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Friday, August 21, 2015

Planning Weddings and Events with Less Stress: RSVP! If Only People Would Pretend to Know What it...

Planning Weddings and Events with Less Stress: RSVP! If Only People Would Pretend to Know What it...: Do You Know What R. S. V. P. Means? I probably wouldn't lose too much money if I bet that one of the most frustrating things that a...

RSVP! If Only People Would Pretend to Know What it Means!

Do You Know What R. S. V. P. Means?

I probably wouldn't lose too much money if I bet that one of the most frustrating things that anyone hosting an event experiences, it would be trying to wrangle in the RSVP's.  

So this one is for you if you:

1.  Have ever had to hassle with this dilemma, 
2.  Don't want to admit that you didn't know what it means.

Maybe this will help.  As for the reasons why sending in an RSVP is so important, here's a short recap.  The number of people dictates the costs of an event.  By not sending in a timely RSVP, you are making the math extremely difficult for the items listed below.  For rentals, it is a nasty budget killer whether it was money spent and gone to waste or having to make last minute adjustments from late RSVP's.  Here goes!

Tables, chairs, food, serving utensilssternos, chafing dishes, linens, decorations, space, favors, dessert, plates, glasses, cups, saucers, bowls,  cutlery, etc.

I can't speak French, so I'll just say it means:  Reasons you Should Verify Your Presence.  That might be only partially correct, but it might get a few more people to send in their RSVP's!

Now, go send in an RSVP for something you're invited to!  Consider it almost like a gift!  It's sad, but true.

"I don't have stamps isn't an excuse"...they still make them.

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Contact us here if you would be interested in attending any upcoming webinars, podcasts or seminars on hosting successful events!

We also officiate weddings, really fun weddings!
We also officiate and plan Celebration of Life events, really funny ones!
We also plan business events, really good ones!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Don't Miss the Opportunity to Have Fun Marketing Your Business!

Learn about the 20+ events available to businesses to zero in on reaching their target market but so much more than that!  Unlike any other marketing method, events become a permanent memory, whereas other forms of marketing often get deleted or end up in the trash.

RSVP soon before it's too late at

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Planning a Wedding is a Time and Money Balancing Act

Balancing Money and Time to Plan Your Wedding

1.  Truth #1.

The reason why weddings seem so expensive is because there are so many moving parts and elements that need to be put together.  They all cost money.

We all excel at different things and absolutely can't stand other types of chores, jobs, duties, etc.  The same goes for planning a wedding.  Why spend your valuable time on something you hate.  I know that with the DIY craze, it would be easy to fall into that trap that gets bigger and bigger.  The trap that comes from saying, "I can do that myself!"  Yes, maybe you can, but do you love doing it?  If not you're likely to add unnecessary stress.  

2.  Rephrase your stress points.

If you catch yourself saying, "I need to do this" or "I need to do that", rephrase it to "it would be preferable if I did this or that".  Surprisingly, it lowers the priority a little or even makes you think it's not necessary to do the "this or that" at all.

3.  It's okay to let go!

I've read somewhere that the average (usually a bride) spends the equivalent of 7-1/2 weeks of 40-hour work weeks planning a wedding.  That is a lot of time and energy.  It takes some of us longer than others to realize that it's okay to hire some things out and realize we can't possibly come close to being as talented as the professionals in all of the categories we need.

4.  Time Management and Planning.

The things that couples don't realize when they are planning a wedding is that a lot of the DIY projects take place very close to the wedding.  Especially the flowers, making your own cake, etc!  Regarding the flowers, it doesn't matter whether they are of the "wear and carry" or "decor" categories..they take up time when you least have it.  That's not even including the tasks that people procrastinate on, constant interruptions and all the mini celebrations that are taking place at that time.  

5.  You only get married once.  Ideally!

If it's difficult for you to think about hiring tasks out, think again.  You wouldn't expect to be able to put braces on your teeth by yourself.  We hope we only get married once so you shouldn't have to justify handing out some headaches.

6.  Invest where it counts.  Determine your "dreads!" 

You can hire people to do everything from addressing your invitations, keeping track of RSVP's, cleaning up after the wedding, childcare on site at your wedding, theft protection with coat-check companies who will guard your gifts and your guests' possessions.

My biggest suggestion would be to hire a "Day-of Coordinator".  (there really is no such thing which is to your advantage).  A "Day-of Coordinator" actually does most of what a Wedding Planner does except find vendors for you.  You will want to look for one who will contact all of your vendors, verify your contracts to see if your plan actually matches what is in the contract, will tour your venue, conduct a rehearsal (might cost extra) and do their best to inhibit behavior from anyone that could risk you not getting your deposit back.  They will create a realistic timeline so that they day flows smoothly since they know the wedding industry and what the vendors need to do a good job for you.

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Check out our other programs for couples planning a wedding or needing wedding officiating, individuals planning events and businesses who want to market through hosting events.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bridezillas and Their Replicas! Beware!

Planning Weddings and Events with Less Stress: Bridezillas and Their Replicas! Beware!: Bridezillas and Their Replicas,  Beware! Yes!  You think weddings are expensive?  Well, Zillas of all types, you have inadvertently or ...

