Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ask Amber Answers

Man, I love the formspring page.  I like being able to help people out, even when they're not my clients. Have a question for me? Ask HERE!

Q. When do you recommend sending the wedding day timeline to my vendors? and confirmations? I've been told sending it too soon and they can get it mixed up with another wedding.

A. This is a great question and this is how I handle it with my clients:

About 6 weeks prior to their wedding, the couple & I create the Timeline of the entire day. Once this Timeline is finished, I send the DRAFT of it to the photographer, venue/catering manager, and band/DJ asking if they have any problems with it or anything they need to add to it?

Most of the time, the vendors aren't thinking about my clients wedding that far out, but my draft gives them a chance to see if anything is conflicting with the way that they work. Then as the wedding gets closer, my clients and I keep adding to the details of the Timeline. I do NOT cc vendors on these revisions as it's just too much too soon for them.

If my client's wedding is on a Saturday, I send ALL paperwork (timeline, vendor contact info, floorplans) via email to all vendors the Friday one week before (8 days out). I also ask every vendor to confirm with me via email and I keep track of it in a spreadsheet. If a vendor has not confirmed with me by Wednesday of the week of the wedding, I re-send the email and call them to follow up.

You're right about vendors getting things mixed up with other weddings--the simpler things are made for them, the better they perform. I DON'T send multiple drafts of things to vendors for just that reason.

Long story short: while vendors working weddings with me know the general plan of what is going on (when to arrive, etc), they don't get final paperwork until 1 week prior to the wedding.

Good luck!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Not wedding related at all

I completely understand this Panda today. I think it's Monday where ever he is too. Yes, somebody has a case of the Mondays...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Coordinator Client relationship

Our 2010 clients are amazing people. Seriously, amazing people. I firmly believe that is because a conscious effort was made to make this happen.

Last year I learned a very painful yet valuable lesson: not every bride is an Amber Events bride, and taking on the wrong client can have emotionally crushing consequences.  Seriously, one heinous bride made me consider giving this profession up all together. I knew this bride was bad news from Day One. I knew I should not have taken her on. The planning process was a total battle as we just did not like each other and could not communicate. Her wedding was beautiful and flawless, I put the entire experience behind me (after I added a verbal abuse clause to my contract), and then one month later she came after me to destroy my reputation. She was vicious and it was awful.

Like every other wedding planner I know, we do this because we have a genuine passion for our clients. We pour our soul into the work we do, and all we have left to show is the reputation we have slowly built. And all it takes is one bridezilla, momzilla, or groomzilla telling us we are worthless to tear our self worth down to ground zero.

So. After that learning experience, I promised myself that never again will I take on a client who doesn't sit right on my gut after our meeting. And I ask these potential clients to do the same. I firmly believe: you need to like all of your vendors, but you need to LOVE your coordinator and your photographer because we are with you during the most intimate times of your wedding.  

Brides and Grooms: know that a vendor with a good reputation behind them is interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them.  You both need to actually like each other for the relationship to work correctly. You then need to respect their experience and have confidence in the decision you made.

Here's to my 2010 and 2011 clients--I'm thrilled to be able to say that I adore you!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I love Paris in the springtime!

My sister Dana and I decided to go on this trip probably 7 years ago and I’m so glad we actually did it. It was everything we hoped it would be.

We rented a flat in the Bastille neighborhood and hit the ground running our first evening in the city. Our first full day in Paris was great, except for the fact that my wallet was stolen on the metro. I lost my driver's license, 2 credit cards, 250 , and my pride. This trip wasn’t my first rodeo, and I felt like a serious rookie for getting robbed. It was so hard not to let that ruin my trip/day, but after I called the credit card companies from the Louvre, I tried to put it behind me. The Louvre was everything that people say it is: humongous. And fantastic.
Our first view of the Eiffel Tower was through the windows in the Louvre, specifically from the windows of the gaudy and fabulous apartments of Napoleon. That man loved red velvet and gold bling as much as I do.  

