Category Archives: Real Weddings

Our Policy on Vendor Referrals

For those of you who saw our segment on WBRE Consumer reports, you may have noticed Jeff Chirco mention vendor referrals and asking the person referring if they accept kickbacks.  (For those of you who missed it, please check out WBRE Consumer Reports page).

I wanted to clarify what he meant by this, as well as explain our vendor referral policy.  Firstly, anyone planning a wedding or event will save themselves money and heartache by doing a little research into different vendors.  Not everyone feels comfortable calling or hiring a wedding planner to do this for them.  The next best thing would be going to a different vendor that you feel comfortable with, say a DJ, photographer, or catering hall.  Ask this vendor if they can recommend someone within the wedding industry that they PERSONALLY worked with and that they would recommend you hire.  Sometimes, you will hear more about who NOT to hire, but it still helps you find the right vendor for you.

Regarding asking about kickbacks- don’t feel shy asking if someone is paying them to make the referral.  Some companies call them finder-fees, and others, like catering halls, have advertising connections and other incentives to refer a specific vendor, regardless if they live up to their standards or not. 

A wedding planner should never take money from a vendor as a kickback, nor should they charge you for their vendor referral list. 

Once you decide to call upon a new vendor, ask them for references.  If they cannot provide at least 2 different people to call, do not consider them a reputable vendor, and move on.  There are plenty more fish in the sea!

Finally, I would like to take a moment to discuss our policy (Attention 2 Perfection) on vendor referrals.  We would be glad to suggest a vendor free of charge.  However, we do not give out our entire vendor ‘list.’  We base our referrals on what your particular needs are.  For example, you are looking for a florist.  We work with many florists that all have different attributes and niches.  After learning what your needs are, we then advise you to call one or two that will fit your personal demands.  Voila!  We just saved you tons of time, and was able to give you a referral right from the get-go. 

As long as we are not making the phone calls, setting up, or going on appointments, our vendor referrals are free of charge.

 

Hope this gave you a little more insight into standard practices and our policies.  If you have any questions regarding this matter, do not hesitate to contact us!

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Filed under Real Parties/Events, Real Weddings, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Lorraine w/ Sister Debbie on Wedding DayMy parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary on Tuesday.  On Monday night, we were sitting around the dining room table listening to them reminisce about their wedding day.  The question came up, ‘Where were we right now 30 years ago?’  The answer was at the rehearsal dinner.  So I ask, ‘Where was your rehearsal dinner?’

No answer.

My mom and dad sat there with blank looks on their faces as they tried so hard to remember the rehearsal, the dinner, and other details about their wedding.  Now, my parents are not old by any means.  They both lead active lives and have full-time jobs working for the government.  Memory loss was not the issue.  It just didn’t matter enough to them to remember.

That got me thinking about what I do for a living.  I help couples plan each little detail of their wedding.  I see bride’s agonize over shades of lipstick or invitation seals.  And yes, couples even fight about where to hold the rehearsal dinner. 

This experience with my parents helped me realize that although it is my job to properly plan the wedding of my client’s dreams, it is also my job to remind them what the party is for in the first place.  It’s about love and commitment.  It’s about ‘Not Sweating the Small Stuff.’  After all, 30 years later, you probably won’t remember the tiny details, but you will have fond memories of the day you and your husband became one family.

PS:  My mom called her mother, sister, and cousin.  My dad called his sister and niece.  All of them remember being at the rehearsal dinner.  None of them remembered where it was.

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Filed under Inspirations, Real Weddings

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