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perfect is a four-letter word for your wedding

There are a few words that I really can’t stand hearing or using. Mucus, moist and perfect. I hate the word “perfect” when it comes to describing events and well, life in general. (Don’t quit reading, I won’t say the first two gross words again. Promise).

let’s explore the definition of the word “perfect”

Merriam-Webster says the definition of:

Perfect
: having no mistakes or flaws
: completely correct or accurate

Well, there starts the problem. Anyone who expects their wedding to be flawless or perfect are certainly setting themselves up for a huge let down.

Truth: every care should be taken in the planning of your wedding day, utilizing professional vendors with experience to troubleshoot, adapt and correct any problems.

So instead of worrying that you won’t have the perfect wedding (can we agree to eliminate that word all together?). Let’s focus your energy and mind set that no matter what happens, you will enjoy your wedding. You will trust your vendors to fix any mishaps that may occur.

houston, we have a problem

Something is going to go wrong. There is never a perfect event. Or a perfect day. Or even a perfect marriage. You get the drift. We cannot control everything. Just our own attitudes and how you will deal with them. So carry on, and have a wonderful wedding day!

feature photo credit: jesse and gena weddings

plan on!

wedding-vendors

meeting wedding vendors during the holidays

This blog post should have entitled, “TRYING to meet your wedding vendors during the holidays”. Because that’s really the way it is.

We understand, holidays is when you are off work or when you have a scheduled vacation/visit in town. Makes sense that you would like to try to knock out some meetings and get some wedding planning work done.

However ….

Please know, for most wedding vendors (your caterers, florists, bakers, DJ’s, venues) may be at the busiest. Especially if they service all types of clients, not just weddings. They are swamped, tired and here is a little known secret, sometimes cranky and stressed out.

Now they may be able to fit you in, especially if you have reserved the meeting way in advance. But please don’t be disappointed if you are cruising into town and they aren’t able to fit you into your schedule. There are only so many hours in the day and holiday parties will take priority over choosing your menu for your June 2014 wedding. They hope you will all understand.

So if possible, our advice is to wait until you can have their undivided attention. Take a break from the planning. Spend some time with your family and friends. Drink some egg nog and have a second piece of pie.

With that said, WE are available on the Saturday after Thanksgiving … we have a few slots open right now. So give us a call! 812.250.1968 or email at staff(at)planningforever.com

Happy Holidays!

ps This is such a good post, that we wrote something similar in 2008.

featured image: pfe iphone

plan on! 

 

 

ohsnap-feature

saving you money, may cost you more

Everyone (no matter how much money they have) has a budget or total investment in mind when it comes to planning their wedding. Perhaps it’s a total dollar amount and for some people it’s a dollar figure by vendor category (photographer, planner, catering, et al).

Your choices on how much to invest in each area of your wedding is primarily based on personal importance and what you deem is worthy for your investment.

less experienced vendors:

Often less experienced vendors will offer a lower price point when compared to a more seasoned wedding veteran. And it’s understandable to lean towards these vendors because you can save money. The DJ that has great equipment, but really never worked at a wedding. The planner that is earnest, but has no previous experience, nor resources. The photographer that does really great portrait shots, but has never shot a wedding.

It’s your money and it’s your wedding. But before you sign on that dotted line, please take this into consideration.

Sometimes what may seem to be saving you money, may cost your more in the end. We’ve seen it happen too many times over the ten years we have been planning. We watch our brides grow frustrated at the lack of returned phone calls or emails. We watch them be concerned at whether or not this newer vendor will perform what they have promised.

We receive the 2 am emails from our brides…

[quote author=”Stressed Out Bride”]I can’t sleep and my mind is racing about Vendor Z because I haven’t heard back from them for weeks. Are they going to show up? And now they are complaining that they don’t have this or that. What should I do?[/quote]

It takes all the restraint in the world to not answer, “Why did you hire them in the first place?”

Sure you may save $500 or $1,000 or whatever dollars. What is it worth to you in having peace of mind? 

hiring friends as your vendors:

We were just chatting with a 2012 bride this weekend. Her exact words to us were:

[quote author=”Real Bride”]Please blog about NOT HIRING friends as vendors. We were pretty disappointed with our photos.[/quote]

It happens all the time. A friend is a friend, and it’s hard to mix business with pleasure. Especially if there are problems to discuss.

plan on!

 

wedding-planner feature

venue coordinators vs wedding planners

There is often confusion in what duties a venue coordinator performs and what duties a wedding planner will perform for you. Brides and grooms sometimes perceive that they may be double paying. A valid point, but perception is not the reality in this case. This is why.

what are the differences?

1. Your venue coordinator is responsible for your venue (thus the title). They are there to make sure all of the venue employees are informed of your reception plans. Think about it: the chef, the serving staff, the setup crew, the landscapers, the hotel staff, the bartenders, the cleaning crew, the janitors, maintenance department… just to name a few. Yes, they can be there when your cake is delivered or when your entertainment arrives, but that is the easy part.

