Well, this past weekend was one of those weekends where I got to be in my ‘element’, thanks to one of my closest friends (and awesome photographer), Terri Baskin of Terri Baskin Photography. I was ecstatic when she shared with me that she had decided to take a leap and participate in her first bridal show, ever! Yay! The catch? – we only had 2 weeks (1 of which she would be out of town on business travel) to come up with a booth design. It was time to WORK! Terri went forth and made most of the purchases to capture the feel of her ‘brand’, but wasn’t exactly sure on how to make it all come together to flow fluidly into one design. That’s where I came into the picture. I think we did pretty darn good! Check it out and let me know what you think!
We had so much fun coming up with her display, and I am so happy that Terri was happy with the outcome. Of course, we will both be going shopping after this to come up with our own individual DREAM displays, but this was definitely a great outcome. Congratulations, Terri, on your first bridal expo. I am so proud of you! If any of you are ever looking for an AMAZING photographer (I won’t let anyone take my pictures other than she), please check out her website and/or Facebook page. If you decide to contact her, be sure to let her know that you found her from my blog! She’ll be tickled fuschia. LOL!
P.S. – If you’re interested in seeing more photos from her booth display, check out the her own blog post describing her experience here. Enjoy!
Wow! It’s been quite some time since I have added new posts to my blog! Well, I have good reasons. Last year was definitely a WHIRLWIND of action for Miraculous Events! From planning events, to networking with other wedding/event professionals in the area, to working on small/big projects, laying out goals for my company, etc. etc. etc. – it was quite a bit going on.
Needless to say, I still feel sad that I neglected my blog because it’s actually a place where you can sometimes catch a glimpse of what I do and who I am as a person (behind the crazy, gungho planner! Ha! ) This year, I will try to do at least 6 posts per month. These posts will offer either glimpses into small/big projects that Miraculous Events is working on, or simply put information out there about what is currently hawt in wedding/events these days and/or helpful planning tips.
I’m excited to see where this blog goes and who ends up reading and enjoying what I have to share. If you’d like for me to provide info and/or tips about a particular subject, please be sure to go to the contact tab (on the page menu) and send me a line and I will definitely respond! Stay tuned for posts!
You have probably heard the phrase, “Hiring a wedding/events planner can actually SAVE you money!”, but have always wondered how that is possible, especially when the fees for most planners is somewhere in the $3k+ range? Well, below – I have compiled some information that may provide some insight to this truth. Planners have the creativity, connections, and best of all – the overall capability to save you money, while at the same time, making your wedding and/or event look like a thousand bucks AND allow your friends and family to ENJOY your special day instead of being stressed out and bogged down by attempting to help you plan & execute it!
When deciding on a date for your wedding, your planner can ask you all of the right questions about what YOU desire in regards to setting your date, and THEN provide you with the information that could affect cost including – time of the year, floral availability, rental fee information for the month you select, holidays/special events that may affect your guest count (official holidays, proms, graduation, etc.). All of these things and more should be considered when selecting your date in order to ensure that you get the best price AND that all of your guests most-likely be able to attend.
The actual time of your wedding can have a severe impact on the cost of your wedding. Even though most couples get married in the afternoon/evening time – having a morning wedding can actually save you tons of money because of several reasons. By etiquette, morning weddings have a less strict ruling when it comes to what you should/shouldn’t serve, and therefore the couple is more flexible as to what menu they can select for their guests. Morning menus can range anywhere from a heavy brunch to light lunch and/or light hors d’oeuvres. Either way, they are less expensive than evening menus, which usually include a full buffet or seated dinner. A planner will be able to explain these price differences to you, and – if you still would like to go towards the evening time – be able to provide you with cost-saving tips that will save you money while still being classy and appropriate in the end.
WEDDING DÉCOR & SETUP
This is perhaps where the planner can save you the most. There are plenty of service providers in the industry that rent out and/or sell items solely for decorating your wedding ceremony/reception. The cost of these items compared with how much it actually cost to MAKE the items is ridiculously far apart. Not only are they going to charge you a higher price for labor, but you will probably also have to pay a ridiculously high shipping fee, especially if you bought several items. This is especially true in the case of guest favors. There are tons of options out there
Say you don’t want anything to have to store after your special day, and would like to rent instead. The average cost to rent (1) tablecloth for a table is $7.00. How many tables do you have – perhaps say 20 (I had 23 for my wedding) = $140. O_O Just. For. Tablecloths. Ridiculous. Your planner would know to make sure to book a venue that already provides tablecloths in order to save money – AND – for any other rental items, she knows what company to go through in order to save you the most money.
