Month: August 2018

Ciao Bella Summer Soirée

We are super excited for our upcoming Ciao Bella Summer Soirée in Laguna Beach on Aug 22nd 2018!

We have a fabulous line up of amazing vendors and local pros.

This year we will be featuring an awesome guest and TV Host. {Did you really think we were going to say ….Who? Lol … sorry… } You are just going to wait and see who it will be!

Also, along the side of our amazing, talented, likeminded, business owners, and entrepreneur individuals, we will be having our very own Ciao Bella Babes attending!

Yes, you got it…the actually girls you hear about in all our Yelp and The Knot Reviews! The ones who are behind the scenes, at every Private Estate Party, Celebration, Wedding or Special Event, making me look good!

I can’t give these girls enough credit, for always going above and beyond my expectations. Delivering only top notch service to each and everyone of our clients.

These are the girls who will make your day seamless! Who are on their toes at your beck and call, any point in time, to tackle any obstacle headed their way! They are The Ciao Bella Dream Team!

Check out some of our Boho Babe doing her thangggg from our last styled shoot below! These are photos Ciao Bella Michelle captured behind the scenes!

Xoxo, Ciao Bella !

Ciao Bella Photos ™️ Taken by Michelle Sorensen
Visual Designer : Ciao Bella Christina
Flower Crown: Ciao Bella
Flowers & Decor & Details : Ciao Bella
Photoshoot Model : Kristina Coelho
Photographer : Karina Preciado

Vendor Tipping Etiquette

Wedding Tipping 101

Ciao Bella Staff or your Wedding Planners staff:
Wedding Staff is Who you hire, they are the ones who will be at your beck and call. They will be the one juggling your day and paying attention to every last detail. They will be setting up, staging, decorating, breaking down, cleaning up, and will be the ones who will be there at your every need. Ciao Bella is known for delivering exceptional five star service and our staff greatly appreciate gratuities.
Protocol: Appreciated
The Standard: $50 -$100 each

Tipping Your Wedding Planner:
About 80 percent of couples do tip their planners, only if they feel like they went above and beyond for them. (Negotiations on your behalf, was hands on, from start to finish. Saved you time and money. Handled all meetings with vendors, coordination between you and your venue coordinator. Etc. )
Protocol: Appreciated
The Standard: 10–25 percent of your service charge

Tipping your Wedding Hairstylist and Makeup Artist:
This is one area where gratuity is definitely expected.
Tip between 15 to 25 percent just as you would in a hair salon, and consider giving a little extra if there’s a crisis, like one of your girl ( bridesmaids ) has a meltdown over her curls or make up blah blah blah… and it requires a redo at the last minute. // double tip that gal ‘
Protocol: Expected
The Standard: $25-50
depending upon the quality of service
When to Tip: Tip your beauty stylists at the end of your service.

Tipping your Cake Delivery Service: Protocol: Expected
The Standard: $10-20 per person
When to Tip: Drop off of cake
Envelopes given the morning of to your Wedding planner or Day or coordinator, unless money is give prior to our Wedding day. You must assign a trustworthy person so that they don’t forget to distribute tips accordingly.

Tipping your Wedding Ceremony Officiant:
If your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, you’re often expected to make a donation to that institution. If you’re a member, you’ll probably want to give a larger amount than if you’re not. However, if you’re getting married there and they’re charging you to use the space, feel free to give a smaller amount. Tipping the officiant, both nondenominational and denominational, is also appreciated.
Protocol: Expected (depending on officiant)
The Standard: Donate $100–$500 to the church or synagogue, and for the officiant, an optional tip of $50-$100
When to Tip: Most ceremony fees are required prior to the wedding. Otherwise, have a responsible attendant pass the cash envelope at the rehearsal dinner if the officiant is in attendance.

Wedding Photographer and Videographer:
You’re not expected to give your shutterbugs any money beyond their normal fees. But if the wedding photographer or videographer doesn’t own the studio, consider tipping each person (or give a certain amount with a thank-you note to disperse to staff).
Protocol: Optional
The Standard: $50–$200 per photographer
When to Tip: Tip your photographer and videographer at the end of the reception.

Wedding Venue Staff:
This is usually always included check your contract with your Venues make sure you’re not double tipping these people who are staffed with the venue. Other staff you hire is different and outside of this. If there is no service charge or gratuities on these then yes it’s started to tip them.
Protocol: Expected
The Standard: 15–20 percent of the food and Catering fee or $50-100 per person

Wedding Valet Attendants:
When it comes to valet parking attendants check or ask your planner or the Venue Coordinatior if they are the ones hosting your parking through their location about the rules of tipping that are dictated by your contract.
If the service fee is included, consider doling out extra only if the service was exceptional. If it’s not included, ask ahead of time how many attendants will be working your wedding and calculate on a per person basis.
Protocol: Optional, based on contract
The Standard: $25-50 per Valet attendant
If more than 100 guests = around 50 cars / Under 100 guests $15-20 per parking attendant.

