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Monday, April 28, 2014

Weddings:  When DIY Morphs into DYI

Do-It-Yourself projects are a great way to personalize a wedding or any celebration. To rephrase a famous quotation. "The path to stress is paved with good intentions!"  I am an obsessed DIY person who hates to relinquish any project that I could just do on my own.  No kidding!  That ranges from painting the house to getting someone to help me with all the things I never can find time to get around to doing in my business and at home.  So I understand the DIY mentality or creativity bug.

DIY sounds so enticing primarily because I hear "ka-ching!" only in the direction of me saving money! That's my first gut feeling anyway!  Are you like me when you are in the middle of a DIY project and you begin to think, "What did I get myself into?"  Sometimes we are better off to just admit defeat!  Get out while you are ahead or stop before going deeper into the hole.

That is the point that DIY becomes DYI.  The acknowledgement of the transition from Do-It-Yourself to "Do-Yourself-In".  It's when you realize you:

~Bit off more than you could chew.
~Went in over your head.
~Didn't say no to one more idea or project.
~Looked at one too many Martha Stewart magazines.
~Pretended once again to be Superwoman!

What is the cure?

I think it is when we truly realize that time is money!  Realize that we have enough stress and we deserve to give ourselves a break from doing all things, being all things to all people and just........           r e l a x!

The same goes for planning a wedding.  As a Wedding Planner I don't offer a product, I offer a feeling or peace of mind!  I hear these statements all the time!

~"I'm so relieved!"
~"I'm so glad you know what to ask!"
~"Thank you for saving me so much time!"
~"Thank you for saving me so much money compared to what you cost!"
~"More people should hire a Wedding Planner!"
~"I didn't worry about anything on the wedding day!"

Greatest of Days has ways to help couples plan their weddings with so many programs you never even thought of!

It boils down to this.  If you are not nice to yourself, who will be? When I first heard that I found it really disturbing.

Give yourself a break.  Only take on what you love to do.  There is such a thing as money well-spent!

Wishing you the greatest of days!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Engaged Couples Love This Weddin...

Planning Weddings and Events with Less Stress: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Engaged Couples Love This Weddin...: Usually when I participate in wedding shows or open houses, I get that quick sideways glance that means "I don't want to talk to a ...

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Engaged Couples Love This Wedding Planning Option!

Usually when I participate in wedding shows or open houses, I get that quick sideways glance that means "I don't want to talk to a planner because they cost too much" or "We've got everything in control!" I don't take it personally, but I do often wonder how their wedding  day is really going to turn out if they aren't comfortable enough to speak to someone who knows more about weddings than all their friends and family put together.   I'm not saying you can't have a very nice wedding without a planner, but what they don't know can definitely hurt them.

However, at the last wedding show I participated in, I got a great response to my latest planning option which gives peace of mind for a couple on any budget.  I can't get the word out fast enough because I want to help as many couples as possible!

This planning option is called "The Wedding Day Tour Guide" and is like getting all of the benefits of a day-of coordinator but about half the price because I'm not actually at the wedding.  You have the benefits of having a wedding planner go over everything with a fine-toothed comb (and phone consultations) to make the best attempt to have your wedding day run smoothly.  Maybe the best thing is that the entire wedding is planned by 30 days before the wedding!  All vendors are contacted, all contracts reviewed, bridal party and participating family members receive a 16-hour detailed timeline that is segmented in 15-minute increments.  This planning option works for long-distance couples as well.

To learn more, here is a link to the YouTube video for "The Wedding Day Tour Guide".

Contact Greatest of Days to being working on your "Wedding Day Tour Guide!"

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Truth About Wedding Vendors and Pricing

The first question from couples inquiring about the various aspects to planning their wedding is usually, "How much will it cost?"  Sometimes it is just a question that serves as an ice breaker to get a conversation started.  I would recommend that a couple comes up with something else or they could find themselves placing a vendor in a high-alert, defense mode.  Even a little bit of research about that particular aspect to a wedding will take them a long way.  A couple would be better off to just say, "I have no idea how much anything will cost!"  The most important thing is to develop a comfortable relationship with a vendor so that ideas can flow back and forth between everyone.  Vendors love to suggest ways to save money and accomplish the look and feel of a wedding for less if we think a client could do something a little differently or become aware of a particular product.