Décor-wise, a planner has a creative mind. There are several projects that he/she can come up with not only to save you money, but to select décor that you can use AFTER the weddings. Vases, candles, table runners that can go right along with the future color scheme of your new home together. If you enjoy art, why not have an art-themed wedding and be able to use what’s left over as décor items for your home? Your planner will also have plenty of ideas for projects to do to decorate your ceremony/reception that will not only look amazing but have special meaning to you. Glow lanterns in the reception to symbolize the ceiling of the first restaurant that you both went to. A handmade guest book that guests get to sign with fingerprints (along with their names) if you and your beau both work in law enforcement. The possibilities are endless!
Having connections with quality wedding vendors in your area, along with knowing the reputations of local vendors, can save you tons during the planning of your wedding. Planners not only can tell you which vendor to select in order to get the best bang for your buck, but can also let you in on the riskier vendors that may have you spending more in the end. You don’t want to hire a great-looking venue, but then, have them raise the prices on you days before because this wasn’t confirmed in your contract.
Planners will also be able to identify start-up businesses that offer GREAT services, but whose prices are less expensive due to wanting to build their portfolio (this is especially true for DJ’s and photographers).
PAIN & STRESS & THE ABILITY TO HAVE A LIFE
Is not this area of focus priceless? How much would you say not having to worry and stress about doing the research on venues, vendors, wedding party gifts, design ideas, rental companies, wedding gowns, honeymoon locations, accommodations for out-of-town guests, music lists, reading & negotiating contracts…the list goes on and on. How valuable is that to you and your loved ones?
Deciding to have a wedding/event planner is a big decision – but it shouldn’t be. A sound mind – while saving money at the same time – is priceless.
Although this has nothing to do with event planning (directly), I thought I’d share this post because it really sums up a lot of things for brides/grooms – as they are searching for wedding professionals to provide a variety of services desired for their special – all in one photograph. If you would like to read her entire post (because it really is interesting, especially due to its postage creating quite a stir across the web), you can find it here.
Please – PLEASE – ensure that you do adequate research and select a professional when selecting wedding service providers for your special day! You want it to be different….unique to you and your loved one(s). Don’t nix them because you don’t think you can afford it within your budget – most wedding professionals offer a variety of packages (I know I offer PLENTY) to fit even the smallest of budgets. You want to be able to be wow’d by your memories for years to come and not just…..meh. Trust me. Even if the ones with experience are charging out of the wah-zoo, you can ALWAYS find up and coming (awesome, high quality) vendors who are willing to cut those prices in half to build their portfolio. Enjoy!
Hey you guys! So today I’m coming to follow up on an earlier post on why it is SO essential to hire a wedding planning for your special day. Fortunately, there are different types of services that you can pursue depending on the amount of assistance that you need. A full-service wedding planner is basically just that – FULL service. We are here to provide you with complete assistance from the time you get engaged to the time you send out thank you cards for your guests following the wedding nuptials (while you are away on your honeymoon -or- whenever you return, whichever one you would like).
Here are some hints to look for indicating that you may need to hire a full-service wedding planner for your special day:
1. You have the big picture in your mind, but you have no idea of where to begin in planning your wedding.
2. You already have plenty of everyday tasks (full-time job, children, commute, etc.) that would require assistance with completing vendor + venue research, cost estimates, and other wedding planning-related tasks, in order to allow you to be able to focus on everyday life – while still being able to have a fabulous and memorable wedding.
3. You have a destination wedding (enough said, right? *smile*) – this means that your wedding location is outside of the distance that would make it feasible for you to travel back and forth to complete venue + vendor tasking.
4. You are a procrastinator and would rather have someone handle the required planning items while simply being able to say YES or NO.