Bridezillas and Their Replicas! Beware!

Bridezillas and Their Replicas,  Beware!

Yes!  You think weddings are expensive?  Well, Zillas of all types, you have inadvertently or not, contributed to this for two primary reasons.  Wedding vendors are seldom wealthy and have a lot of hidden costs, so putting up with bad behavior just makes whatever profit they have made not worth the trouble.  So they either quit or raise prices.  Supply and demand effects any industry.

Unless you've been around the wedding industry a lot, you would not know how many vendors, who can provide their services to other types of clientele say, "I don't do weddings anymore!"  This can range from planners, florists, photographers, caterers and so forth.  They usually say that there's just too much drama, clients who think that they should get everything for nothing, and engaged couples and their families are getting ruder and sometimes violent when they are just trying to do their job.  I've seen it all myself!  Couples will also come up with the craziest excuses to not pay for services. If they heard that message from their own bosses, they certainly wouldn't appreciate it, but it's okay in many couple's minds to do just that.  People outside of the industry are generally surprised to hear what we put up with in the wedding industry.

Bridezillas, if you think about how you like to be treated at work by customers or co-workers, then imagine how people feel when they are doing their best to make a wedding the best possible.  However, if you have not communicated as your vendors have requested, make frequent changes, fail to relay important information or especially make last minute changes, you are asking for something to go wrong.  It's that way with everything in life.  If a bride tries blaming everyone else,  whether it be friends, family or vendors, that sets the tension to a higher level for the whole day.  If a bride rolls with the punches and is half-way gracious, the atmosphere is completely different. Everyone picks up on that energy whether it be positive or negative.  

What seems to have caused the bride/guest zillas problem?  They show inexcusable bad behavior ranging from words to temper tantrums towards family, friends or anyone who is involved with the wedding.  What has made this behavior seem acceptable in many people's eyes?  

The problem is big enough to come up at industry and networking meetings.  The question that's asked is, "What do we do with all of this bridezilla behavior and even their friends and families?"  The general conclusion is that about all they can do to tolerate it is to raise prices.  

I would attribute the bridezilla or other zilla behavior to several factors, and I know that other vendors share my opinion on this.  

1.  It probably starts with what is taught as acceptable behavior when dealing with people in general from the time they were young.    

2.  Many people of the generation that are getting married now, were in general given whatever they wanted.  Perhaps they have been dreaming of their wedding day for years.  That's nothing new, but more recently it's been with a different mindset of entitlement.  I've heard of brides saying, "But it's my wedding!"  So vendors are supposed to just hand out their services like candy on Halloween?

3.  The media with all the "reality" shows paints a dream wedding that few people can afford, but having been used to getting what they want, they can't accept that the same can't be theirs.  The "reality" shows thrive on drama, but that does nothing to help a real wedding go smoothly where everyone can still be friends at the end of the day.

4.  The media, especially the one that is named after "perfect vision" (in the form of numbers) broadcasts sensationalized shows that paint the industry with a broad brush that does not come close to matching what I've seen of hundreds of vendors.  They spend most of those shows comparing apples to oranges.  If their purpose is to educate the public, they are actually doing a disservice to the public by misrepresenting the industry.  Other shows piggyback off of those shows and perpetuate the myth.

Let's not forget the wonderful clients who we would gladly adopt as family.  The ones who appreciate our efforts and treat us as professionals.  I've had more of them than the bridezilla variety.  Those clients have usually not had the easiest lives and are far from anything like a spoiled brat.  They couldn't be more opposite than that.  Like anything else, it's the few bad apples that can ruin the whole batch.  You might have even heard teachers say that they remember the really nice students and the ones who were just the opposite.  The same principle could apply to weddings.

Click here to learn about our upcoming podcasts on wedding planning on our "Engaged!  What's Next?" Facebook page!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

If You Are the Second Daughter to Get Married, You're Lucky!

If you are the second daughter to get married in a family, to a certain extent, you will benefit from all the lessons learned from the first wedding.  The rude awakening is that no two weddings are alike.  With sisters, often their weddings are polar opposites.  I understand perfectly why that is.  I have a sister!

I've noticed something about people who hire wedding planners.  What would that be? At some point in the initial consultation with a parent, they will say, "This time.....!" That is usually followed by we are not going to be having a stressful day and do everything ourselves.

I had one mother say all she wanted to do was to shop for a dress that she liked, and the next thing would be to sit down at the wedding!  That's pretty much what happened. The bride and groom were reluctant to hire a wedding planner and then she said, "Then it's going to be your wedding gift!"  They thought that she should save that money for something else for the wedding.  Within a month of being hired, they said it was the best decision they made!  That same couple along with their father mentioned me during the toasts, thanked me and said that they never could have had their wedding without me. Her father recommended that other people with upcoming weddings use my services.  I was so thrilled and taken aback.  I was also very tired!  It was an outdoor wedding on a very hot August day!  

I will never forget that moment, and it has kept me sane through the "not so pleasant" bridezilla types--which I won't even take on or keep as clients anymore.  They are out the door!

