Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Importance of ‘Following Through’

This post is unlike my usual blogs.  I had a negative experience last night and felt the urge to try and find something positive from it. 

The Experience: I finally made the conscience decision to hire a personal trainer.  After taking time to interview the different options available through my gym, I decided on Tim.  He spent an hour with me on the phone, getting to know me- specifically learning that time is precious to me as I am a single mom, business owner, and college student.  After confirming our appointment the day before, he STOOD ME UP for my first session.  He never even left me a message admitting his guilt.  Someone from the gym had to hunt him down.  He evidently wrote it down wrong in his calendar and has offered a free session if I ‘feel like’ calling him.

The Lesson:  Tim reminded me that each client has different needs and expectations of service.  I spend the same time with all potential customers, getting to know them and vice versa.  I can ‘sell’ someone on my services, but the follow through is the important part. 

The Challenge: I encourage you to think about your ‘follow through’ today.  Whether it’s the services you promised a client, the project you committed to at work, cooking dinner for the family, or a personal commitment like going to the gym- make sure you follow through.  You never know who is counting on it, and what may happen to your relationship if you fail. 

PS:  Tim is not getting another phone call.


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Etiquette Tip Tuesday

If you opt for a traditional head table, that is,your bridesmaids and groomsman sit at a long straight table with you, please keep etiquette in mind.  The maid/matron of honor sits next to the groom, while the best man sits next to the bride.  It should alternate boy/girl from there. 

SIDE NOTE:  Consider breaking tradition with some fun twists on the head table.  Some brides and grooms will sit alone at a sweetheart table, or alone with their maid of honor and best man.  Let your bridal party sit with their families or guests.  Or share the experience with your immediate family by sitting at a round table with your parents and closests relatives.

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I admire…

Today, I pledged to write a blog about someone I admire in the wedding industry.  I was not able to come up with one, but rather three individuals who I truly admire within the wedding world.  So,here they are!

1.  Lorraine Savage Sokolowski from Savage Designs

Yes, this is my mom.  She is an unbelievably creative woman, who adds the most special touches to every wedding or event she works on.  I’m amazed how gorgeous her work is; whether it is a hand-embroidered card pouch, a pew bow, or a hand-beaded wedding gown, it is a unique work of art.  Someday, I’ll have to post photos her one-of-a-kind crocheted, silver wire, beaded necklaces.  Not only is her work stunning, but she is a full time daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, and employee….. AND….. she has carpal tunnel in both hands!!!! 

2.   Kristy Rice from Momental Designs

I am so fortunate to have this well-known stationer in my own backyard! Kristy sends her gorgeous invitations all over the world. I find myself quite often looking through her past designs for inspiration.  She has an eye for detail, and her aesthetic is usually exactly what I’m looking for.  I’ve had the pleasure to work with Kristy on a few designs, and hope to collaborate with her on a lot more. 

3.  John Nola from Mirage Music and Fantasy Images

John and his son have helped me grow my business to what it is today.  Extremely skeptical about working with a wedding planner, they gave me a shot and subsequently took me under their wing.  They are a sounding board, a business adviser, and most importantly, a HUGE asset to my clients!  Thanks guys!


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Etiquette Tip Tuesday

This Tuesday’s Etiquette Tip: Always invite a single person & Guest.

Too often, I feel like the guest list police.  A very common breech in etiquette is inviting a single person to a wedding alone.  

I hear all sorts of reasoning behind this, like “Grandma won’t want to be invited with a guest since Grandpa died,” or “The guys are single and looking for ladies at the wedding- they can’t if they have someone with them.”  The worst excuse for inviting singles is budget cuts.  Many couples try to save money by not adding ‘and guest’ to the invite.

A wedding can be a very emotional time for your guests.  They are remembering past loves, or wishing for the wedded bliss that you may be enjoying.  For some people, going through that alone is too much to handle.  Giving the people the option of bringing someone is the right thing to do.  If they then choose to come alone, it was their decision. 

After listening to my advice, here are how some of those real life excuses turned out:

The Grandma who lost her husband: She came to the wedding with her dear old lady friend who was very happy to get out and share your special day (she was also able to drive Grandma since she didn’t drive).

