Category Archives: Event planning tips

Mitzvah keepsakes: Carol Colman Creations featured in Mitzvah Market newsletter article on bar/bat mitzvah invitation keepsakes

mitzvah-marketVery excited to be featured in Mitzvah Market’s newsletter about invitation keepsakes. Here is what they have to say:

“Once your child’s Bar Bat Mitzvah service and celebration are over, you are left with great memories. Your photographer will create a special album, the videographer will produce a fun video and now we have ideas on how to preserve your child’s Bar Bat Mitzvah invitation too!

Many invitations set the tone for the type of party you will have and it’s an important party element. We have come across some great keepsake ideas that also make great gifts.

From creative frames to stained glass boxes and more, you can hold onto your Bar Bat Mitzvah invitation in a number of ways. Your child might even thank you for doing it…one day!”

Mitzvah Market has lots of great ideas for planning mitzvahs – check out this great resource.



Winter wedding planning – with a blizzard in the forecast, will your wedding go on as planned? How wedding insurance may save your winter wedding day

Making the best of a snowy wedding day

Making the best of a snowy wedding day

As I write this, light snow is lazily falling outside my Lexington, MA home. However, the weather people tell us that soon we will be hit by a blizzard of possibly historical proportions that will last until mid-day Saturday. Already, flights are cancelled, schools are closed, and many weekend sporting events have been rescheduled.

Blizzard weddings can be beautiful. Take a look at this story of one Philadelphia-area couple who made it work, as well as this story of a blizzard wedding in Minnesota.

But what if your wedding (or Bar Mitzvah, or 50th Wedding Anniversary party) was supposed to happen tomorrow, at the height of (or just in the aftermath) of the blizzard? Yes, the weather is supposed to calm down by Saturday afternoon, but if you are in an area that hits the jackpot and gets up to 30 inches of snow over the next 24 hours, there is no question that your event could be affected. Guests who are travelling may simply not be able to get there. Local vendors may have difficulties getting the supplies they ordered, much less getting to the venue. Your venue may lose power. What should you do?

In the best of all possible worlds, you would have thought ahead and bought insurance to cover the possibility that some unforseen event might affect your ability to carry off your event as planned. After all, with the average cost of a wedding in the United States now approaching $27,000, you have an expensive investment to protect. Basic policies cost anywhere from $200 to $600 small change to protect yourself, especially if you are having a winter event. One company, Wedsure, advertises policies starting at $95.

Wedding policies vary widely in what they cover, but a good one will cover the cost of rescheduling in the event of bad weather – such as a blizzard. They can also protect against the illness of essential participants, no-show vendors, and venues cancelling on you. There are additional riders that usually can be purchased, such as protecting yourself against liability resulting from a guest getting ill or injured or damage to the wedding site.

There are specialty wedding insurance companies (just google “wedding insurance”), but you may first want to check with your own insurance agent as to what may already be covered under your existing policies (such as coverage for the theft of gifts through your homeowner’s or personal property insurance).

One thing wedding insurance doesn’t cover? Last-minute cold feet (and I don’t mean the kind that comes from being outside in the middle of a blizzard). If that happens, you’re on your own.

An unusual “all-inclusive” wedding package – covering everything from the ring to the reception – would you accept that proposal?

Photo of LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana taken in Philadelphia by Carol Colman

Photo of LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana taken in Philadelphia by Carol Colman

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. At least one hotel wants to prove why Philadelphia is also known as “The City That Loves You Back.”

We all know that planning a wedding can be stressful. There are so many decisions to make.

But what if you lead a busy life and you are someone who hasn’t been dreaming about the perfect wedding day since you were a small child? What if a Philadelphia hotel offered a package of services that took care of everything from the proposal (complete with ring valued at $50,000 and a photographer for the occasion), to an engagement celebration complete with champagne and in-room couples massage, to a ballroom reception with food and drink? That eliminates a lot of decisions for you.

And it may be a bargain – a value of over $100,000 for only $80,000.

That’s what you get with the Hotel Monaco’s “Diamond in the Sky” package. As reported by the Bridal Bulletin blog (from the editors of Philadelphia Wedding), “ it not only takes care of a pretty awesome engagement weekend, it also includes your big day celebration.” They reserve a private place for the question to be popped, a photographer to capture the moment, and an engagement ring worth $50,000. Then they set you up in a suite to celebrate your newly engaged status with lots of goodies for an entire weekend. Finally, they cater your wedding celebration in the historic Lafayette Ballroom for 200 of your closest friends and family.