Cherish the good memories, right?

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and Valentine's Day Are...

It's Valentine's Day 2015 and romance is in the air.  More people get engaged from Thanksgiving through Valentine's Day than any other time of the year.  These days are often associated with a gathering of friends and family or as with Valentine's Day a day of special attention paid to the love of someone's life.  Have you ever wondered why so many wedding shows take place from January through March?  Well, that's the reason!

One thing that I would warn people about getting married on Valentine's Day, is that you can expect to pay through your teeth for roses on your Valentine's Day wedding.  I just saw something on the news about tulips replacing roses as a favorite flower for Valentine's Day.  That's a very good decision since they are in-season around Valentine's Day.

Wishing you the Greatest of Days!

15 Ways Couples Can Help Wedding Vendors Provide Their Best Service

15 Ways Couples Can Help Wedding Vendors Provide Their Best Service

Every vendor really wants to do the best job possible for your wedding. What can a bride/groom do to insure that they are able to do exactly that? Here are some general suggestions that go across most if not all vendor lines. 

This might be the only place you will hear this!

1.  Communicate with your vendor in a timely manner during the planning process.   If they reach out to you, they probably need information from you to proceed. 

2.  If your vendors don't reach you as quickly as you might like, they are probably in a meeting or working an event. Remember that they will show you the same courtesy when you are having a consultation with them or they are at your wedding.

3.  Ask if they have a questionnaire to complete before the consultation.  If so, have it done before your appointment.  If you can email it to them even earlier, all the better.

4.  Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions at a consultation.  

5.  Keep your vendors informed of any major problems/questions that have come up as soon as you can.

6.  Notify the appropriate vendors of any changes after you have considered the change carefully.  Limiting the number of changes, especially closer to the wedding will make things flow more smoothly. Changing your mind often will increase everyone's chance of confusion and possibly result in things not being as you wanted for your wedding.  Emailing is the best way because it creates a record that can be referred to or transferred to notes in a file created for you.  It never hurts to double-check.

7.  Try to keep your questions relevant to what a vendor actually does for a wedding.  They want to help you, but their time is better spent in their area of expertise.  When they suggest that you need a coordinator, they are trying to save you valuable time and money as well as for themselves.

8.  Try to keep all of your appointments and give at least 24 hours notice if possible.  You should text, email or call or a combination of any of these.  Depending on where your vendor is and what they are doing, their access to any of these might vary.

9.  Have some idea of what you want your wedding to be like.  When asked what you envision for your wedding, as much as possible avoid responses such as:

A.  "We don't really care".
B.  "My Mom (or whomever) is taking care of all of that".  Come prepared with details of what is being done.
C.  "We don't think that anyone will cause problems at our wedding".  (You really have no way of knowing how people are going to react on such an emotionally-charged day added to alcohol).
D.  "We haven't really thought of a budget".  A vendor will be wondering if you are even able to pay them and won't have as good of an idea of what you want for your wedding. 
E.   "We're just shopping for prices."  This is okay on some level because sometimes that is the only starting point or ice breaker you have!   If you're speaking with a professional vendor, be honest with yourself.  If a particular type of vendor is really important to you and you know that they are integral to your wedding day and future memories, you want a quality product.  The lowest prices are often the costliest decisions.  Set what you feel are priorities for your wedding. You might not know it, but some professionals take offense at this "price shopping" response, because they feel that you have not taken the time to check out their quality of work which they generally take a lot of pride in versus a non-professional who probably doesn't have a portfolio, testimonials or nearly the experience.  They could wonder how serious you really are about that particular aspect of your wedding.  
10.  Assumptions you should never make:

 A.  Your friends will help you set up and clean up.
 B.  Your bridal party and guests will show up on time.  Do what you can to encourage people to be on time.  (The opposite can be a problem, too)  If people show up too early, they might want to help and that can actually hinder vendors trying to do their job.
11.   Remember that your vendors working at your wedding are people!  They will probably be working many hours and to do their best they will need a chance to eat.  No fainting vendors!  You can arrange to provide a plate, or a trip through the buffet line after your guests have been served or have gone though a buffet line.  Offer them a little bit of privacy as they won't want to be seen eating in front of the guests if possible and they may only have a few short minutes to eat.

12.  Ask if a vendor needs a tablecloth and order them tablecloths that go all the way down to the floor.  They will need to hide a number of things that are unsightly or just don't want everything in plain sight.

13.  Tell a few key people who will be at your wedding what some of the venue rules are.  This is especially true for those things that might prevent you from getting your deposit back.

14.  Don't expect a vendor to wait for payments.  Sometimes brides have an attitude of  "..but it's my wedding day!"  To this type of bride, I would say, think of it this way.  You expect a paycheck for your work and wouldn't appreciate it if your boss said, "I'm not paying you today because it is my birthday!"  (A little tongue in cheek there)

15.  Last but not least, don't procrastinate to hire a vendor.  Remember that most wedding vendors do the majority of their work in a 3-4 month period of time.  This also can set limitations on the number of vendors available for whatever service you need.