The bachelor looking for love: He found it 4 weeks before the wedding, and was able to invite his new girlfriend to share in your happiness and dance the night away.

The blooming budget:  It came out as a wash because all of the 3rd cousins (who you swore would come) didn’t show.

To sum it all up- it’s all about the invite! Making the gesture is what really matters.

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My Blog Banner: a peek into my work!

The photos I decided to use for my blog banner give a little insight into the exciting things I do.  For today’s post, I thought I’d give a little explanation of the different circumstances for each photo.

Baby Shower FavorsThese were favors for a tea-themed baby shower at Sugar’s Tearoom.  This medium box contained a white, tea-for-one set.  The custom tags read ‘thank you’ on the front, and the back had a little slot for a yummy bag of Stash brand tea. The tags were even shaped like a tea bag- including the string stapled to the paper!White tulle over shiny pool blue paper, and a brown and white polk-a-dot shear organza bow really tied everything together!


Acuff Wedding

This photo is of Mr. & Mrs. Bill and Fallon Acuff.  I think this photo really captures the love between these two high school sweethearts.  This wedding was very special to me, as it was my best friend getting married.  I had the joy (and stress!) of being maid of honor and wedding planner for this wedding. 

Photography by Fantasy Images in Tannersville, PA. 


Jan AvatarThe people in my banner are the creative works from Michelle at Design Done Right.   Michelle gave my company the look it so desperately needed!  For those of you who remember my old business cards and website, Michelle has really taken me a long way from dull purple and gray.  Thanks, Michelle!


Hand-painted escort cardsEscort BoardThese butterflies served as the escort cards for Dynnalee’s Sweet 16.  These were carefully cut by hand, and then hand-painted with watercolors.  Each guest’s name was then written (again, by hand) in permanent black ink.  Each color corresponded to their table’s theme- it was a Disney Princess Party!

We then pinned each butterfly, in alphebetic order, to a pink satin pin board.  Everything you see was custom created by our design team!


I love branches! This close-up is from my Wigilia centerpiece. Wigilia is a traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner.  Wigilia Close-upThere are certain traditions including having apples and nuts on the table- so we filled a large clear vase with nuts, apples, and a few shiny Christmas balls for decoration.  We added the branches for height and depth.  The final touch was the double-sided, photo Christmas ornaments.  We have made many similiar centerpieces for other families for the holidays- Polish or not!  The ornaments from past years are a great additon to the family Christmas tree.

Please click here if you’d like to learn more about the Polish Wigilia.

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Filed under Inspirations, Real Parties/Events, Real Weddings

The Guest List

My clients know how important I feel the guest list is to the party planning process.  When booking my planning services, clients know that I require the first draft of a guest list in order to start the planning process.

Recently, I had a couple come to me with their entire wedding completely planned.  I assumed they wanted day-of services seeing that the planning was finished.  I quickly learned that they made a cardinal mistake when planning a wedding (or any party for that matter): They waited until the end to finalize the guest list.

Planning on inviting between 120-140 people, they booked a beautiful, expensive reception hall, picked out the most gorgeous stationary, and even ordered expensive Waterford crystal favors (they were a close-out bargain that they didn’t want to lose- and if needed, could not order more).  Everything fit perfectly into their budget.

Then, they put their guest list on paper- the initial draft came out to a whopping 440 people!  Even after every cut possible, the list was still at 220.  The reception hall could only hold 140 people. 

In the end, 228 people were invited, and 184 responded that they were attending.  After a lot of emergency planning, a new reception venue was located, and the Waterford was sold on e-bay to make way for a less expensive favor.  In the end, some deposits were lost and the budget grew by 30%. 

All of the this could have been avoided if the bride and groom created the first draft of their guest list in the beginning stages of planning. 

(Thanks to Tom and Katie for letting me share their story.  They hope that everyone learns from their costly mistake).

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Filed under Real Weddings, Tips and Tricks

My 1st Blog!!!

Thank you for taking a minute to visit my blog: Striving 4 Perfection.

Please take a moment to read the ‘About Me’ section to learn a little more about me, and what to expect from this blog in the future.  I’m so excited to start sharing photos, stories, tips, and thoughts on wedding and event planning. 

Comments will all be appreciated- and subscribers are very welcome!


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