Friday, May 4, 2012

How a yoga practice can keep you calm during wedding season?

As most of my clients know I do have a yoga practice on the mat and off the mat. Often, I always get the popular question, how are you a wedding planner dealing with so many weddings, personalities, timelines, checklists all at the same time-how do you handle it all? The answer is Yoga.

Yoga is a connection between the mind, body, and spirit. It stimulates balance and rewards your body sense of healing, calmness, and confidence. That is how I can multitask and still be in the present moment with each client’s wedding. My yoga practice is like a daily cup of coffee- either through yoga asana, mediation, or focusing on my breath. It definitely keeps me prepared for the unexpected on a wedding day.

Usually, on a weekly basis I have been top of my wedding blogs on a weekly basis. However, for the past 3 months, I have been offline, due to my decision to go deep within my yoga practice to take the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Registered Certificate with Yoga Alliance that began in January through April. Thankfully I graduated and now I can share my practice.

How can yoga benefit you during your wedding plans?
I often hear from brides, I’m so overwhelmed, I have so much to do, I’m so tired, I have 3 more months until the big day and I didn’t lose any weight, I can’t sleep, I can’t breathe, I can’t stop, I’m scared, etc. Does this sound like you?

Well I have a remedy for you =)
Yoga is designed to meet your specific fitness goals, help you relax and renew, create a space for you to develop inner peace, tranquility, compassion, and grace. Yoga is not about how flexible you are or if you can do a “picture perfect” headstand- it’s about giving your body a gift to surrender and connect with your self physically and emotionally. No matter what, yoga will make you feel perfect and content just the way you are and your day will be close to perfect as it is destined to be.

Wedding planning and the actual wedding day can be a stressful affair. The 5,000 year-old practice of yoga helps brides-to-be, their fianc├ęs, family, and friends meet their fitness goals, relax, celebrate, and enjoy this momentous occasion.

In addition, we live in New York City, a city no place like it, the hustle and bustle, achieving our dreams, balancing transitions such as having a wedding, full time careers, and more- always on the go in a NY minute. We forget to breath in this fast pace city. Most couples are flustered when the time has come to walk down that aisle and they forget to breathe, panic, which takes you from the present moment- that is to live, laugh and love in your day! Yoga can bring the deep breath into the big day!

My Bridal Budget is revamping and taking a different holistic direction – that is to bring Yoga to wedding planning. I will offer private couple yoga sessions and/or have a private class packages with your bridal party and family. If you want a calming bachelorette party, bridal shower, or a wedding day maybe yoga themed class can just be the gift for you and your loved ones.

Do you want check out what this Yoga is all about?

Tomorrow 5/5/12 Cinco de Mayo (yoga without the margaritas!), I will be teaching a 10:30am Level 1 yoga class at Bamboomoves in Forest Hills. You can also catch me on 6/9/12 Saturday at 10:30am, and 7/14/12 Saturday at 10:30am.

I look forward to seeing you on the mat!

Picture- Me in my headstand- its not perfect, but it gives me balance =)

CEO & Wedding Planner and Yogini =)
My Bridal Budget

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Service Charge- Is it taxable or not?

That is a good question to ask to your catering company or catering venue because you don’t want to miscalculate or have any surprises when you pay your final bill. Most catering venues charge 20% for service charge, which you are responsible for that cost that covers waiting staff, linens, directional/place cards, any operating venue costs, etc. In New York, tax is applied to the service charge. Most of us go out to restaurants for dinner, most of the time tax is not applied on the gratuity and service charge. However, in catering venues that have large parties, tax is applied on the service charge.
If you are the type that is organized with finances and likes to see the figures in a spreadsheet. Here is an example in how you would calculate your catering bill with taxable service charge:

$9,095 ($85 x 107 adults)
$280 ($35x8vendors)
$385 ($35x11kids)
$9,760 (subtotal)
$1,952 (service charge-20% x $9,760)
$11,712 (total)
$1,010.16 (total x Tax 8.625%)
$12,722.16-Grand Total

The numbers turn out to be a big difference when tax is applied to service charge, therefore please ask the question to your venue –“Is your service charge taxable?” so, you can make sure your budget is accurate.

Below is NY tax regulations regarding to service charges-
Gratuities and service charges
Gratuities and tips that a customer leaves voluntarily for the wait staff are not taxable.
Mandatory gratuities are different because they are automatically added onto the bill given to the customer. However, a mandatory gratuity is not taxable if all of these conditions are met:
• the charge is shown separately on the bill,
• the charge is identified as a gratuity, and
• all of the money collected is given to the employees.
If any of these conditions is not met, the mandatory gratuity is taxable along with the rest of the catering bill.
Many caterers bill a service charge on banquets or on parties of more than eight or ten people. Since these charges are not specifically listed as gratuities on the bill or invoice, the service charge is always subject to sales tax.
For more details, see TSB-M-09(13)S, Sales Tax on Gratuities and Service Charges.