<st1:city w:st=
Next stop: Eiffel Tower. It is so stunning in person! We didn’t take the elevator to the tippy top, instead we took the stairs to the 2nd floor. After the tower, we found our way to the famous department store Galeries Lafayette as we needed to buy a voltage/outlet converter. I also got my sock collector husband some funky red striped socks. And I checked out the wedding dress collection there.

We did pretty well with the highly efficient metro system even though we got lost constantly. My iPhone was handy as I was able to type the address in of where we wanted to go to let the GPS take us there. Had it not been for the GPS, we wouldn’t have made it to the restaurant recommendations our friends gave us.

Oh, the food! The food was really to.die.for  Dana and I had some of the best food we’ve ever eaten. Even the cafeteria food at the Louvre was fantastic and fresh. And extremely expensive. No wonder the Parisians are so thin!

Thursday was the Palace Versailles. Versailles did not disappoint either. Those people loved gaudy chandeliers and brocade as much as I do. Dana and I spent so much time in the big palace that we almost didn’t make it back to the Petit Trianon, the smaller palace that Louis XVI gave to his wife Marie Antionette. It seems that the royal life was a bit too restricting for Queen Marie, so she created her own fantasy land out in the corner of the grounds, complete with a peasant village where she milked cows and gardened. Until the Revolutionists beheaded her, of course.

<st1:city w:st=
On Friday I had the privilege of meeting in person one of my wedding planner colleagues Kim Petyt of Parisian Events. Kim is an American who lives in Paris with her French husband and two children. She specializes in Americans getting married in Paris and she is fabulous and funny. Kim took the entire day to play tour guide to Dana and I—we went out the "Brocante et Jambon" flea market.  Translated, it means “antiques and ham”. We looked for treasures, chatted about the difference between American and French weddings ** more on that below**, drank champagne, and ate beef, not ham.  I purchased a silver champagne bucket as my splurge souvenir for this trip. No Chanel or Louis Vuitton bags for me. That’s not really my bag.

Saturday we wandered through the city and walked the 3 kilometers to Notre Dame. So beautiful and awe inspiring. Saturday was also they day of a big France vs. England rugby game so the city was invaded by British guys wearing rugby jerseys singing “God Save the Queen” loudly on the metro! For the polite and publicly quiet French, I’m sure this was not the most welcome sight.

<st1:city w:st=
Saturday night turned into an all night dance party as Dana and I met up with Kim and some of her friends. They were all Americans married to French men and they know each other via an internet forum. They asked their husbands to take kid duty for the night so they could let their hair down. We danced until almost dawn! I can’t remember the last time I did that. The ladies we were with probably didn’t either…

Sunday we headed to the Monmarte area to walk up the hill to Basilica de Sacre-Couer for the view of the city. It being Sunday, we were able to witness the beginning of quite a spectacular Mass complete with a choir of nuns. Also during the day we kind of stumbled onto what seemed like a French version of Glee! with this group of teenage kids performing awesome songs such as disco favorite "Hot Stuff" on brass. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Later that evening we went to a small chapel near Notre Dame for a concert. A pianist and soprano performed Chopin, Bach, Mozart, and some religious music such as the Ave Maria. It was so beautiful.

<st1:city w:st=
I was really curious to see if the Parisians were going to be as rude as people say they are. I did not find them rude at all, but then again, I don’t find the rawness and loudness of New Yorkers to be rude either. Nor do I find people in LA to be rude. I just see it as people in a big city getting on with their day. Dana and I don’t speak French (although Dana is learning quickly) but we knew enough to be polite, respectful, and order food in French. That got us pretty far, and many people do speak English, but a few people actually went out of their way to help us when we looked lost or were standing at a closed taxi stand.

