were marigolds, mums, daisies, and roses[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"]10257332_10152906766115353_419310933129399287_n Action dosa station[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"]1907949_10152906678680353_1106282328874830548_n Patio Bar Tent in fushia and turquoise[/caption] 1656366_10152906765875353_7142493669567412354_n

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[caption id="attachment_6978" align="aligncenter" width="526"]10390205_10101620803773045_734724813745993064_n Our gorgeous couple![/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"]wynn4 The DJ got the entire room on the dance floor[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7018" align="aligncenter" width="644"]Our lovely bride Our lovely bride[/caption]

Stay tuned for next week when I tell you about why we ended up in China town Las Vegas!

XO

Madiha

Have an Exquisite day and we'll see you next Wednesday!

Nikki’s Travels to Athens

May 15th, 2014

  From Nikki's Travel Journal... Our conference in Athens at the Grand Legonissi Resort ended on April 25th and because the resort is about an hour away from the city, we decided to check in to a hotel that was in the center of the city. Our cab driver on the way to the city explained and pointed all the important sites to us. The one hour drive along the coastline was beautiful and the weather was definitely on our side. We checked in to our hotel and it was surreal to open the window of our room and see Temple of Zeus still partially standing in its majestic glory. Acropolis from Roof of Hotel After checking in, we decided to walk to Plaka district, which has many nice eateries and historical sites. Lunch was enjoyed at a Greek tavern and was finger-licking good. Our Favorite Tavern for Greek Food After some coffee and feeling reenergized, we decided to walk towards Acropolis which is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and containing the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance; the most famous being the Parthenon. Parthenon It was a stunning sight and I had to pinch and remind myself several times that I was actually witnessing history that was thousands of years in the making. The incline is quite steep but luckily weather was perfect with cool breeze blowing and we actually enjoyed our hike up to Acropolis of Athens. The city views from all sides are simply phenomenal and breathtakingly beautiful. The site houses some of the most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike, and close by the Agora Ruins. [caption id="attachment_6952" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Temple of Athena[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6933" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Another View of Acropolis[/caption] The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the preeminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on March 26th, 2007. [caption id="attachment_6932" align="aligncenter" width="303"]Agora Ruins Agora Ruins[/caption] The walk downhill was pleasant and short and we met up with a family that had traveled from Switzerland with their two kids. Since they had visited Athens a few times before, they gave us pointers on where to eat, shop etc. We were also keen on having dinner at a tavern that was family owned in Plaka and the food was supposed to be superb. One of the colleagues we had met in Athens at the Congress who was from Athens also rated this place very highly but the challenge was it was in a basement and was not clearly marked. After feverish search and inquiring about the place from several people, we finally saw the small name and descended down the narrow stairs to this little room that was packed with local people. I always feel food is going to be a superb if the restaurant is popular among the locals and this time around, it did not disappoint. I ordered whatever our colleague had suggested which consisted of greek salad, cod fish, kababs etc and it was by far the best meal we had during our stay in Athens. Yummy Greek Salad We left the restaurant feeling very satisfied and walked down the narrow streets with local artifacts, galleries, quaint shops consisting of local food, spices and desserts. [caption id="attachment_6967" align="aligncenter" width="302"]One of the Quaint Streets in Athens One of the Quaint Streets in Athens[/caption] This was the perfect time to purchase all the requested gifts from our grandkids. It was truly a magical night as the weather was perfect and no matter what street we turned on, the Acropolis stood on the top of the hill beautifully lit in all its majestic glory of the past. [caption id="attachment_6942" align="aligncenter" width="303"]One of the Many Restaurants in Plaka Plaka District[/caption] Acropolis at Night We ended up in a beautiful tea/bar for a late night snack. Beautiful Bar and Cafe in the Old City By now it was close to 12 am and since we had planned a full day the next day, we decided to walk back to the hotel. One amazing thing I felt was the fact we never had the feeling of not feeling secure as people were out and about and minding their own business. We got to the hotel and simply crashed. The next morning we had planned to see the Acropolis Museum and since we had heard of long lines, we wanted to get there early. Breakfast was on the rooftop of the hotel with beautiful views of the city and again a beautiful view of the Acropolis and St. George Church, which was on the agenda for this morning. After a delectable breakfast we walked to the Museum and to our surprise the line was moving