BG Top 10 Lists

Esma Sultan Palace Ortakoy

Esma Sultan is one of our favorite venues in Istanbul.

BG Events’ recommended Checklist before the wedding

It is our job to organize, make lists and follow up, and yes we admit it, we love doing it. So here’s another list;

BG Events’ recommended Checklist before the wedding

6-12 months before the wedding:


Decide on the size and type of wedding you like.

Set a budget.

Choose a wedding planner.

Decide the date, time and location for your wedding and sign the contract to confirm the venue.

Select the bride's wedding gown.

Assemble your invitation list for your wedding

3-6 months before the wedding:

Choose and book the wedding photographer and wedding videographer.

Mail “save the date” cards to out-of-town guests.

Ask your wedding planner to reserve rooms for out-of-town guests.

Choose and order your wedding invitation.

1-3 months before the wedding:

Get your marriage license.

Sign up for the bridal wedding gift registry at your favorite stores.

Finalize your honeymoon plans.

Ask you wedding planner to confirm sound and light technicians, musicians and discuss final music choices.

1 to 2 Months Before the Wedding:

Finalize the wedding reception menu.

Mail the invitations.

Make hair and makeup appointments for you and your bridal party.

Order your wedding cake.

Confirm the final details of the venue and table decorations.

1 Week Before the Wedding:

Have your seating chart ready.

Have final fitting for wedding gown.

Pack for your honeymoon.

Have a facial.

Have a bachelorette party.

Make final confirmations with your wedding planner.

1 Day Before the Wedding:

Get a manicure and a pedicure.

Pack your bag for the next day.

Try to relax.

If possible, have a massage or spend some time at a day spa.

Switch off your phone, drink an herbal tea and go to sleep early.

Your Wedding Day:

Have a good breakfast.

Have your hair and make up done.

Give yourself plenty of time to dress.

Don’t drink more than a glass of champagne while getting ready.



1. At Last- Etta James

2. You are the sunshine of my life- Stevie Wonder

3. Never knew love like this- Stephanie Mills

4. It had to be you- Harry Connick Jr.

5. The first, my last, my everything- Barry White

6. Just the way you are- Billy Joel

7. The way you look tonight- Frank Sinatra

8. As time goes by- Casablanca

9. Lucky-Jason Mraz

10. You’re still the one- Shania Twain


Choosing a wedding song can be pretty difficult especially when the couple's song doesn’t match the occasion. So here’s a list of our favorite wedding songs.


1. Palladio- Karl Jenkins

2. The Flower Duet (Lakme)- Leo Delibes

3. Bitter sweet symphony (instrumental)- The Verve

4. Canon- Pachebel

5. Air on the G string-Bach

6. Claire De Lune - Claude Debussy

7. Arioso- Bach

8. Moon River- Henry Mancini

9. Emperor Waltz- Strauss

10. Book of Days- Enya

Here is a list of our favorite venues in Istanbul

1. Adile Sultan Palace:

The palace was built for the Ottoman princess Adile Sultan (1825-1898), the daughter of Sultan Mahmud II  and designed by the architect Sarkis Balyan. It was erected on the same place of a kiosk, which was presented to her by Sultan Abdülmecid in 1856. The palace was commissioned by Sultan Abdülaziz and built by the court architect Sarkis Balyan in 1861. It stands at one of the most glorious places, on a hill, in the middle of Bosphorus on the Asian shore. This location enables a wonderful panoramic view of Bosphorus reaching from Sea of Marmara  to Black Sea.The palace has 55 rooms was on a ground of 17,000 m².

Adile Sultan, a great and the only Turkish royal female poet having a Diwan, lived here until the death of her husband Mehmet Ali Pasha in 1868. She donated her residence to the state to be used as a high school for girls after her death in 1898. Before it was used as determined, the palace came a short while under the control of Ministry of War during World War I. Only in 1916, it could be turned to a secondary school for girls and the first graduates left the school in 1920. The school was named 1924 after its location, Kandilli Secondary School. In 1931, the school became Kandilli High School for Girls, a respected educational institution since then. The classes of the high school moved to a new building in 1969. The old palace was used as dormitory for boarding girls of the school until 1986; when it was burnt down due to an electrical short-circuit. The historic building became a ruin consisting of only four walls.

The palace covers an area of 5,625 m², which accommodates an oval hall for meeting and banqueting of 500 people, another two meeting halls for 200 people each, a 1,300 m² hall for cocktails and exhibitions, 20 seminar rooms with 30-40 seats, a museum, a dining hall for 150 people and a cafeteria for 60 people. The palace garden offers place for 2,000 people.

Official website

2. Ciragan Palace Kempinski:

The palace, built by Sultan Abdülâziz, was designed by the famous palace architect Nigoğayos Balyan and constructed by his sons Sarkis and Hagop Balyan between 1863 and 1867. This was a period in which all Ottoman sultans used to build their own palaces rather than using those of their ancestors. Çırağan Palace is the last example of this period. The inner walls and the roof were made of wood, the outer walls of colorful marble. The palace is connected with a beautiful marble bridge to the Yıldız Palace on the hill behind. A very high garden wall protects the palace from the outer world.