This trip was everything I hoped it would be and it will be a wonderful memory for the rest of my life. As much as I love the history and the beautiful places, I love to watch the people more. I think we’re all fascinated by each other. In the airports and trains we stare at each other’s clothing, mannerisms, language, gestures, accents, etc. I love the fabulous and classic clothing fashion of the Parisians. I love the accordion player or the guitar player on the Metro. The extremely proper older gray haired servers in the restaurants. The rowdy Italian teenage students yelling in the museums. The north African guys selling Eiffel Tower figurines. The fur coat wearing grandmas taking groceries home in their rolling cart. The little girls with bobbed hair, patterned tights, and bell-shaped coats. The ball cap and sneaker wearing Americans. The European teenagers eating pizza with a fork and knife then finishing dinner with a cappuccino. The rugby jersey wearing Brits. The mega-camera toting Asian tourists. The moms maneuvering strollers on the metro. The business men with their trench coats and briefcases. The fashionistas and their fabulous boots. Basically, I love to people watch, and what better place to do it than one of the most fabulous cities in the world?
 **French weddings** 
Along with the many things Kim told me about the difference between weddings in France and in the US, this one really blew my mind: if you are having a wedding in France, you go to a photography company and pay about 500for your photographer. You don’t meet your photographer until your wedding day when the company pays them probably 100 to shoot your wedding. They take pictures of your wedding ceremony and during cocktail hour try to get photos of each guest with the bride & groom. Then they leave and come back towards the end of the night with 8x10 glossy pictures that they sell for about 10each. And that’s pretty much how the photographer makes their money. American brides and photographers: can you even imagine???!!!!

PS: Air France seriously rules. Best international flight evah.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Amber says au revoir!

The time has come to go on vacation. This is the first vacation I've gone on in a long time as a business owner where I won't be working as I'm gone. It's tough when you feel like you're always going to miss out on a good gig or big new opportunity, all the while wondering if your clients are going to remain happy while you're gone, and knowing you're going to come back to 5,000 emails. BUT! I only have one week in the most spectacular city in the world, and so I am going to soak up every minute of it that I can.

Au revoir!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why Everyone Hates Wedding Rehearsals

I originally posted this back in September and as I'm gearing up for a wedding rehearsal this afternoon, thought I'd repost it. 
When she is not officiating weddings, answering questions for my blog, or just being fabulous, Rev. Elizabeth Oakes writes articles for The Examiner about weddings. Her articles are witty, useful, and usually sassy. Not only did I enjoy this most recent article that she wrote because I was quoted in it, I loved what she had to say about the dreaded wedding rehearsal. The original article can be found here.

The article is copywrited by Elizabeth Oakes and reprinted with permission
Why Everyone Hates Wedding Rehearsals
by Rev. Elizabeth Oakes

Just like my coordinator friend Amber Gustafson confesses in her Amber Events blog, I find wedding rehearsals to be my least favorite part of the wedding process. Other members of the bridal party and vendor staff often have their reservations about them too; though there may be a few people out there who think wedding rehearsals are the best thing since string cheese, most vendors and couples I've met are not overly fond of them. Here's why:
Planners hate wedding rehearsals because: As Amber notes, the rehearsal is when most of the players in the wedding will meet the coordinator for the first time, and establishing authority and rapport is key. It can be hard to remember loads of names and faces and to focus the rehearsees' attention on the task at hand (they usually just want to socialize.) The coordinator is often peppered with questions from every direction and must mightily multitask to keep everything flowing smoothly and get the job done. Yep, it's stressful and tiring, and if the coordinator hasn't made a good impression it doesn't bode well for how he/she will be treated on the wedding day.
**Nightmare rehearsal scenario for a planner: Ill-informed and/or overly controlling family or bridal party members interfere with a rehearsal's progress by demanding particular rituals, duties, or choreographic moves be performed according to their wishes instead of those of the bride and groom (who have discussed and decided those things with the coordinator already.) If one or more of these persons is aggressive, narcissistic, or manipulative--did you see "Rachel Getting Married"? it really is like that sometimes--keeping cool can be tough. And you're going to have to deal with that person courteously the next day, too. Not fun.