When it comes to bartenders, barbacks and bussers, the rules of tipping are dictated by your contract.
If the service fee is included, consider doling out extra only if the service was exceptional. If it’s not included, ask ahead of time how many people will be working your wedding and calculate on a per person basis.
Protocol: Optional, based on contract
The Standard: 10–20 percent of the liquor or food bill to be split among bartenders or waiters respectively, $1 per guest for coatroom attendees if the venue has any

Wedding Reception Band or DJ:
Whether you hire a 12-piece swing band or a single DJ, tipping musicians is completely optional, depending on the quality of the job and how willing they were to follow your ideal playlist. And don’t forget about any sound technicians they bring with them.
Protocol: Optional, yet preferred
The Standard: $25–$35 per musician;
$50–$150 for DJs
When to Tip: An attendant should tip the musicians or DJ at the end of the reception.

Wedding Transportation:
Again, check your contract, as gratuity is usually included. If it isn’t, plan to tip provided they show up on time, provide a smooth ride and don’t get lost.
Protocol: Expected
The Standard: 15–20 percent of the total bill
When to Tip: Tip transportation pros at the end of the night or after the last ride. If you used a separate company for the

**Rule of Thumb It’s best to give all envelopes sealed to your planner or Dream Day Designer / Day of Coordinator the morning of your Wedding day. When she arrives and greets you, hand her all the envelopes sealed in a bag, along with any Wedding items you will need to be taken over to the Venue. ( ie. Cake topper, champagne flutes, etc., if not the days prior leading up. If you would like to personally hand out the envelopes make sure you don’t loose them, ( this is not recommended only because we have dealt with instances in the past where the Bride or Groom misplaced it or handed it to their MOH or BM and they were day drinking and they don’t remember where they put it. ) Be very careful and only hand it to your Wedding Planner or Day of Coord.

When to Tip: Although tips are traditionally passed out at the end of the event, you could distribute them at the beginning of the evening to encourage all the workers to give you great service.

OC Fair Fun

Days grew shorter and nights grew longer for me and I just didn’t have the energy to make it last year, with my pregnancy. But this year we did!!! And I’m so happy we went!

It was Livy’s first time! There will be tons of first times, for her… from here on out! Her Dada and I love reliving our childhood through her. Seeing things through her eyes, for the first time is such an incredibly, emotional feeling… of pride.

Watching your very own baby respond or react to something he/she has never seen, is just ahhhmazing !!! I remember the days when I wished for moments like these,watching children and babies with their parents. And the joy and happiness babies bring !!! It’s so uplifting !! Zero bad days, over here!! We hit the lottery with this angel baby!

Everyday, I become more intrigued with her ability to retain information. She is so smart and very intelligent already.

Ok, ok so back to the Fair! Side note: Before I go any further… let me just tell you, I’ve been on a cleanse now for almost 3 months and eating Fair food was my cheat day!

So I started this cleanse called Trifectasystem. My husband is a huge MMA fan and all the fighters are on this Organic Food Cleanse. So of course what does he do… he ordered it for us to try!

I’m actually happy he did too! It has been a game changer for me! Especially loosing the rest of my postpartum Baby Weight ! For all you mommy’s looking to get fit it’s starts in the kitchen!

Ok so everytime I eat anything other then this food I get a really bad stomach ache. I literally can not eat out anymore. It’s gotten that bad now. I was super scared going to the Fair knowing how awful the food is for you, but hey I’m always up for a challenge! Hahah Me VS bad food // Bad Food -1 Me -O // let’s just say…that didn’t turn out to good!

And I didn’t even eat that horribly:

-We started with a Hot Dog on a stick! Of course we had to hit up first

-Then Funnel Cake easy on the strawberries ( I love strawberries but sometimes they are too mushy at the Fair ) and tons of whip cream just how I like it

-Lastly, we shared a Philly Cheesesteak sando that was soooooo soo good my mouth is watering just writing about it

See, that wasn’t too bad. Was it??? Hahah My stomach begged to differ, but oh well heyyy …the OC Fair only comes around, once a year!

Here are some of my favorite photos taken from our trip to the Fair!

Photos Taken: On my husbands IPhone


We finally made it to the OC Fair this year. Last year, I wanted to go so badly… especially since I was pregnant with Liv, and those food cravings would have been fulfilled if we went.









Sorensen Family Photoshoot

We recently did our first Sorensen Family Photoshoot.

Our daughter Liv turned 6 months on July 20th 2018! Where does the time go:
Here are a few of her favorite things –
•Scrunching her nose
•Blowing raspberries
•Dads Arm Hair
•Eating Rice Cereal
•Going to the pool and the beach

I honestly feel like it was only yesterday I was anxiously waiting for her arrival. Now I feel like I already need to start planning for her 1st bday party!

Her Dad tells me he wants a low key super simple 1st birthday! We will see, if that’s the way it’s going to be! Lol

Being a party planner and all, it’s hard for me to do anything low-key, I mean that phrase hardly fits into my vocabulary!

Enjoy our pictures from our Sunset Shoot in Laguna Beach. Captured by Liv’s Nana Charlene Sorensen

Location: Laguna Beach
Beach: Bluebird
Weekday Fun: Monday
Time of Day: 6pm-8pm