rather quickly. We made our way in twenty minutes, purchased tickets and were on our way to see the four floors housing ancient and amazing history. Museum of Acropolis The museum is focused on the findings of the archeological site of The Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on its feet, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. The museum was founded in 2003 and was opened to the public in 2009. Nearly 4000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square miles. On the Steps of Acropolis the-new-acropolis-museum-at-yatzer_0 After spending about two hours and watching the film, we decided to get a cab and drive over to St. George Church, which is located on the highest point of the city on top of Mount Lycabettus. It is by far the best way to spend a morning or afternoon. Visible from all over the city, the brilliantly white, 18th century church of Saint George crowns 886 ft of Mount Lycabettus. [caption id="attachment_6937" align="aligncenter" width="595"] View of Lycabettus Hill from Acropolis[/caption] It symbolizes the strength of the Orthodox Church and its Byzantine traditions. Our taxi driver dropped us at the base of the mountain and we climbed up the stairs to the most magnificent views. After the hike we had worked up an appetite and decided to have a quick bite at the café on the mountain. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip and I wanted to have the memories etched in my mind forever. [caption id="attachment_6955" align="aligncenter" width="540"] View of the City from St. George Church[/caption] Standing in front of St. George Church St. George Church st george church main We then decided to walk down the hill to National Gardens "the quintessence of park". Built as a pleasure ground for Queen Amalia in the 1840’s, this rare expanse of greenery in central Athens is a welcome respite from the concrete buildings. nationalgardens After that, it was the Parliament House and then to the sights and sounds of Bazaars. Parliament House What I love the most about this maze of streets is the central square where there are performances going on amidst fresh fruit and food stalls and souvenir shops along with high end department stores and tons of cafes. Church in a Town Square My Favorite Pic of Locals, Pigeons in a Square Old Church in Square The energy is amazing and locals are super friendly and the added bonus is most people speak English, which makes it easier to navigate. We visited a few galleries and along the way munched on hot chestnuts and local sweets made with dry fruits. Our Favorite Bakery We then made our way to the Temple of Zeus and were again amazed at seeing this ancient temple also known as "Columns of the Olympian Zeus". Temple of Zeus It is a colossal ruined temple in the center of the city that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian Gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrain in the 2nd century AD some 638 years after the project had begun. During the Roman periods, it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, the temple was extensively quarried for building materials. Despite this, substantial remains are visible today and it continues to be a major attraction. We witnessed a lot of locals using it for their walks. It is still a very impressive structure and I am always bewildered after seeing these historical sites as to how the stone was transported and how they actually built these sites by hand. Temple_of_Zeus_in_Athens By now we were exhausted and wanted to head back to the hotel to freshen up and change for dinner. We had leisurely tea at the hotel and headed out after a couple of hours. Since we had not asked the concierge for any recommendations (big mistake) for restaurants, we came upon this square that had taverns, cafes and unlimited restaurants at every inch. The owners or staff stand out to whisk you in their property and we got sold on a place which was utterly disappointing in everything we ordered. After this huge disappointment we walked to a few places, decided to stop at a yogurt place that had unlimited varieties of yogurt and delved in the most delicious greek yogurt with honey and walnuts, the best dessert after a very disappointing meal. We then walked back to the hotel and called it a night. The next day on the agenda was the Ilias Lalounis Jewelry Museum created by the renowned Greek Jeweler Ilias Lalounis. I have always had keenly interested in his jewelry and wanted to learn more about his inspirations and the Museum did not disappoint. It is comprised of 24 collections of total of 4,000 jewels and small ornaments dedicated to the history of art of jewelry making. The permanent exhibition displays 3000 pieces designed in the period of 1940-1992. Llias Lalaounis Museum of Jewelry shop It was extremely informative and invigorating to see jewelry inspirations from various civilizations such as Islamic, Byzantine, Greek, Roman, Greco Roman to name a few. The ILJM constantly renovates its exhibitions and develops its activities in the contemporary spaces below the Acropolis on its south side. In the future, the museum aims to develop into an international center for the study of decorative arts. We decided to try street food for lunch and had the best gyro and slavicka and walked endlessly in the city visiting various sites, got back to the hotel, packed our luggage and said good-byey to Athens to head to the airport for our flight back to LA. Can’t wait to visit the Islands of Greece, Mykonos, Crete and Santorini on our next trip! Have an Exquisite day and we'll see you next Wednesday!