Officiants hate wedding rehearsals because: If there isn't a coordinator for the wedding, the officiant is usually the person who serves as coordinator pro tem and must direct the rehearsal themselves, therefore experiencing the same difficulties noted above. Some officiants won't attend rehearsals at all because they don't feel they need to (or because they can make more money booking that time for other events.) On the other hand, some officiants require their presence at the rehearsal so they can stage the ceremony a certain way.
**Nightmare rehearsal scenario for an officiant: A large bridal party that shows up plastered (or uses the rehearsal as the official starting point for a multi-day stint of being plastered) and realizing that, no matter how long one rehearses, everyone will be freaking out the next day just as the ceremony begins and insisting on a full recounting of the processional order and their movements. (Note from personal experience: with or without booze in the mix, this happens a lot.)

Brides hate wedding rehearsals because: Almost all of them have someplace they'd rather be, dealing with agenda items they consider more important. If it wasn't for the fact that many brides are sold on the notion that getting married is a modeling job, they'd probably forgo the rehearsal entirely and concentrate on the milliions of last-minute crises that have arisen--fight with the florist, eleventh-hour guest cancellations, a fresh pimple, the possibility of bad weather, uneven spray tan, or sister pitching a jealous fit. A bride's nerves are usually moderately frayed by the time the rehearsal rolls around, and she may get frustrated if she feels she won't look pretty enough, or her friends in the bridal party aren't taking the wedding seriously because they're joking around during rehearsal. This is especially true if she's planning the wedding herself, because she's got a lot to do before morning and she doesn't want to look like a tired old hag.
**Nightmare rehearsal scenario for a bride: Groom doesn't show up for the rehearsal and sends a "Dear Jane" text message, like on reality TV.

Grooms hate wedding rehearsals because: Guys are not equally pressured to look fabulous and be a paragon of demure grace, so they aren't usually too taxed during rehearsals. For this reason they might find rehearsals BORING--after all, they're just standing there.
**Nightmare rehearsal scenario for a groom: Rehearsal thoughtlessly scheduled during an important game or Warcraft tournament, and no TV or wireless at the rehearsal venue.

Parents hate wedding rehearsals because: Like grooms, parents aren't usually asked to do too much except during the processional, so they spend most of the rehearsal sitting in the front row contemplating their years of parenthood and (if they're kicking in for wedding expenses) how they're going to afford all this. Though parents try to be happy for their kids and put on a brave face through the wedding process, seeing their babies all grown up and getting married is bittersweet for most. The free time at the rehearsal gives them a looooot of room to ponder this signifier of getting older.
**Nightmare rehearsal scenario for parents: The former spouse shows up to the rehearsal with a hot younger squeeze in tow, with whom (one finds out during the rehearsal) one will be forced to share adjacent seating. Worse nightmare: Current spouse does the same thing.

Venues hate wedding rehearsals because: Unless they're selling booze to the bridal party during the runthrough (and lots of it) they're losing rental money for other events that could be in the space at that time, and because they have to pay a staff person to be in the building while the rehearsal's going on.
**Nightmare rehearsal scenario for a venue: Bridal party member, while goofing off, irreparably damages the draperies/design elements, or falls off a riser and hurts themselves and sues. The bride gets upset and yells a lot, insists on a refund, and blogs bad things about the business.

So how do we make everyone love wedding rehearsals rather than saying, "Ugh, do I hafta?" Here are a few tips:
1. Prepare prepare prepare. Know the processional and staging order--don't wait until the rehearsal to decide where people will stand; you'll have too many cooks in the wedding fagioli and leave a huge opening for inside interference. Have your staging locked and loaded in writing before you arrive, and giving a copy to each participant isn't a bad idea either (maybe they can consult their notes on the wedding day instead of pestering you right when the processional music begins playing.)
2. I'm not against name tags and you can get as cute as you want if it helps, e.g. "Marcia, Maid of Honor and BFF!!!! xoxoxox" or "Bride's Dad Bob: Former Astronaut, Ask Me About Outdoor Grilling!"
3. If you know you have hardy partyers in the crowd who'll be campaigning to start their drunken revels early, limit or exclude alcohol for as long as you have to prior to and during the rehearsal. Confiscate flasks with extreme prejudice.
4. I know this sounds awful, but it's true: a lecture and/or scolding from the bride or one of the parents beforehand can make participants easier to handle (if somewhat sulky.) Positive incentives such as offering a late-night donut/pizza junket if the rehearsal runs less than twenty minutes can also be tried--let me know how that goes for you.
5. Explain to rehearsees up front that the rehearsal will be short and sweet if they pay attention and refrain from sidebar conversations. And a pizza/donut run later if they behave!
6. Resign yourself to the fact that you'll have to tell a percentage of participants their moves again the next day. It's not stupidity, usually just opening-night nerves and the desire to do everything right (though I wouldn't rule out hangover if the pizza run was raucous.)

