Newly Engaged? Avoid these Wedding Planning Blunders!

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT!!!!!
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While you’re basking in your soon-to-be betrothed bliss, and diving head first into your wedding planning, don’t go all overboard in your excitement and make these mistakes that can hurt you in the pocket:

– Pay for everything for your bridal party: You only barely have a general ballpark idea of what your wedding costs will be, while it’s a nice gesture if your BFF from elementary school says she can’t afford to be in your wedding, you could put your relationship in jeopardy if you make promises that you are unable to keep.

– Give your parents carte blanche with planning: Even though your parents may be footing the bill, it is your wedding. Establish boundaries in the beginning to avoid drama.

– Fall in love with the first dress you see/try on: In the beginning you probably have a few ideas of what you want the dress to look like. However, if you’ve watched any wedding reality shows for at least 7 minutes you know that often times the dress that you least expect is the one that brings tears to your eyes once you look in the mirror

– Invite everybody and their mother to your wedding: The guest list is THE singlemost way to control your wedding budget. If you find that your initial invite list is large, prioritize and determine if there are some people that you can invite to the engagement party and skip the wedding. Be strategic.

We couldn’t be more happy for you on your engagement, but it’s important that you have a realistic expectation of the wedding planning process while you’re floating on Cloud Nine with your fiancé. You be sure to keep these mistakes in mind, and you’ll get off to a wonderful start 🙂

HAPPY PLANNING!!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

We want to wish you the happiest of New Years and we hope that your 2014 is SO bright….(you know the rest)!

2014

Here’s to an awesome 2014!!!

HAPPY PLANNING!!!!

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2013….Reflection and Top 5 Blog Posts

We experienced major changes in 2013, we added the Accredited Event Designer certification to our arsenal, we expanded our offerings to include backdrops and ceiling drapings, we provided a #hollicon guest blog post, we coordinated two events on the same day in June, and we moved to the other side of the country.

As we learn more about our new home, Sierra Vista, AZ and we move further along on this journey to provide event coordinating services in southern Arizona we can’t help but reflect on what this year has brought and what we envision for 2014.

We’ve always strived to be an information resource for our audience to learn about what goes on in our crazy, mixed-up mind. We approach this blog from the perspective of the average person being able to ask an event planner the questions that are one their minds about the industry. Some of our posts have definitely been more popular than others, so here’s a quick recap of our Top 5 Blog Posts for 2013:

5. Houston, We Have a Problem (At Home):

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4. For the Couple that Has it All…:

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3. Why Day-Of Wedding Coordinators are the Best Thing Since a Bread Slicer:

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2. Um, I Don’t Need a Planner, My Venue Provides One…:

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1. Business Event Planning Taboos that You Should Break:


 

 

 

We’re looking forward to an AWESOME 2014 and  being able to help even more clients create the events they desire. We hope that you have benefited from the tips, tricks, and resources that we’ve shared this year, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you in 2014!

HAPPY PLANNING

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10 Ways to Work your Wedding Dress

Amidst all of the planning, details, organization and chaos, the wedding is primarily about one thing:

THE DRESS.

Women obsess about it, turn into a crazed madperson shopping for it, and have been known to cry three rivers of joy once they find it.

After the wedding, and being whisked away to marital bliss, where does this precious gem end up?? In the back of the closet….

It’s possible to get more mileage out of that dress, read below for ideas!

1. Anniversary/Date Night Outfit – Certain dress styles (A-line, sheath) can translate perfectly in a less formal outfit. Get it hemmed, a jacket/shrug and a few accessories and  you’re good to go.

2. Christmas Tree Skirt – just in time for the holidays, don’t let that train go to waste!

3. Baby Christening Gown – Just in case you jump right in to building your family 😉

4. Bassinett/Crib Bunting – see number 3.

5. Trash the Dress photo shoot – Safety first!

6. Rent (or loan if you’re feeling generous) the dress to a deserving bride.

7. Consign – help another bride have the day of her dreams, and recoup some of your money.

8. Accessories/Decor – Practically every bit of lace, tulle, silk, etc. can be used to make handkerchiefs, veils , curtains or even decorative pillows for the home.

9. Costume – to make this clear, you’ll be going as ‘The Bride’

10. Gift Wrap – Beading or lace can be used to elevate any gift packaging.

So there you have it, get busy putting that dress to work!

Did you repurpose your dress after the wedding? Do you have any other ideas for repurposing? Let us know!

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How Event Planning on a Budget can Help you Predict the Future

Budget

We’re not talking crystal ball here, but armed with the right information (and a professional event planner), you can cut your event costs and predict that you and your guests will have a grand time. The key is to preserve quality while preserving your dollars.

Photography/Videography: A professional photographer/videographer can charge upwards of $1000 to photograph or record certain types of events. Many think that you can just ask a friend or relative to capture the event to save money. That is not recommended. Instead, look to local photography clubs. You may find members that are super-hobbyists and have all of the necessary equipment but aren’t doing photography as a full-fledged business. It would be a good idea to hire them for a pre-event photo shoot or video to ensure you will be satisfied with their work.

Venue:  If you think that you could save money by holding your event at your house for free, depending on the number of guests you may be required to apply for special permits, not to mention your neighbors might not be too pleased with you afterwards. If you’re hosting a themed event, look for a “matching” venue. Western theme? Consider a barn (or anyplace in Tombstone…) . You would save money on decorations.

Flowers. Are you envisioning and event complete with walls and tables full of your favorite flowers?  Well, you might be shocked to learn that fresh floral costs can get up to $500 or more.  Save money here by forgoing your fave flowers and sticking with what is in season. Or even better, choose a garden for your venue!

If you can save money during the planning process by making these small swaps, we predict an event full of merriment, good tidings and cheer and best of all, no buyer’s remorse 🙂

HAPPY PLANNING!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/7027596629/”>Tax Credits</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

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Four Questions about Venue Selection that Will Keep You Up at Night

VenueSelectionAs you proceed through the steps to planning a wedding or other special event, the more questions you ask, the better. Reception costs consume almost half the budget for a wedding, and with the average wedding costing more than $27,000 you could be spending a hefty penny. Additionally, the popular venues book far in advance, forcing couples to make their final decision on a location immediately after the date has been set. For these reason, we want to arm you with a few important questions to ask before signing a contract. Save yourself some grief and check them out below:

Do you have a specific list of caterers I must use, or may I choose my own?

Some venues require customers to use the in-house caterers or choose from a small list of approved vendors. If you find that your selected venue has such a list, ask for testimonials from previous clients. When it comes to package deals, you’ll want to ensure that you’re happy with all of the included parties.

Are there any restrictions on decorations?

Many venues have them, but rules vary widely from place to place. Common restrictions include: no open flame (or no flame whatsoever), no tape or tacks on the walls, or no confetti. When linens are provided, some venues will prohibit the use of pins or dark colored drinks. Ask if the venue can provide any decorations themselves, especially around holidays.

Can we bring our own liquor, is there a “corkage” fee, and do we need a license?

If you’re planning for the alcohol to flow freely at your event, you can save a lot of money by bringing your own, if the venue permits it.  For the venues that allow bringing in alcohol, some charge a mandatory “corkage fee” to serve it. Make sure that you are crystal-clear on the fine print regarding alcohol before you commit to a venue.

As for licensing, many states consider wedding receptions/special events to be “unlicensed social functions,” meaning you don’t need one as long as guests are not paying for alcohol during the event. But be sure to check your local regulations before moving ahead.

Is there a cake-cutting fee?

If the venue allows customers to bring in their own cake, ask if there is a cake-cutting fee.

As long as you know the “right” questions to ask when shopping for venues, you will avoid contract surprises with the venue. Fortunately for you, we’re got your back 😉

HAPPY PLANNING!!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/riptidessportsgrill/6939719408/”>Innisfree Hotels</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

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The ‘Secret Sauce’ Wedding Planning Tips

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Sure, anybody can do an online search for tips to plan a wedding, but there are some things that will be omitted, some things that may be indirectly related to the big day, but are no less significant in your newly married life. While we agree that experience is indeed a good teacher, some things we just HAVE to share 😉

The Cake

Get personal. Give each guest his or her own miniature wedding cake or cupcake-a work of art to win over the toughest critic. Have a larger cake created so you can have the fun of slicing it. If you’re on a budget, stick to cupcakes. Add a special touch with your monogram, a special flower or color that makes the guests think of you two.

Flowers

Take a cue from nature. An “unkempt garden” is a popular look with tall centerpieces overflowing with beautiful flowers, branches and leaves. Candles all over the table are a great way to give the room a warm, inviting finish. The idea is to make your guests feel as if they’re not in a museum, but at a celebration of your union.

Selecting Gifts/ Personalizing your Registry

Give guests lots of choices and price ranges. To make it easier on yourself, wear comfortable shoes and clothes when choosing your gifts. Take along some water and snacks. If your fiance doesn’t want to be involved, do most of the legwork yourself and “extend the invitation again”  once you’ve narrowed down the choices.  Let the registry reflect your personality and think about your entertaining style. Let your registry develop around that.

Home Decor

Don’t forget to feather the nest before leaving for your honeymoon. Don’t you want to return to an inviting (already decorated to your liking) space where you can begin your life together?

The actress Ruby Dee said it best, “The wedding is the event, the marriage is a lifetime.” You should certainly take care to ensure your day is free from incident, but it is equally important to put that same energy to the days, weeks, months and years that will follow. Add these bits o’info to your list, and don’t worry, you can thank us later 😉

HAPPY PLANNING!

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Guerrilla Wedding, no Camo Required

Mr. Webster (the dictionary dude) defines guerrilla as, “a http://www.suhana.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Camo-Womens-Wedding-Rings-2013.jpgperson who engages in irregular warfare especially as a member of an independent unit carrying out harassment and sabotage”. (Source)

Well, there has been a recent increase in the guerrilla wedding, one where the couple does not reserve a venue, plan an elaborate ceremony, and may not even buy “the dress”. Instead, they show up at a predetermined location with their officiant for an impromptu wedding. 3-5 minutes they are declared husband and wife. In most states an officiant and a witness are the minimum requirements for a marriage to be legal.

What types of locations are we talking about? Anywhere! The mini golf park where the first date where the first date was held, the favorite amusement park ride, museum in front of a favorite painting.

On one hand, a guerrilla wedding is unordinary, romantic, and it’s a memory that that will cherished for the remainder of the couple’s lives together. On the other hand, some venues may frown upon (or take further action against) a couple using their space for a wedding without permission.

Regardless of the plan, the day is about recognizing the love between the bride and groom. If it is your intention to create a diversion to distract security until you’re hitched, don’t say we didn’t warn you about potential apprehensions!

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Mini-Expo Prep!

We will be participating in the Sierra Vista Area Chamber’s Mini-Expo on Nov 2 at the Sierra Vista Mall. This event focuses on local home-based business and nonprofit organizations, and provides an opportunity for shoppers to learn about the products and services that are available locally. We are excited to “introduce” our services to the Cochise County community and we can’t wait to meet some folks!
Here is a sneak peek of our table:

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Be sure to check out our Facebook page for more peeks of what we’re working on.

May your next event be as distinctive as you are!

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THE DRESS…..in Color

When it comes to wedding dresses, Vera Wang is THE woman. One would be hard pressed to find a bride that doesn’t dream (and/or swoon) over a Vera Wang gown. She somehow knows exactly what most brides want and delivers time and time and time again. The Fall 2014 Bridal Collection is shaking things up as well.

“Pink as sensual, pink as seductive, pink as dreamy, pink as sophisticated, pink as strong, pink as cool.”

Check it out here:

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