Travel Blog: Istanbul

May 8th, 2014

From Nikki's travel journal... When the invitation came from Destination Wedding Planners Congress to attend Athens on April 24 and 25, I was ecstatic! Firstly, I was very excited to be invited as a VIP guest to the congress and networking and meeting fellow industry leaders and secondly, it gave me a chance to stop in Istanbul on my way to Athens. Istanbul happens to be one of my most favorite cities in the world having first visited it in my teens when I lived with my parents in Switzerland. My father took us there on vacation and I simply fell in love with the dynamic, charming and historical city. After I got married I had the good fortune to take my children there and they too were completely captivated and charmed by the many things the city had to offer. My husband and I left LA on April 19th so we could spend two days in Istanbul. By the time we landed, got into the taxi and reached the hotel, it was about 9 pm local time and I was simply exhausted. We decided to dine at the hotel restaurant which had magnificent views of Bosphorus, and the Bridge. Legacy Ottoman Hotel is located in the old city and was built in 1911. The nicest thing about this hotel is it is within walking distance to Topkapi Palace, The Blue Mosque, Aya Sophia, Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar. image-19 The next morning we woke up, had a decadent breakfast in the penthouse of the hotel overlooking the harbor and many historical buildings including the Blue Mosque.

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One striking thing about Turkish people is the fact how patriotic they are.  You see Turkish flags hanging over homes, apartment buildings, hotels, restaurants and government buildings.  As a matter of fact when the plane lands all you see is the city dotted with red flags. 

photo 3 We decided to walk to the Blue Mosque and spend the day looking at various sites within a few minutes distance from the Mosque. image-21 This mosque is actually called “ Sultan Ahmed “ Mosque and was built between 1609-1617. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is a masterpiece build with the understanding of Great Architect Sinan in the 17th century. When the Ottomans Turks built a mosque, they included a large complex of buildings consisting of a hospital, a madrasha ( a higher educational institution ) a soup kitchen, a primary school, a market (bazaar), and a tomb for the members of the royal family. image-21 Even though it has been known with this name ( Blue Mosque ) by most of the Westerners the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has never been called by the Turks as "the Blue Mosque" throughout history. It was given the name Blue Mosque because of its famous blue tiles from Iznik that adorn the interior walls of the mosque. There are more than 21000 handmade tiles and along with blue color they are also in green, white and other colors. image-14 image-20 After spending about two hours in the mosque, we came out and walked to the court yard where Aya Sophia is located. photo 8 Hagia Sophia is known as “ The Church of Holy Wisdom???, this ancient Byzantine Church was built by Emperor Justinian in 535 AD. It was a house of worship for Christians for 916 years. In the mid 15th century it was converted to a Mosque and served as a house of worship for Muslims for 481 years. In 1935, it was converted to a Museum. For over 1000 years, this was the largest church in the world and the glory of the Byzantine Empire. image-20 After spending time at these two historical sites we walked over to the Grand Bazaar which happens to be one of my favorite Bazaars in Istanbul. photo 9 This Bazaar has shops that range in jewelry, souvenirs, clothing, antiques, pottery and a plethora of gifts. There is utter chaos in the Bazaar with locals weaving through the crowds carrying apple tea in Turkish mugs. We had by now worked up an appetite and wanted to eat at a local eatery. Kara Mehmet Kebap Salonu is very popular among the locals with its outdoor seating and a tantalizing menu of classic Kabab dishes like Adan and Urfa and delicious cold olive oil dishes. photo 7 We had a relaxing lunch and after giving our aching feet a little break, we headed out to the Bazaar again. image-22 After some shopping for gifts etc, we headed to the Spice Bazaar which was a treat to the five senses. I was over whelmed at the beautiful display of spices, hundreds of teas and Turkish Desserts made with nuts and dry fruits. photo 2 photo 1 image2 The aroma, fragrance and smell was enthralling and along the way we were offered desserts and nuts to taste which were absolutely delicious. image3 photo 10 After spending some time in the Spice Bazaar, we walked to the hotel to freshen up for dinner. Dinner was in the Hamidi Restaurant which has five stories and was packed with patrons. Food was delicious and entertainment of whirling dervish was spectacular. image-19 The next day was spent in taking the taking the tour of Bosphorus and Golden Horn and we got back to the hotel early as the flight was early in the morning for Athens. photo 5 Stay tuned for DWP Congress details and two days in Athens in the next blogs... Have an Exquisite day and we'll see you next Wednesday!  

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