5. You have a themed wedding, and need some assistance in picking just the right touches with the venue, decor, food options, favors, etc. that tie in perfectly with your theme and color palette.
6. You want to bring in different cultural and/or regional traditions, but are not sure what they are and how to go about incorporating them into your wedding day.
7. You are a budget bride, you must STICK to this budget, and you need help with selecting different options that not only look fabulous (and not cheap), but also are sentimental to you and your partner and leave a positive impact on your guests and your memories.
8. You have a nice-sized budget, but would like to maximize the amount that you can get by using someone with connections within the industry to get the biggest bang for you buck from top-notch wedding professionals who are able to blow you away with their creations.
9. Tie Breaker – There will be plenty of times throughout the planning of your wedding in which decisions will need to be made. Having only 2 sides can make this extremely difficult because..well – one will want one thing and one will want another. A planner can be the one to weigh both sides and recommend what’s in the best interest of the couple AND the guests!
10. Sanity – Let’s face it. There are LOTS of things that could go awry during the planning of your wedding that could impose a heavy level of stress on the one who should be relaxing and enjoying the days leading up to their special day – THE BRIDE. Let someone else with the knowledge and experience on how to handle these things and are able to quickly react and have a plan B to make sure that everything goes smoothly not only on the day of, but every step of the way.
Sound like you? Hire one – now (a quality one, at that – one you’ve done your research on). It will be one of the best investments towards creating a day that is unique and special to you and your partner and one that will be memorable for years and years to come.
There are plenty of brides out there who have their ideal wedding day in their minds. They have had plenty of months, years, etc. to come up with a theme, color palettes, venues, food menus, etc. They are well-organized and have an extreme eye for details. Well – why would they ever need to hire a wedding planner to assist in their special day? Well, today I’ve come to share some my personal wedding experience and also some additional reasons why I feel as though brides could possibly save thousands of dollars (along with unnecessary stress, heartache, and pain) with the assistance of a skilled wedding planner.
With my wedding, I personally regret not hiring a wedding planner to provide “month-of” services, mainly due to the fact that once it started getting closer to the wedding, many of my roles as the wedding planner AND the bride began to clash severely, as I was not only coordinating with wedding vendors and ensuring the decorations, favors, etc. was in place, but ALSO attending bridal showers, a bachelorette party, and meeting with family & friends. It seemed as though my mind was in two modes at one time. Very stressful. Although I did an excellent job planning the details of my wedding and selecting all of vendors and decor – it would have been extra helpful to have a skilled wedding coordinator to come in and take over all of my plans for that last 30 days.
While she would have been able to coordinate with the wedding vendors and ensure that everything was in place with the details, I would have been able to be stress-free and relax with my family & friends.
My experience may not apply to every bride. There are plenty of other reasons why you should consider hiring a wedding planner for your special day – and perhaps even earlier than those last 30 days.
Stay tuned for signs that say that you probably should hire a full-service wedding planner for your special day!
I’m so excited to share the results of my collaboration with a fabulous photographer friend of mine, Terri of Terri Baskin Photography. We thought it would be fun to do a white table photoshoot – basically taking a bland, white table and transforming it into a masterpiece! Remember the inspiration board that I showed you guys a while back?
Yeah, that one. Lovers in Paris, we called it. Of course we used the inspiration for the board above and made it unique to our style (and what we currently had in stock at the moment *smile*) and I believe we far exceeded our expectations. It turned out to be beautiful and romantic, and I hope you enjoy!
I absolutely love working with Terri because she’s such a talented photographer and I know that I can trust her to really bring out the quality and beauty in my work. If you need a talented photographer for your next event or photo session, make sure to check out Terri’s website here.
In my previous “The Plan” post, I shared with you all that one of my first goals to complete towards my objective of becoming the best planner ever *smile* – was to join one of the most reputable wedding planning organizations in the nation – The Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC). Well, you CAN start enter the organization beginning with absolutely no points at all (0-25 pts – wedding novice), however, I wanted to at least be at a wedding consultant level (<25 points) before I start dishing out membership fees.
Luckily, with this goal in mind – I am able to kill 2 birds with one stone – I want membership at a consultant level, and I want to obtain a planning certification from one or more reputable institutions. Within the ABC organization, there are 2 certification programs that will earn BIG points towards your consultant level. One is with Penn Foster Online Career School, as well as another with the Longevity’s Wedding Planning Institute (LWPI).
