Read some more of our blogposts.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Helping Brides Plan Weddings Without Stress.: Now Where Did that Come From?

Helping Brides Plan Weddings Without Stress.: Now Where Did that Come From?: I've promised to give tips, trends and tools and trends for weddings and other events.  I've been thinking that maybe I should add to that ...

Now Where Did that Come From?

I've promised to give tips, trends and tools and trends for weddings and other events.  I've been thinking that maybe I should add to that list, traditions.  Isn't that really where a lot of the conflicts come in when planning a wedding?  I'm not speaking to cultural traditions though those can be huge, but at least you know where they are coming from.  I'm speaking to those traditions or mindsets that people have that show up when a bride is planning a wedding.  Odds are they can't even tell you why they are so insistent on these issues!  Here are a few.

"You should___",
"On our side of the family we do___"
"Why are you doing that?"
"What? You're not doing ____!"
"That's interesting!" (We know that means a thumbs down)
"What would your ____ think!"
These tidbits are just small sampling of the little darts that get tossed toward a bride planning a wedding.  Can you feel the pressure building?  Do you think she's going to eventually react or hold some resentment along with a smile?  More than likely.  Weddings are by far the most emotionally charged occasion considering that they are supposed to be happy.  
I hate to break it to people, but how things go through this process, might be just a glimpse into your future.  So consider it as part of a learning curve.  Chances are things will calm down until the next major step comes along.  In your younger years as you enter marriage, you just have to expect the next round.  Oh, that could be so pleasant, too.

"When are you going to have kids?"
"You're only having one?"
"You've got a ___ when are you going to try for a ___?"
"You're going to have how many?!" 

I would suggest rather than swallowing a bitter pill, go for the best medicine ever made and make sure you get addicted to it!  It is that wonderful medicine called laughter!  Things get better!  No one pressures you that much to retire or break a hip.  So look on the bright side!

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Janis Flagg began her business in 2007 after years of helping plan many weddings, anniversary celebrations, milestone birthday parties, Red Hat Society (super fun!) events and even celebration of life events. Her belief is that events should be stress-free and bring a smile to your face for years to come no matter what the event is.  At a wedding in 2007, she was asked by some guests if she did wedding planning for a living. When the bride and groom thanked her for helping make the wedding exactly the way they wanted it, that was the catalyst for "Greatest of Days". Janis has a knack for personalizing events without adding costs to an event and wants every event to have her clients' names "written all over them!"  When Janis is in business meetings with other business owners and they ask, "If you could have any job or career you wanted, what would it be?", she responds "I'm already doing it!!"
Janis also founded and is the organizer of South King County Event and Wedding Vendors which is a networking group for people in the industry.  It was founded in November of 2008 and rapidly grew to 240 members and is still growing.  She has hosted experts in the field to benefit the members businesses and loves connecting people with vendors/venues to help their businesses succeed.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What You Need to Know When Other Vendors Offer to Plan Your Wedding!

When you speak to a wedding vendor for your wedding, there is something that should put you on alert.  It's not intentionally a bad thing, but beware.  When a wedding vendor other than a Wedding Planner says, "We can plan your wedding for you" they are only partially seeing the vision of your wedding and will not be able to intercede for you on your behalf like a Wedding Planner will throughout the planning process and on your wedding day.  I wouldn't pretend to be the professional to safely prepare your food or operate the equipment that a DJ has invested money and time in.  I wouldn't pretend to get your flowers done in nearly the amount of time a florist could.  I do know that a Wedding Planner sees all of the finer details that others just aren't used to looking for and knows how each segment is part of a complete picture.  Wedding Planners take away the worry wort factor.  We are on the lookout for what can go wrong, but hopefully a bride won't even know until after the wedding what was an issue.

A venue coordinator's primary responsibilities are to the venue and their staff.  A caterer's responsibilities are for the food and they seldom stay for the whole wedding reception especially off-site caterers.  A DJ is hired for a specific reason to provide music and facilitating entertainment and more than likely will be your emcee and seldom is able to leave his or her post.  

Why do they say that they can plan your wedding?  It's not necessarily just to make money, but I think that many of them really think that they can do Wedding Planning and that they are helping a bride!  Granted, they are extremely familiar with weddings and very professional in what they do.  However, I feel that these vendors are not doing a good service for the bride nor to themselves as vendors by saying that they can plan a bride's wedding. I want you to know what to look for when a vendor volunteers to plan your wedding.

This is the picture!  On the wedding day itself, these vendors and other have their own job to do.  They will have their own set up and tear-down to take care of and are not going to be able to take the time necessary to make sure that all of your contracted vendors are on schedule, know if they are having problems in traffic and then able to help them with their setup.  

Prior to the wedding day, what these vendors consider to be wedding planning is not going to include accompanying you to consultations with their selected vendors which is what a Wedding Planner will do for you.  They probably won't be selecting vendors based on your personality, style and budget for each and every category of vendor you need.  More than likely they are only thinking of half a dozen vendors when in reality it takes 16-20 vendors for the average, a not-many-frills wedding.  It's understandable that they think only of the vendors that are actually a part of the reception, because that is what people primarily think of as those involved in a wedding or what has to be planned for a wedding.  

