Monday, December 22, 2008

Amber Events office closed for the Holidays

I will be out of the country from December 23 to January 2 celebrating Christmas and New Years in Colombia. My husband and I have a friend who invited us to join her family for the holidays and we are looking forward to our first trip to South America!

Congratulations in advance to all of you new brides who got sparkly, sparkly rings over the holidays! Let's plan a wedding!

Hasta Luego, amigos!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2009 Wedding Trends

This post taken from the ever awesome Wedding Report is not about colors and the cutest new favors, but more about the overall state of the wedding industry as it relates to what is going on in the economy. People are still getting married, they are just looking at it a bit differently than they were a year ago

2009 Market Forecast
In 2009, the number of couples getting married will remain steady overall at about 2.2 million. If the economy begins to recover, we may see a slight increase; however, if we see more economic turmoil the number of weddings will decline in 2009 as couples wait for the economy to recover. Spending will follow the same trend, except that overall spending will be down 10% over 2008, which is already seeing a decline of 20-30%. In 2009, we estimate the average wedding cost to be between $21,000 and $25,000.

2009 Trends
Most trends in 2009 will relate to saving money with the exception of a few. We expect other money saving trends to emerge.

• Smaller weddings with fewer guests
• Destination weddings or destination type weddings closer to home
• Accent colors on dresses and cakes with the most popular being greens and blues
• Increased reliance on family and friends to help plan, pay, and provide some of the services
• Increased use of green and echo friendly products and services
• Simplified decorations, centerpieces and wedding invitations
• Increased use of online RSVP’s vs. traditional mail-in RSVPs
• Off-peak weddings; Mornings, Afternoons, Fridays, Sundays, October becomes the new June
• Buffet meals, Hors d’oeuvre, and cocktail receptions
• Cheesecakes, cupcakes and miniature cakes
• All-inclusive packages

There has been a lot of talk in the wedding industry about whether or not we should cut our prices in order to survive in this market. For myself personally, the answer is no. I believe in the quality of the service I provide and I believe in the reasons of why I charge what I charge. My mechanic, lawyer, accountant, and IT guy aren't lowering their prices, because they too believe in the quality and the necessity of the work they do. Granted, you can get married without a wedding coordinator, but if you do want one, always remember that you get what you pay for!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Gospel According to Martha

I love Martha Stewart. I know that is not a unique thing to say considering that I am (a) a woman (b) a Wedding Coordinator and (c) a lover of all things textured and fabulous , but today I have more warm and fuzzies for her as we've spent some quality time together lately. Last night we had wine during her Christmas special during which I broke out the glitter and decorated ornaments with her. (side note: if you haven't ever tried crafting and drinking, I highly recommend it. I have a sneaking suspicion that Martha would probably agree with me.) Today I read her latest pretty, pretty issue and looooved the article on hiring a wedding coordinator. Amen, sister!

It's not online to copy and paste here, but you all read the Martha Bible anyway, so please read that article, especially the little box at the bottom that says you need to be nice to your coordinator...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hupp, two, three, FOUR!!!

My ass was kicked at 5:30 AM today. Seriously, I'm having a hard time typing! I consider myself a fairly active person and maintain my jean size by a little bit of hiking, yoga, a tiny stair stepper in my living room, and 12 hour wedding days. I DESPISE the gym, so I don't have a membership and didn't go when I had one. Some of my friends have gone through a six week bootcamp here in the valley and my friend Gina was told that this week she could bring one of her friends today to see what it's all about. I thought I knew what it was, but I was wrong. I've seen the ads around LA with the scary muscular woman in her camo gear and was slightly turned off by the whole idea of some drill sergeant figure yelling at me during jumping jacks. I have authority issues, so I don't respond well to people who yell at me. Gina promised me that even though Marlon wears camo pants, he's way nice and encouraging, so I decided to give it a try.

Despite the alarm going off at 4:45am, it turned out to be a really good experience. We met at a park in Sherman Oaks and at 5:30 the hour of exercise began. Jumping jacks, push ups, sprints, sit ups, dumbell reps, you name it. I actually hate running, but I ran 1.5 laps around the park (powerwalked the rest). I think it had something to do with the "Good job, Amber"'s that Marlon was offering me. He was really, really cool and kept all of us pushing ourselves.

My friend Phil lost 30 pounds before his wedding as a result to committing to Marlon's bootcamp for six weeks. To my brides who keep saying you need to lose weight: you really need to check him out. A six week course is $500 and if you go every weekday, (oh yeah, and eat right) you will definitely get your money's worth. The location changes daily to prevent boredom--tomorrow they're running up Fryman Canyon. Ouch!

Marlon John
Redman Fitness
818-399-8172
www.redmanfitness.com

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2008, what a year!

As I put together some of my favorite wedding pictures of 2008 for my holiday e-card, each picture brought up quite a few memories, so I started reflecting on them. 2008 has been, by far, one of the most difficult years of my life. I can honestly say that I am ready to put it to bed and I welcome 2009 with open arms. In a five month stretch this summer my husband and I were wrongly sued twice by an evil landlord, were made to move because of that, were audited by the IRS, and were robbed when we were at home sleeping. All of this was happening as I was trying to balance my clients and a full time job. Yes, you heard me: a full time job. For the past few years I busted my a** working a full time job in order to get my business off of the ground.

With all of its hardships, 2008 did have a lot of blessings. My husband and I were able to weather through the storm of all of the craziness and come out stronger on the other side, and our family and friends offered an amazing amount throughout the drama. I finally reached one of the goals that I've had my whole life: as of one month ago, I officially work solely for myself!

This collage fills me with a sense of accomplishment and I feel so much love for everyone that contributed to what I have been able to do this year. I would not be where I am today without these clients, all of the vendors that I worked with, and my friends and family that encouraged me. I am truly blessed.

2008...what a year, indeed!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Managing the guest list

Whew. I've been buried under a project for the past two weeks that had me managing the guests lists for two entertainment industry premiers on the same night--one in Los Angeles and one in New York. There were over 1,000 people on each list and let me tell you how OVER guest lists I am! I forgot how tedious, time consuming, and just plain exhausting it all is.

Managing the guest is a task that doesn't have to be a horrible one if you set your foundation right and input all data correctly early on. Normally only my clients get my rockin' checklist and spreadsheets, but as a holiday gift to my blog readers, I'd love to share with all of you my fabulous 'Guest List Master' spreadsheet that makes keeping track of your guests and their table/meal assignments easy as pie. Just email me at amber @ amberevents.com and put in the subject "Guest List Gift" and I'll send it on over to you.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to go download "All I Want For Christmas is You" as my new ringtone...