The wedding industry is unique in that we are in charge of putting together one of the most personalized days in a person's life.  A cookie cutter approach just won't cut it. Most wedding vendors will have sample packages and a ballpark price, but it really means nothing because no two weddings are alike.  One size does not fit all.  It is inevitable...a conversation needs to be started before there's a discussion on pricing.

At first glance, people (with no help from the media) think that they are being ripped off and that vendors aren't being forthright with them.  It makes no sense that for such a complicated, most detail-filled event, that you would expect a simple answer.  A wedding is a much more complicated event than a birthday party or even some corporate events.  The average wedding employs between 16-20 vendors. Therein lies the real issue!  Weddings feel that they are expensive, but it is usually because a couple is unaware of how many minute details are involved and that each portion costs money!

The wedding industry is like every other business.  We have bills to pay, networking costs, promotional costs as well as equipment and supply costs.  Most independent wedding vendors work at lot more than 8 hour per day and wear many hats.  Yet, even though this should be obvious, there's something about a client and their wedding that comes with a feeling of entitlement simply because it is their wedding.  Guess who get painted as the bad guy?  The vendors.  A good cliche to remember is, "If it was so easy, everyone would be doing it!"

Even after a wedding, some people will begin their Monday morning quarterbacking and start picking apart what they might not think well as planned.  In reality, a couple seldom really knows what is going on behind the scenes on their wedding day even if they aren't intoxicated!  They don't know about the "saves" or "close calls" and that is on purpose.  If anything goes wrong, we want it to appear that nothing went wrong.  It's all about not stressing out a couple on their wedding day.

People in the wedding industry do what they do because they love it.  They are not in it for the glamor because that is almost non-existent compared to the long days, lost weekends, a lot of sweat and very sore feet.

When I come across people who mention that they used to be a wedding planner, 90% of the time they will say they quit because they "got tired of dealing with brides!"  This is sad because it wouldn't have to be this way.  A little bit of education leads to realistic expectations and keeping an open mind lends itself to creative solutions and fabulous conversations.

Wishing you the greatest of days!

P.S.  We would love for you to leave a comment!  What would you like us to answer for you in our upcoming blog posts?  Feel free to contact us!  Serious inquiries and suggestions only, please.  No spam!

Contact Greatest of Days if you are interested in a tele-seminar on wedding planning!  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

When Did Weddings and Events Get Married?

Events and weddings must have eloped at some point.  Maybe they both have the same last name now?  Seriously, parties and weddings have a lot more in common than they used to. You might be very surprised if you haven't attended a wedding in the last several years.  It might be worth going to one just to see how they have changed. Just kidding!  No wedding crasher suggestions!  Gone are the days when....well, there's actually a long list of what has changed.  I'll name just a few.

It used to be that weddings were much different than other celebrations. Couples today really like to have a wedding that reflects their personality and tells their story.  More than ever they want their guests to enjoy the wedding and reception and guarantee that they will have a good time. I'm not sure when or if it will return to having a reception like they used to have where the only thing people worried about was having cake, a mixture of nuts, mints and their beverages of choice at a wedding reception.     

Magicians. Photo booths of several varieties. Who would have dreamed of the choreographed dances including the father & daughter dance?  Add to that the amazing grand entrances into the reception by the newly married couple.  I think one of the contributing factors to a lot of these creative endeavors is the mere presence of YouTube.  Ideas wouldn't be spread like wildfire without this medium.  

Magicians are a wonderful ice breaker and bring everyone back around to being a kid again.  I'll put in a plug for Magician, Jeff Evans of Amazement Productions who has the most appropriate name for his company.   Another activity that will keep people laughing is Flipped Out Productions.  Josh Hershfield is great at getting people to act their craziest and go home with a souvenir/favor from the wedding that will bring laughter for years.  Aura Photo Booths are bound to entertain as well, and it might be the first time you didn't feel crowded in a photo booth.  What in the heck am I doing giving out vendor information for free?  Really, it is so nice to be able to know of all the many types of vendors.  That is why Wedding Coordinators ask a zillion questions on our initial consultations.  We want to be able to bring to reality a wedding that has a bride and groom's names written all over it.  It's all about being unique.  

Wishing you the greatest of days!

P.S.  We would love for you to leave a comment!  What would you like us to answer for you in our upcoming blog posts?  Feel free to contact us!  Serious inquiries and suggestions only, please.  No spam!