For the good of all soon-to-be-in-a-wedding humanity, I hope you'll contribute your rehearsal stories and tips below. A little less hatred and a lot more productiveness (or at least fun) at your runthrough is a great way to kick off your wedding celebration--and speaking of kickoffs, remember to check the game roster before you schedule your rehearsal!
Until next time, a sweet and long life to you.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Random Wine Blog: Jealousy, Roombas, Treadmills, and Dress Movies

Tonight's wine blog is brought to you by a 200? Blackstone Merlot. I'm too lazy to get off the couch to check and see what year it is. I'm also so lazy I just remotely logged into my desktop in the next room to get some info off of it in order to avoid getting up and walking in there. I was saving a bottle of pink champagne that my associate Krista gave me for my birthday for my next wine blog, but last Saturday my husband made a spectacular breakfast and talked me into mimosas. (not so hard to do). So there went that plan. Mimosa Saturday was much more enjoyable for me than this wine blog though, so I'm not really complaining. I'll dedicate this blog to Krista anyway. Oh, and in case you're wondering, this Blackstone Merlot is $12.99 of solid goodness. No flowery words, just good.

Ok, on to randomness!

  • You know how in my last random wine blog I talked about how I wish life was a musical? Yeah, I guess I get it from my mom. Mom is a hospice nurse (and has a special spot in heaven for this gig) and told me after that blog that she is starring in "Hospice! The Musical!" a musical that she and a nurse friend of hers make up and sing on the fly. Mom has also been known to Irish Step Dance for her patients. She, is a total rockstar. Or crazy.
  • My husband, who doesn't facebook, tweet, rarely email, sent me an email (ok, he cc'd his band too) from Bangkok this morning. Yup, he's in Thailand. And I'm totally jealous even though I'm leaving for Paris on Monday. We went to Thailand in 2004 and absolutely loved it. This is just a pit stop before he heads to Laos, but I was really jealous when he was talking about his ride around Bangkok in a tuk tuk and in a longtail boat in the canals.
  • I'm going to Paris on Monday! My husband is in SE Asia because I'm going on a girl's trip with my sister. When you know us, it's not really that odd that we sometimes travel separately. Really. 
  • I think it would be difficult to be the band Ok Go because you'd have to try to top the The Treadmill video however, I think they just did. this new one. Also cool is another video for the same song This Too Shall Pass. Ok Go, I love you.
  • My netflix queue while my husband is out of town? "Miss Austin's Regrets" and "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day". Anything that has to do with Jane Austen or pretty dresses has me immediately.
  • A few weeks ago I was tweeting about how much I wanted a Roomba and one of my awesome photographer friends gave me her old one. I. LOVE. IT. So does my husband. And Owen the cat. Milton the cat is terrified of it. We named this cylon Boomer and think she is going to take over the world soon, but as long as she continues to clean our carpets until then, it's all good. 
  • When is "Glee!" coming back?
  • Chronicles of Nathan update: my older brother who is living on the sailboat that he sailed from Arkansas to the Gulf of Mexico has been repairing his boat after a close call in a storm and is now setting sail towards Pensacola, FL. We continue to pray for him. 
  • I need to watch "The Office" and "Community" now.  Thankfully, I don't have to leave the couch.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why wedding Hair & Makeup is so expensive

I've had this scenario happen on multiple occasions now, and it makes me FURIOUS.