Which one, which one……I’ve decided on BOTH! I conducted much needed research on the both of these certification programs and both have high ratings from wedding professionals, as well as high ratings of satisfaction from prior students. I figured, even though some of the information will overlap, that it will only reinforce those objectives, and improve my craft for the better! I can gain different perspectives of the industry, and some of the information will be unique to each program that I would not have gained had I only taken one of the courses. I will do separate posts on each school to give more detailed information for those of you who are looking to receive your wedding/event planning certifications, as well (*however, please note that I all of the information is research and I have not yet had any real experience with either one as I have not enrolled and/or completed the courses – I will definitely let you all know when I have!).
The Penn Foster Career School program will earn me 24 points, while the LWPI course will earn me 10 – collectively earning me a total of 34 points – enough to be deemed a wedding consultant under the Association of Bridal Consultants! Yippee!
I plan to enroll in the Penn Foster course first, since it is less expensive and I can save up for the LWPI course while I am completing this one.
Interested in learning more about the two different programs I plan to complete? Stay tuned!
Do you know what week it is?! It is officially Share the Love Week! The Share the Love Campaign was started by the nonprofit organization, Wish Upon a Wedding, in order to share its mission and spread the word about this wonderful organization and what it can do for perhaps, you or someone that you know.
Wish Upon a Wedding grants 100% expense-free weddings to those persons and/or families who are facing terminal illnesses and serious life-altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation! (Who doesn’t love that?) I am glad to be an official wish-grantor, meaning that I have volunteered my event planning + design services, free of charge, to any couple that WUW has selected in my region to receive a free wedding. I have not been called upon as of yet, but I am SO looking forward to the day in which I can play a part in giving such a special gift to someone.
Do you know of someone who can benefit from this organization and would like to obtain more information on how to apply? If so, please click here.
Or perhaps you are a wedding professional and would like to join the group of grantors, volunteering your services, free of charge, for those couples who are selected to receive a free wedding from WUW? If this is you, please click here.
For those of you with blogs (or twitter/facebook pages) of your own, please feel free to use the logo below (along with the link – www.wishuponawedding.org) as a badge on your page in order to assist in spreading the word about the Wish Upon a Wedding organization. It is truly a worthy cause!
I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I would be sharing with you guys the steps that I am taking in order to make my company, Miraculous Events, successful! To read my first post in this series, click here.
Aside from simply networking, I would like to become a certified wedding/event planner. Jabeezus…I knew there were probably going to be 1000 websites/organizations “claiming” that they offer excellent certification programs for wedding/event planners. How to sift the good from the bad? Simply put – ask around. A few of my co-workers at my full-time job knew of my aspiration to start my own events planning company, and I simply a few of my closer co-workers if they knew of anyone who would know where I should start. *BINGO* One of my co-workers knew ANOTHER co-worker who had her own events planning company in Richmond, VA – Posh Event Planners. Wow!Shortly thereafter, I had a phone conversation about how she got started, advice, etc. (If you ever find a reliable contact, make sure to ask LOTS of questions!) I made sure to ask her for recommendations for certifications and/or organizations that she recommend that I join. She stated that she received her certification through the Association of Bridal Consultants – and she says that it was AWESOME!
It is based a ladder-based organization that allows wedding planners to build their way from “Wedding Novice” all the way up to a “Master Bridal Consultant” by way of accumulating points earned by participating in certain industry-related events (i.e. planning weddings, attending workshops and/or conventions, receiving certifications, etc.)
So, being ME – I had to continue my research into this organization on….GOOGLE! *smile* (You didn’t know? – Google knows everything) Not only is the Association of Bridal Consultants the largest (4000+ members across the world) and oldest (established in 1955) wedding consultant business in the industry today, it also has partnerships with some of the most reputable organizations and/or schools in the industry including Wish Upon a Wedding, Penn Foster Career School, Longevity’s Wedding Planning Institute, The Knot, Sandals, and more! I also researched user reviews about using consultants who are members – AND – those who have joined the organization and their experiences, as well. All positive!
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