The construction and the interior decoration of the palace continued until 1872. After he moved in, Sultan Abdülâziz was, however, not able to live long in his magnificent palace. He was found dead in the palace on May 30, 1876, shortly after he was dethroned. His successor, his nephew Sultan Murad V, moved into Çırağan Palace, but reigned after only 93 days. He, who was deposed by his brother Abdülhamid II due to alleged mental illness, lived here under house arrest until his death on August 29, 1904.

During the Second Constitutional Monarchy, Sultan Mehmet V Reşat allowed the parliament to hold their meetings in this building. Only two months after, on January 19, 1910, a great fire destroyed the palace, leaving only the outer walls intact.

In 1989, the ruined palace was bought by a Japanese corporation, which restored the palace and added a modern hotel complex next to it in its garden. Today, it serves as luxury suites for the five star Kempinski hotel along with two restaurants that cater to guests.

The Palace was renovated again during the first quarter of 2007, now resembling the authentic palace with the baroque style and soft colors.

Official website

3.Esma Sultan Mansion:

Esma Sultan, born in 1873 at Dolmabahçe Palace, is the daughter of the 32nd Ottoman Sultan, Abdulaziz I.

At the age of three, Esma Sultan was admitted in the harem of Sultan Abdulhamid I, and was brought up in the harem following his father Abdulaziz’s dethronement and suicide in 1876. Esma Sultan was brought up as a loved lady sultan and when she was 16 years old she was married to Mehmed Pasha the Circassian who was one of the leading statesmen of his time.

The 19th century Ottoman mansion located next to Ortaköy Mosque was presented to Esma Sultan as a wedding gift. The mansion was named after Esma Sultan who lived at the palace.

Esma Sultan Mansion was given to her daughter Cemile Sultan in 1899 by Sultan Abdul Hamid II when Esma Sultan died. When Cemile Sultan died, the Mansion was given to Fatma Hanım Sultan, Cemile Sultan’s daughter. Esma Sultan Mansion, which seems to have gotten out of the possession of the Ottoman dynasty in 1915s became a Greek school in 1918, was used as a tobacco warehouse in 1922 and was used as carpenter house, furniture warehouse and coal warehouse respectively in 1950s, after being sold a few times. The building was burnt down in a large fire in 1975.

Esma Sultan Mansion was provided with a new cultural identity when it was bought by The Marmara in early 1990s, remaining true to the original plan of the mansion. The interior of the building was reconstructed in 2001 using glass and steel within the direction of the avant project by Philip Robert and was opened to service during 12 months of the year. The garden still contains the remains of the cistern, the Turkish bath and the stable.

If the location of a meeting or conference can influence its quality and accomplishment, then there is no better place to meet than in The Marmara Esma Sultan.

With its historical atmosphere Esma Sultan Mansion presents a privileged venue for meetings and conferences.

It offers 1000 guests for dinner and reception space for up to 3000 guests in the garden,

336 guests for dinner and reception for 600 guests, in the indoor first floor,

180 guests for dinner and reception for 300 guests at the entrance floor throughout the year.

Official website

4. Four Seasons Hotel Bosphorus:       

Four Seasons is a 19th century ottoman palace transformed into a chic urban resort.

The hotel has:

  • 11 Function spaces
  • 1030 m2/ 11087 sq ft Grand Ballroom
  • 1000 banquet capacity
  • 170 Guest rooms
  • 1 complimentary honeymoon suite with function space booking

Official website

5. Sait Halim Pasa Mansion:

The first owners of the mansion are believed to be the Duzogullari Family. The Aristarhis Family who acquired the mansion from the Duzogulları demolished it to construct a completely new one around 1863.

Abdulhalim Pasa bought the mansion from the Aristarhis Family and instructed architect Petraki Adamandidis to rebuild it. After Abdulhalim Pasa's death in 1890 the property was inherited by his nine sons. Sait Halim Pasa, gathering all shares from his brothers came into the sole ownership of the mansion in 1894.

Mansion, which is placed in Yenikoy, is now back to the life after the restoration works that lasted years. The mansion, which was built as a sea palace by Petraki Adamandidis from Çanakkale in the first years of 19th century, is placed in a garden that has a pier and also a gate to Bosphorus. It is also named a "chalet with lions" because of the two lion sculptures that are in the front of the garden called "selamIik". Rooms lined up around the middle sofa constitute the main plan of the chalet, rising on the marble basement as two levels. South part and north parts of the chalet are separated for men and women only. The entrance to the both parts is through the glassed-in sections. In spite of the plain exterior of the chalet the interior walls and ceilings are decorated by Arabic influenced ornaments.

Official website


Top 10 Reasons to Hire an Event Planner

1. An event planner is very resourceful. We, event planners, will listen to you and create the event that you envisioned.

2. Hiring an event planner will save you a lot of time and energy prior to and on the day of the event.

3. Good event planners know the market very well; and since we do a lot of business with different vendors, we are often able to get good quotes for our clients. We will help you to create your event within your budget.

4. A good planner also knows which vendor is good at their job and trustworthy, this way we can navigate our clients to safe business deals.

5. All events involve many different vendors; your event planner will be the responsible one who coordinates all of them.

6. Planning an event can be stressful; letting us do most of the work will give you the chance to enjoy your event.

7. A good event planner will also work as a friendly arbitrator if need arises.

8. A good event planner will foresee any possible last minute crisis and avoid them.

9. If a problem occurs during the event, we will take care of it without stressing our client.

10. An event planner will be your competent personal assistant until the last minute.