2. Your wedding planner is responsible for YOU, your family and your wedding guests. We are with you the entire day after putting together a comprehensive master timeline that includes all of your plans that you wish to happen, all of the personal touches that you want from your ceremony all the way to the reception. The venue coordinator may not be concerned where your dance shoes are, whether Aunt Betsy in a wheel chair is comfortable, if the flow of your reception is going smoothly or perhaps how your liquor tab is progressing. The bride and groom may still be bombarded with questions from all the vendors (photographer, videographer, DJ). When we are there (or any wedding planner) then we answer those questions so that you and your family can truly enjoy your celebration with your guests.

I’m not suggesting they are callous, not at all. They are focused on doing their job which is ultimately ensuring accurate and prompt service from catering to bar services. We don’t know where the extra kegs are located or how to turn up the air conditioning should it get too warm. But they do, because it’s their venue.

A wedding planner’s paycheck comes directly from our client. A venue coordinator’s paycheck comes directly from their venue.

Now this blog post is written a little backwards, concentrating on the wedding day FIRST. Let’s back this wedding train up and discuss PRE-wedding day duties.

Wedding planners help with the pre planning of your entire wedding. From reviewing contracts, designing details, reviewing the flow, securing hotels, finding the right wording and invitation, looking out for your best interest in staying within your budget, answering your many etiquette questions, calming your anxiety and referring the right vendors that fit your budget and style.

the elusive preferred vendor list:

Venue coordinators will also give you recommendations from their preferred list of vendors. But please, PLEASE, be sure to ask them:

“Do vendors on this preferred list PAY the venue to be listed here?”

In my humble and experienced opinion, I don’t believe the correct description of a “preferred vendor list” means that a vendor shelled out some moola to have their name on it. It should instead be entitled “vendor paid advertising”. You see the vendors that we prefer to work with have proven themselves time and time again working along side with us. We know that they not only deliver what they promise they are a gem to work with, especially when times get tough (unexpected increment weather, for instance).

They don’t pay us to refer them, where is the credibility in that? Nor do we pay to be on any preferred vendor list.

“you don’t need a wedding planner!”

Sometimes venue coordinators like to tell brides, “You don’t need a wedding planner, we’ll coordinate your wedding.” Hmmm, let’s dissect this. You mean the venue coordinator will be at your ceremony coordinating between the musicians and lining up your wedding party? Or are they available take your late afternoon phone calls and meet with you after hours in your home to discuss your wedding plans and what are the best options to alter your dress? Or maybe they are there to help you manage your Pinterest projects and design the details from programs, escort cards and signage? They are not helping you plan your wedding. They are coordinating their venue.

Now as a professional planner, who gives venue referrals I can tell you when I get feedback from a client, WHO I REFERRED, and is told that we are not needed, it does more than get me a little hot. It is infuriating. And for your venue coordinators that think these client’s don’t come back to tell us, you are wrong. And it happens more than we would like to admit.

For years, I asked myself “Why?” And I think I’ve got it narrowed down. This is my personal epiphany on this controversial subject:

Some venue coordinators absolutely do not want a wedding planner on board because they are not able to upsell the bride and groom. Venues that provide inclusive, turn-key weddings are no-brainers for couples that don’t want to be bothered with the details. But trust me, you’re going to pay for it. Right or wrong is not the issue, it’s understanding the difference and acknowledging it. If you have a third party, such as a professional wedding planner, that understand contracts, BEO’s and knows what questions to ask to potentially save their mutual client money, hey … that’s not necessarily good for the venue.

Notice I kept saying “some venue coordinators”. There are many that love to work with planners and we love you right back. Nothing falls through the cracks and our mutual clients are served very, VERY well.

Would love to hear your feedback, thoughts or questions!

featured image photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!

update: Did a TV segment on this subject on Local 7 Lifestyles, check it out!

 

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thank you clients, friends and vendors in 2012!

2012 christmas

I wanted to take a moment to truly thank all of our clients that we served in 2012. You cannot imagine how grateful we are that you chose US to help you with your wedding, corporate party, private party, design and more. These are important investments in your lives and we were part of building memories that will last a life-time.

Thank you to all the vendors that work so hard with us, tirelessly through all kinds of weather and long days on our feet even though we are starving or our backs and feet are hurting, we still pull through with smiles and confidence in our abilities. (that was the longest sentence, of ever!) It takes a village of vendors to pull off an awesome event.

Thank you to the team at Local 7 Lifestyles. From the producers and camera people behind the scenes to the anchors that interviewed me throughout the year. A truly awesome year at the new studio and actually having the opportunity to co-host a total episode with you was a dream come true. This has evolved so much since 2006 and I am very grateful.

Thank you to the producers of the bridal shows that we participated in. We know how hard you all work, trust me.

Thank you to all the industry peeps that we talk to through social media. Twitter and Facebook has made this big blue marble super small and our team is better off being able to collaborate and share with you.

Finally thank you to the pfe team and extended design and break-in/break-out team for your support and hard work. This business wouldn’t work without you.

Here’s to 2013! We will be celebrating our tenth anniversary next year!