Scenario: Bride asks me for who I recommend for hair/makeup on her wedding day. I recommend professional Bridal hair & makeup artists whom the Bride deems too expensive. Bride then hires someone who works in the entertainment industry who is much more affordable. And (most times) flaky as hell. I've had these non-bridal hair/makeup people cancel on my Bride as late as one day before her wedding, or show up 2 hours late on the wedding day STILL DRUNK FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE.  Talk about messing up a Timeline and ruining romantic photos...

Brides: when planning for your wedding day, obviously your beauty is super important.  As is your peace of mind. Please, please think long and hard about whether saving $100 is worth it by hiring someone who does not specialize in Bridal beauty and who very likely might get a better paying gig on your wedding day. Reputable bridal companies will NOT flake on you!  Key word is reputable.

Hiring a pro Hair/Makeup artist to come to your hotel or venue is so expensive because that artist can only do ONE Bride in a day, as opposed to the 8 people she can do in a salon. You are paying for the convenience and luxury of someone basically devoting their day to you. 

While your hair/makeup trial from the girl who's worked on American Idol, Charmed, and Grey's Anatomy may have been awesome, she may land the So You Think You Can Dance gig  at the last minute and she may or may not call you to tell you she's bailing on you.

Credit for this photo goes to Design Visage, one of the professional Bridal beauty companies that I recommend. Eva's hair and makeup was divine! Photo by Next Exit Photography.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I've been busy and have pictures to prove it

I think this post is going to be kind of random, and I don't even have a great bottle of wine to accompany me as I write. Along with booking awesome new clients, working on current clients' weddings, finally creating and ordering my 2009 portfolio (kudos to you clients who booked us without even seeing our 2009 weddings!), moving around some advertising and marketing, auditioning for shows, interviewing new interns, and prepping for a week long vacation in Paris, below are some of the fun things I've been able to do lately. Can I just say that so far I'm loving 2010 and my 30's? Yeehaw!

  • My 30th birthday itself was fabulous. My wonderful and kind husband accompanied me to the wedding industry party of the year, the Your Wedding Day Magazine annual shebang. I danced, drank, and saw so many of my fellow vendors and friends. I thanked them for coming to "my" birthday party! Proof that my husband really, really loves me:

Video clip of the event

The Most Anticipated Event!  YWD Magazine from Skyline Videography on Vimeo.

  • Attended the Backstage Bridal event put on by Tami Brown of Celebrate! With Tami Brown. If Tami weren't such a nice person, I'd get irritated when potential clients sometimes hire her over me. This photo is with me and Dana, the Broke Ass Bride, making a sass sandwich with her adorable husband Hunter. 

  • Hubby and I went skiing in Big Bear the weekend of my birthday. Proof yet again that he really, really loves me: in this photo he's putting chains on the tires as I'm all snuggly and warm in the car. Also, proof that he's the nicest guy in the world: on the way down the mountain he stopped and literally dug a woman's car out of the snow with his bare hands. She was stuck in a snowbank with three little kids in the backseat. Eric is a total hero.  
  • Last Friday I had a coffee date set with one of my vendors, Kim of BBJ Linen, and on Thursday I received an email from friend and wedding photographer Brian Callaway of Callaway Gable asking if I could come help Friday afternoon at an elementary school in downtown? I rescheduled the coffee date to a volunteer session with LA's Best instead. Kim and I got our craft on and had a blast playing games with the kids! LA's Best is a non-profit organization that offers a free after school program for 28,000 kids in the LAUSD. Friday's session with the kids was on acting, and while I have zero acting skills, I'm not too shabby with scissors and construction paper. It was so invigorating and energizing to get out of my neighborhood and zone and spend some time doing something good for someone else. The 3rd-5th graders were an absolute blast and I so look forward to doing this again. 

Got a Question for Amber Events?


Q. How do you go about your vendor referrals in your Wedding Direction and Production packages? How many vendors? Do you check availability of all of them first? Or based on budget only?

A. Great question! Much of what I do is aimed to save a client time, so with both packages I do check with the vendors I am about to refer to see if they are available. They don't hold dates though, so sometimes they are no longer available when my client finally gets to them.

With my Production package, I am doing much more legwork for my client, and instead of saying "I recommend these three caterers, have fun!" like I would with my Direction package, I am the one doing the communication, proposal obtaining, and scheduling of tastings.

