Thursday, January 18, 2007

If this doesn't sum it up, what does?

11. Really lastly… just realized how much I wish I’d found you before I signed the XXX (venue) and XXX (florist) contracts. I got hosed, huh??

That is right out of an email I received from a new client. It made me so upset to know she felt this way. First of all, she didn't get hosed. She just wasn't informed. She didn't know that she had options, or what she should be asking for. If you haven't planned a wedding before, how would you know what to expect?
In this case, she hired me, I reviewed the contracts she had in place, and sent her a 1st draft of her custom budget. I'm certain she was shocked. The 2 contracts ate up so much of her budget, that the wedding she had envisioned wasn't going to be possible on the remainder of the budget, there was nearly nothing left. Compromises and sacrifices will have to be made.
Fortunately, she did hire me, and I am going to iron this out. She's still going to have her dream wedding- it's just going to take some work. And although the technical part of my job is to get her wedding planned, and for it to run smoothly; I take great care to be a support to my clients (a.k.a. friend) and to make her engagement and wedding planning process fun. I won't let her feel like she "got hosed".

Photo Credit: Julie Goodacre

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Boy, is it engagement season!

The second week of January is always my busiest week on the phone- but never anything like this. Why so busy? Well, turns out that fellas just love to propose during the holidays. And typically 2 to 3 weeks after the ring gets slipped on the finger, brides to be realize that planning a wedding is more of a job than expected. While it is so much fun to plan your wedding- the task list is daunting to say the least. And the questions you're thinking, "Where do I go? How much will this cost? When do I pay deposits? Is it SAFE to pay a deposit? How many people can we invite? What's the difference between a plated meal and a buffet, a buffet and action stations, family style vs. French service? Oh the questions you'll ponder.
Don't be nervous or overwhelmed, get professional help. That's right, go to a shrink. Kidding!!! Ha, gotcha! Whether you just need someone to get you in line and guide you, or you don't have the time and need full time help- that's why there are wedding planners. Don't be afraid to call and ask; what we do and what we cost, and how we can help. I can even refer you to a planner in your area if you aren't marrying here. I know some good ones.
So if you called or emailed me this week, I'm excited that you have! I have talked to some really awesome people all over the country. I can't plan all of your weddings, but I really love the thought of it. 2007 and 2008 are going to be full of wonderful weddings.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Say No to the ipod Wedding

Okay, I tried to just bite my tongue and I can't anymore. I realize its all the rage as far as the wedding magazines are saying- but have you been to a wedding reception with a "virtual dj"? Let me tell you, it virtually DOESN'T WORK. Here's the problem; or shall I say the short list of problems:
1. Nobodys reading the crowd. A pro dj can tell what kinds of songs your wedding guests are in the mood for. If they all rush the floor when Prince comes on, he knows what other songs will keep them on the floor instead of rushing off. Because we all know- that is the worst thing that can happen, an empty dancefloor. Your ipod (or laptop) doesn't know that Jack Johnson would be perfect right now because all your college friends are on the dancefloor- a pro DJ would.
2. Technical difficulties Someone tripped over the cords and now there's no music. Hmmmm. Who's going to fix that? Your cousin Simon is suppsed to be in charge of the music, but he's in the bathroom, I mean at the bar, or is he eating his dinner? Where is cousin Simon? Wait, these plugs came out, what goes where? Uh-oh, nobody knows, because the guy who set it up isn't there. How about that.
3. It isn't a cost savings. That's right, you aren't going to save anything worth raving about. To rent the equipment, have it delivered, set up, and returned is going to cost almost as much as a pro dj. And honestly, it's a huge pain in the you know what. If you really want to cut costs, let's talk about cake and bar options.
4. Announcements. Well, you certainly can ask a good friend or family member to be the person responsible for making announcements, it's not that much to ask, right? Wrong. That person is on call the entire reception. Every time something needs to be announced, I (or your wedding planner) have to go tap this person on the shoulder, interrupt their conversation, and ask them to come to the microphone. It's just not nice, they are a guest, not an employee! Unless of course you aren't going to have an entrance, a 1st dance, a toast, tradtional parent dances, a cake cutting, a bouquet toss...

Look, chances are that you have been to a wedding where there was a really bad, corny, YMCA playing, is-this-guy-drunk DJ. They aren't all like this. I can't stand those DJ's any more than you can. Your wedding planner will steer you in the direction of a quality DJ. It really is safe. You can even make a list of songs you absolutely want played, what is not to be played, and what is and isn't to be said or announced.

Here's a great note I found from a recent DJ: "Are you looking for a Disc Jockey or an Entertainer?
When looking for your entertainment, an important aspect to consider is whether you're looking for a Disk Jockey or an Entertainer. The biggest difference is that a Disc Jockey offers very little or no interactive entertainment. A Disc Jockey will play music-nothing more, nothing less. In comparison, Entertainers are fun, creative, energetic and get your guests involved."

P.S. Can I tell you how addicted I am to the Jack Johnson cd I got for Christmas? LOVE it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I can't help it. She just looks so cute. This is Emily, my 4 year old. She asked for Bride Barbie for Christmas. Weddings on the brain- even as a pre-schooler.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year!

Woohoo! It's 2007! I can hardly believe another year has gone by. Last year was great though. There were so many awesome weddings and I had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest people. Thanks to everyone who let me be a part of their celebrations and thanks to everyone who helped make those celebrations ROCK! It's just amazing how many cool people I get to work with.

The year ended with quite the bash. Erika & Gareth tied the knot on the beach in Naples on Sunday. Very cool couple- check out their blog when you have a minute (link coming a few minutes after this one).

Heading to the book store to pick up the January wedding magazines? Be sure to grab the new issues of The Knot Florida and Bridal Guide. I contributed my 2 cents to a couple of articles (Pick of the day in the knot and Confident Bride in Bridal Guide).

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons