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happy 7 birthday blog feature

happy 7 birthday, pfe blog

Today is the SEVEN year anniversary of planning…forever event’s blog. That’s right! Seven long years ago we began blogging. As far as I know, we were on of the first wedding bloggers in this area. I believe there was another photographer that started in 2006, but the business name escapes me. Having a background in advertising and media, I realized early on the importance of having a blog to openly give information, teach and also convey who “we” are. And the deep desire to be ahead of the curve, drove me to blogging.

how to blog

It took a long time to find my voice. I look back at some of the old posts and I was so stiff. I wrote what a “proper wedding planner” would say. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Snooze Fest. The key to having anything be successful (blog, business, career, personal relationships, et al) is to BE yourself and be TRUE to yourself. I have a little sarcasm to me. I know, I know … you’re shocked, dear reader. Well if you read this blog, you’re probably not. I like to poke fun (at myself first and then others). And I love to teach. This is why this blog doesn’t have 1,328 style boards for you to review. Others do that so much better. We like to use (for the most part) our real clients at their real weddings for eye candy in a blog post. But more importantly, we like to give real, straight-up, walk out of the room and use immediately, useful tips.

highlights over the past years

We’ve had a lot of “series” on this blog. Some have been very successful at going viral.

seeing each other before the ceremony

what wedding traditions should you keep?

love your wedding vendor

on the job with a wedding planner (this one was SUPER fun)

don’t box your wedding vendors in   (personal favorite, blog posts are STILL picked up by other vendors and promoted from this 2009 series)

how to choose a wedding vendor series

the behind-the-scenes story to my most VIRAL post

Hands down, my absolute FAVORITE blog post of all time was the open letter to wedding church coordinators . This post was truly from the heart (with a little humor) because it was so personal. You see my father died on a Thursday and we had TWO weddings on that Saturday. I had to be at the wedding, no question. There was a local church (which I will not name) whose church coordinator was so mean and downright ugly to me that everyone noticed. The vendors, the wedding party, the family … they were all shocked at her actions. My team went above and beyond and no matter what we did she sat there with a scrunched up face in the back corner and would murmur ugly things. Even though I took the time to meet with her TWICE before the wedding to assure her everything would be great. Hmph. After the wedding, I was done and was full of her bad behavior. I approached her and her husband to let them know that this was unacceptable, I nor my team did not do any actions to warrant this type of treatment and shame on them for acting like that in a House of God. I’ve never publically told this story, but enough years have passed that I’m going to. I honored my Dad that day, by respectfully telling this person that her bad behavior would not be tolerated.

This blog post was also LOVED by many wedding planners because we often do have inter-personal issues with church coordinators. I see both sides to it, I really do and addressed it, I think, with humor and truth in the blog post. The wedding industry liked it SO MUCH that a little florist/coordinator in Texas copied my blog post (in its entirety) and posted it on a national newspaper website as the author. In other words, she stole it (and many other well-known blogger posts). Consequently, she was fired from that newspaper job. I still giggle about this. I mean, I felt NeNe Leakes, “I’ve arrived, hoooney, and the spotlight’s on ME!”

thank you, dear reader

More importantly on this birthday, we’d like to thank you for reading. Now one of the reasons this blog had some dust bunnies last year is because sometimes, we kinda get a block on what to write about. Between blogging and coming up with creative ideas for the Local 7 Lifestyles TV Segment, it can sometimes stump you. That’s why this year we started the Wedding Sayings Worth Pinning every Friday. Cute little phrases that may make you go Aha! and share with someone (or pin).

So .. is there something that you would like to have addressed or answered? What struggles are you having with your wedding that we could blog about to help you and others? If you don’t want to ask here openly, please email us at staff {at} planningforever.com

plan on!

 

monarch-3

so, what’s with the blog?

This afternoon I had the pleasure of having lunch with Amanda Monarch Woods (previous bride), her fabulous mother, Rachel Monarch and the soon-to-be-wed sister, Amy Monarch.

I have to tell you, I triple heart the Monarch family. What is not to love? They are Type A personalities (check), lots of fun (check), very direct and blunt (check) and always want to throw a great party (check!).

Amanda politely asked me, “What’s up with the blog?” Seriously, thank you for the gentle reminder, as I have been quite delinquent. As our team has grown this year, I’m hoping to have more blog posts done by not just “my voice”.

Now Amanda and Brian are no strangers to our blog, you see when you have a super cool personality, you get talked about. Like when they decided to meet before the wedding, we used their pretty faces, or when we talked about being a “wedding risk taker“,  and finally, my personal fave….. how to make a grand entrance into your wedding reception, OH YES!

Today, though, also just happens to be Amanda and Brian’s 2nd wedding anniversary. And for that reason, I’d like to play a little homage to their wedding and see if we can get Amanda to cook more than just spaghetti for her anniversary dinner…

Enjoy….

monarch 2 so, whats with the blog?

monarch 5 so, whats with the blog?

photo credit:walker studio
flowers by: Simply Fresh Floral

 

saundra-selfie-3-feature

thank you to all my friends for your support

Dear Friends and Clients,

Please excuse the very personal blog post that will follow. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I have not been posting much in August. It’s been a long month, on a very personal level.

About 5 weeks ago my father started to have fevers at night and experiencing extreme weakness. At first, we felt he was just having flu-like symptoms. At 72 years old, my Dad who takes no medication for any “old age” illnesses, started to become a little scared. When he was too weak to even walk up the stairs, it was obvious that there was a serious problem.

On August 10th, his doctor admitted him into the hospital because his blood test results showed very low sodium level. Dehydration is what I thought! It’s no big deal!!! 15 days later I would be taking my Dad home with hospice, diagnosed with Intravascular Large Cell -B Lymphoma (an aggressive, 4th stage cancer in the blood and bones).

Dad passed two days later, August 27th at 6:45am at my home, with my mom, myself and my husband at his side.

There are few words to be able to explain what we have gone through. It’s a whirlwind and an emotional tidal wave, that is so surreal you think for a second you may wake up from a not-so-pleasant dream. My father always told me that if he was going to have an illness that he wishes he would be taken quickly. Obviously God granted him his wish. For that, I am grateful.

Through out this ordeal and after; I have had such a tremendous support from my acquaintances and friends on Twitter and Facebook. To all of you, words cannot describe what your kind words have meant to me. Many of you, I have never  met in-person and your  friendliness was heart warming and incredible. Before Dad got too ill, I did tell him how many people were praying for him. He was amazed!

Some people make derogatory comments about social media. I say to them, they just don’t get it. My online “friends” that I have acquired have given me strength, courage, support, laughter and encouragement.

I remember the first night we brought him home, it was particularly difficult for me, because I knew he was really dying. It was late at night and I checked Twitter on my iPhone just before going to bed. My friend and fellow planner, Jennifer, had tweeted to please pray for me & my family because she knew I was hurting. There were about 10-15 tweets from (online) friends saying that they are thinking of me right at that very moment and praying. Of course, I cried ( you know, the ugly kind of crying). And I didn’t feel alone. To all of you: I am eternally grateful. And to our Special Clients: Thank you so much for your patience & understanding during this incredibly difficult time.

It is with heavy heart that I join “the club” of losing a parent. It’s a feeling that there are no words to describe. Since my parents live with us, I keep expecting to see my father walk in and say something. I turn around and expect him to be there. We don’t have bad days, we have bad moments. Probably because we are still in shock at the speed of his downward spiral. If anything this has taught me to not just “sweat the small stuff” but to actually not “sweat the unimportant stuff”.

Today is my parent’s anniversary, and they would have been celebrating 51 years together. I was hoping that he would be alive today, however we will still celebrate their commitment and love together.

dadmomwedding1 thank you to all my friends for your support

I am my Daddy’s only little girl and baby. And that will always be the way it is, whether he is on this earth or not. I hope to continue to make him proud and live up to his expectations in my own way. I’m grateful that my father got to walk me down the aisle at my wedding, see me accomplish professional goals, watch me become a mother, respected my husband and become an intricate part of my son’s life. For that, I am very lucky.

much love and respect, saundra

 

wedding-cake-detail

anniversary cake

Who likes left-overs? I do, but that is because it means I don’t have to cook. Again. However, I have restrictions on the amount of time that I will eat them. That is why I often question the tradition of keeping the top layer of the wedding cake for the first year anniversary. If you are going to do this – then let’s try to make sure you aren’t chomping down on a stiff, freezer burnt, dry, delicacy.

First you want to be sure you remove the cardboard bottom from the cake. Carefully transfer the cake onto foil. Freeze the cake for about one hour so it the icing will harden. Then remove from freezer and wrap the cake with cling wrap or plastic wrap. Make sure the cake is thoroughly covered and as airtight as possible. Now you want to wrap the cake with aluminum foil. Place the cake in an airtight container. Wrap the outside of the container with foil as well – to prevent moisture. Place in freezer until your anniversary. When you thaw the cake out to eat, be sure to place it in the refrigerator for at least one day to gradually thaw out. Do not put it on the counter.

Good luck to you! When my husband and I celebrated our first anniversary, I preferred that he take me out to a ridiculously high priced dinner and we both ordered a fresh slice of cheesecake (our wedding cake) to enjoy. What we did later is none of your business.

plan on!