As far as how many I refer, I usually start with three photographers, DJ’s, and videographers, and will refer more if my clients don’t like the three that I’ve chosen for them. I base my recommendations on personality (because everyone I refer is a stellar vendor) and usually in that first batch my client is very happy. For caterers and florists I usually refer two vendors, because this is a much more time consuming process and I feel that I know my client enough to know which two would be the best match.

Regarding budget, I aim to refer vendors that will be in my client's (realistic) budget and would never send a client with a $3,000 floral budget to a florist with at $5,000 minimum.

I hope that helped!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hello, I'M Lucky to see this!

This blog isn't really like the other wedding blogs that are mostly all eye candy. This one is more educational, logistical, and informative, because that's where my strengths (and my team's strengths) lie.  Not that we can't design a gorgeous wedding, cause we can, but this blog doesn't heavily rest on photos or wedding of people other than my clients.

Except for today. This wedding made me smile and I have a total crush on it. It kind of reminds me of the movie "Big Fish" where they have the whimsical carnival out in the woods. I wish I could have been a guest at this wedding. They square danced at the reception, y'all! My hubby and I did that too. 

The bride, Eunice is the co-founder and creative director of Hello, Lucky! stationary. I have a major, majore crush on her wedding (which happens to be in this month's Martha Stewart Weddings. Holler!)

Fall in love at:

Hello! Lucky's Blog
Martha Stewart Weddings 
Picture Perfect Wedding Day Blog 
More from Picture Perfect Blog


Monday, March 1, 2010

Wedding Planner Myths

I love this blog written by Jen Wooster-McBride, a wedding planner in Columbus, Ohio. I perfectly describes some of the hesitations and assumptions that some people have about what, exactly, we do. You can find Jen's original post HERE.

I recently set up a booth at a local bridal show.  As I talked with the brides and grooms I began to realize there are many misconceptions about what a wedding planner (or bridal consultant) can do for you.  I then asked a few of my Twitter friends and got some additional feedback.   So without further ado here are some of the most common myths about wedding planners and the wedding planning process.
  1. I don’t want someone planning my wedding for me-  Let’s put it this way, when searching for your first home a  real estate agent facilitates the process, guides you and offers advice.  They don’t choose which house you buy.  That’s your job.  Well, wedding planning works the same way.  It’s your wedding and every decision is yours to make.  A wedding planner acts as your agent.  They facilitate the process, take care of the technical aspects and offer advice.  It is still and will always be YOUR day.
  2. I can’t afford a wedding planner- Did you know it takes 400 hours for the average bride to plan a wedding.  That is 10- 40 hour work weeks!  Can you really afford to spend that kind of time?  Not to mention a wedding planner can save you money through discounts, negotiation and by helping you eliminate unnecessary expenditures.
  3. Day of coordination (or weekend) is just the wedding day- Quite simply- No.  It depends on the package you purchase but a professional will not just show up on the day with no idea what is going on!  A day of coordinator will work with you several months before the wedding to ensure all the details are wrapped up, create a detailed timeline, confirm your vendors, attend the rehearsal and be there on your wedding day to take care of any issues that arise.
  4. There isn’t that much to do- My husband volunteered when I was in need of an extra set of hands for a recent wedding.  Let’s just say the manual labor was more than he expected.  After a full 12 hours he said it was one of the most exhausting work days he ever had.  Did I mention he works in construction?
  5. I am supposed to want to do this- For some brides, the wedding planning process is heaven.  Pretty things they have dreamed about for years.  For others it’s hell.  Yes hell.  It is OK if you don’t like doing the planning but still want to have a rockin’ wedding.  A bridal consultant can ease the pain.
  6. My friends and family are going to help me- Of course they are!  That is what friends are for right?  But on that day wouldn’t you rather they enjoy all the little details you have painstakingly picked out?  As one of my twitter friends said, “Friends don’t let friends set up”.    Or teardown.  Leave that to the professionals so you can celebrate with your loved ones.  After all isn’t that what weddings are really about?