There are so many vendors that are behind the scenes even months prior to the wedding and some who have a role only after a wedding.  Everything from invitations, finding selections of makeup artists or hair stylists that will come to the venue, a calligrapher, pre-marriage counselors, etc.  Will you want a caterer or florist coming with you to shop for wedding dresses?  Don't worry, they won't.  

There are also some very unique vendors that they probably have not run into.  Do they know multiple people who specialize in daycare at weddings?  Do they know 3 people who play bagpipes?  Do they know where to find and know how a business operates that has horse-drawn carriages?  Will they check to see if your venue is within trotting distance from a place where the horses can set up for your carriage ride to the venue.  They might know a harpist, but do they know one that can actually bring magic out of the harp and have everyone dancing to rock and roll music from the harp?  These categories might be on the more unusual side, but if somebody wants even the oddest category of a vendor, that is what we as planners thrive on.  We have an insatiable curiosity to know what is out there for making a wedding unique just in case a bride might ask for that type of vendor.

Sorry, but here are more questions.  Do they know the things that each of their suggested vendors needs to optimally perform their individual tasks?   Are they aware of all venue rules? Are they prepared for answering all of your questions at any time you have them about your wedding?  Will your vendor who says they can plan your wedding be willing to look at each and every contract.   Aside from consultations, are they going to be willing to meet each vendor prior to the wedding on those selected vendors' schedules at the venue to help them get familiar with the layout and where they are going to fit into the larger picture?  That would include the photographer, the DJ, the rental company at minimum.  Normally a client has to take time out of their busy schedules, but a Wedding Planner will do this save you a lot of time which you'd rather save for the honeymoon or money to stay in your paycheck. Wedding Planners primarily work on weddings while these other vendors also have other types of events that they do or concentrate on even more than weddings.  For example, many caterers and others count on Corporate events to be their bread and butter.  Many times those events are held during times when you really need some answers.

You know I love good vendors, but I have to love brides more.  Even better, I like knowing that a bride has someone to exclusively look out for all aspects before, during and after her wedding.  Yes there is work after a wedding.  Is there such a thing as a Lost and Found Manager?   A Wedding Planner is hired for the bride, her family and her guests so that they can relax and enjoy the party knowing that a complete team has been put together just for her with every minute detail considered in the planning process.

Wishing you the greatest of Days!

Greatest of Days
Event/Wedding Planning
Decor Design and Officiating
Click here to receive the Greatest of Days Weekly Newsletter  (Wedding and Event Dialogue) filled with Tips, Trends, Trivia, Traditions, Traumas, Troubleshooting, Triumphs and Tools about Weddings and Events.  Your weekly time to take five!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bridal emergencies! This was a first!

Our tagline is "Creating Memories to Bring a Smile to Your Face for Years to Come!"  A few years ago, this was a situation I found myself in 10 minutes before a ceremony was to start.  The Maid of Honor came to me with a look of desperation on her face.  Immediately, I went into caaaaaalllllmmm mode and listened with an open mind!  She said, "She (the bride) says she needs us to bring her bucket.  She has to pee really bad!"  My first thought was, "This highly educated, refined woman?"  Expect anything on a wedding day!  But this was a first!!  The problem was, if the bride left the dressing area, everyone including the groom would be able to see her.  She wanted to surprise her groom! 
Here's a secret and a view into the method to my madness!  Before I leave the house to prepare for a wedding or event, I go through my house looking for anything that might possibly come in handy other than what I have in my bridal fashion emergency kit of 600 items!  There's really not much rhyme or reason to it, I just do it!  This time I saw and grabbed a very large piece of fabric I had bought and eventually made drapes from.  It had beautiful creamy white fabric with a silver thread background with a very pale blue brocade design of a flower basket.  Best of all it was 85" wide!  That could come in handy for something.
I told the maid of honor to get all of the bridesmaids prepared to hold up this piece of fabric, first taking a corner and then picking up the slack at even intervals around the fabric and hold their hands high!  What we did was encircle the bride so that she was hidden and we took the craziest 15'-20' journey from an area that was only pipe and drape over to the restroom.  
Obviously we were all in a little bit of a daze and after the bride emerged from her fabric cocoon and was in the restroom, we realized that we were still holding the fabric up high in the air!  I asked, "Would anyone like to go in there and see if she is okay or could use some help?"  Preferably a Maid or Honor or a Bridesmaid! Long story short, we made it back to the dressing area, everyone was composed, a bride was much more comfortable and the wedding started on time!   Later that evening she handed my card to someone and said, "Everyone should have a Wedding Coordinator!"

Wishing you the...

You can reach Greatest of Days through
Greatest of Days Newsletter (Wedding & Event Dialogue)