And this package isn’t only for loving couples already in the Philadelphia area. If you get engaged as part of this package while you are visiting Philadelphia, your package includes a first-class trip home (within the continental United States). (For Philadelphia locals, you have access to the tickets for a trip at your convenience).

This may be a pretty good deal.

As reported by ABC News,” Philadelphia weddings cost $37,014 on average, not far off from the costs in other northeastern areas where wedding costs were high.” This figure came from a survey done by and of brides who were at least 18 and got married in 2011. Wedding costs in Philadelphia are higher than the average wedding cost of $27,021 for the country as a whole.

Add in the $50,000 ring and all the engagement weekend bonuses and the finances start to look good. But as we all know, weddings are are about a lot more than money (the recent “Wedding Confidential” report on 20/20 notwithstanding, but more on that at a later date).

If you haven’t thought of the City of Brotherly Love as a place to get engaged or married, maybe this package will make you take a second look.

But if this appeals to you, act now – this offer is being made for a limited time only!

So what do you think about this proposal package? Can something be both practical and romantic at the same time? If so, does this accomplish that?

I’ll love you forever (especially if we get married on January 4, 2013): good fortune and Chinese weddings

Double happiness papercut bought on a business trip to Taiwan in 1989

Double happiness papercut
(bought on a 1989 business trip in Taiwan)

Happy Love You Forever Day! Haven’t heard of it? Maybe that’s because you aren’t Chinese, where couples across the country are doing what they can to marry on this auspicious date. More than 10 million marriages take place in China each year, with numbers spiking on dates thought to be numerically important.

Marriages take place at registry offices and must be booked in advance. It was reported that 10,000 couples married today in Beijing, and that many more hopefuls showed up without an appointment. In Hong Kong, the city’s five marriage registries were fully booked for this date by September 20 2012.

So what makes tody special? After all, it doesn’t have matching numbers (as was the case recently on 12/12/12); such dates are thought to bring good fortune.

No, it is the words that make today special. In Mandarin, the words for “January 4, 2013” sound like the phrase “I will love you all my life.”

That’s as good a reason as any to pick a wedding date.

However, if you’re looking for good fortune, it helps to pick the right parents.

At least that was the case for the couple in China’s Fujan province, where the bride’s father paid a dowry worth more than $150 million to help the couple start their new life together. According to the South China Morning Post  “the extravagant gift included four boxes of gold jewelry, more than $3 million deposited into their bank account, $800,000 in stock, a Porsche and a Mercedes…(as well as) a retail store, mansion and other properties. To top it all off, nearly $2.5 million was donated to two local charities on the couple’s behalf.” No partridge in a pear tree, but they can afford to buy their own should they choose to do so.

Why the largess? “As parents, we certainly want our child’s life to be more stable than our lives as entrepreneurs,” said the bride’s mother, according to the UK’s Daily Mail. I don’t think stability will be one of their future concerns. They married on Sunday. Guess they didn’t need to pick a particularly auspicious date to ensure their good fortune.

So how did you pick your wedding date? And has it proved to be fortunate for you?

In other Chinese wedding news, one father has established a bounty/promise of $65 million as a wedding gift to any man who will marry his lesbian daughter. As reported in the Huffington Post, Hong Kong businessan Cecil Chao was upset that his daughter Gigi had eloped with her partner to France, where their union was blessed in a church. It should be noted that Hong Kong decriminalized homosexuality in 1991, but it does not legally recognize same-sex marriage.

Ironically, it cannot be said that Mr. Chao practices what he preaches. A man with a reputation for being a playboy, he once claimed to have had 10,000 girlfriends but has never married. Daughter Gigi is one of three children, each with a different mother.

Chao says he has received “hundreds” of responses since making his offer, and is certain there is a large pool of eligible suitors. “Thousands of people want to be my in-laws,” he proclaims. Would Gigi cooperate and enter into a heterosexual marriage?  Gigi says, “We’ll just worry about that when the time comes.”

You can’t make this stuff up, people

What do you think  – is this a tempting offer? How much would it take to entice you to marry for money and not for love?