Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Resource Spotlight :: A Grand Wedding

Go2Girl Events received a lovely postcard in the mail last week, introducing a brilliant new resource for Brides to Be in the Seattle Metro Area.

Go2Girl Events definitely fits the bill (offering many services under $1K), and was thrilled to read the motivation of Georgie Hockett (co-founder with her husband Dave) behind starting the site. They also believe every couple should have access to quality vendors, at a realistic price.

Your wedding day is the beginning of your marriage, plan accordingly!

High quality, affordable services was also the motivation behind the creation & launch of Go2Girl Events. (Clearly, Georgie is a girl after our own heart :)

A Grand Wedding offers Vendor Lists by Category, Expert Articles for your perusal,
a Buy, Borrow or Share space - where you could quite possibly split the cost of your dream haute couture dress with a complete stranger - or, snag some free tealights!
Hey, every cent counts.
Finally, there is Angel Bride - real-life couple stories, where wedding vendors can donate their time, product or services.
Who knows, you might even sprout wings!
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Here's to Stylish Sanity.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beyond 'The Knot'

Don't get me wrong........this website is an amazing resource: tips, suggestions, real world bride experiences, etc...

You literally could spend hours searching, reading, printing, looking at bios...........Sound familiar?

Other common side effects : blurred vision, feelings of wedding inadequacy, overwhelming additions to your wedding needs, false sense of friendship, etc.

Use it as a reference tool, just like you shuffle through a Wedding Magazine for inspiration.
But, when all is said & done - brainstorm away from the computer.

You will develop a level of originality for your wedding food, mood, garb, guests - that will be an authentic extension of you & your groom.

And, you'll feel an immense amount of pride knowing you creating it all on your own.
Trust me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wedding Planner = Wise Investment

There's a multitude of reasons why hiring an experienced wedding planner makes perfect sense.
Here's a sampling :

Genuine Enthusiasm
We get you. Your excitement is contagious.
We understand your craziness, irrational fears, feelings of obligation, emotional highs & lows.
We know how to listen, pass the tissues, and provide answers to even the silliest of questions.

Neutral Party
We're emotionally detached - but in a good way! Objectivity is key to planning a seamless event, and wedding planners provide good judgement without getting sentimental.

Stress Minimizer
We are comfortable in the roles bestowed upon us: Relationship coach, Errand girl, Production manager, and Logistics troubleshooter.
Always providing direction, encouragement and options.

Always with a smile on our face.

Save Some Dough
We have a pretty clear idea what certain things should cost. This is crucial when you actually want to stick to a defined budget.
Remember, this is the beginning of your married life.

Don't invite Debt to share your bed.
It isn't fun to add to the mix.

Time Saver
We have a strategy. Our honed research skills & vendor relationships have perfected our ability to match your wedding vision & budget, with those vendors that will make it work, on your terms.

Simplify Communication
We are the Point Guard of the Wedding Day Celebration. Schedule changes, Vendor mishaps, Lost name it. We are carrying the ball all the way.

Fully Present Memories
When you're relaxed, you're in the moment. Soaking up the mood, enjoying the food, having a ball. Everyone is lit up with joy, glee, happiness. True emotion will just bleed from the picture book.

Here's to Stylish Sanity!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tipping the Scale

No fat jokes here :: I promise!

Let's talk about the art form known as Tipping (the monetary kind).

A topic that strikes fear in the hearts of many.
Often implied.
Dealt with by obligation.
But is it truly necessary?

Well, not really. It's a social custom, not a requirement, with no set rules.
It's completely up to your discretion, and quite possibly - your discretionary income.

Leaving a tip seems to be approached in two ways: either a patron leaves a lot (meaning 20% or more), or barely anything at all (say 0 - 5%)
You may feel that the service wasn't great, or maybe that the price they charge MUST include some type of implied tip to begin with.

From a Wedding Vendor's point of view - this is NOT the case.

Tipping has a skewed view by most consumers - as the most prevalent scenarios are that of a waiter/delivery person/valet driver/hairstylist. The person providing the service is right there, waiting.

But what about all those that worked feverishly 'behind the scenes' to create a seamless, stress-free Wedding Day experience for you & your guests?

Tip who you feel deserves it, and preferably after all is said & done.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So, what about the Kids?

This seems to be a fairly touchy subject to approach.
You want all of your guests to feel welcome; with or without little ones.

Alas, this is another situation that can allow obligation to eat you alive.

Remember - this is YOUR wedding day.
How you want to celebrate, in what fashion, where, and most importantly - with whom, is completely your perogative.

Now, that's not to say that you want to put 'NO BRATS' on your lovely invitations & RSVP cards!
Just provide an alternative, as an oh-so-subtle way to give guests the hint.

Hire a Babysitter. Put her/him & all the kids in a room - far, far away from the ceremony. Preferably somewhere soundproof, with a tv & dvd, crayons & coloring books, and a snack.

Put a link on your website, or include an insert with your invitation.
Explain that you want to provide an atmosphere where the kids will have some fun, and not feel like they have to sit still & be quiet during a 30 minute ceremony.

Believe me - Parents will be relieved. They too will be so happy to know that their little Jimmy or Maddie will not be the child running up & down the aisle, yelling at the other guests, and completely ruining your special moment. Parents will be able to focus on your big day - which is why you invited them to begin with!

Kids can then rejoin the celebration during the Reception.

They' re always the best dancers anyway.

Here's to Stylish Sanity!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

No Directions? No Problem!

This is a frequent topic of discussion among brides, and usually their moms.
Brides tend to assume that the flow of the evening, and how to go from Ceremony to Cocktails to Dinner & Dancing, is implied by the layout of the Venue.

Moms of Brides tend to assume that everyone will get lost, someone will miss out on something memorable, and they will never hear the end of it.

How to Troubleshoot so everyone is in the loop? Signage

We're not talking Cardstock with a big red arrow. No, no. We envision signage that includes pertinent information, and can be incorporated into the overall decor of the event.
Such as:
Cocktails in the Noble Room
Howard Wedding

Here's an example seen frequently:
You're putting together a lovely program that includes...
Names of the Wedding Party, Parents, Flower Girl, Ringbearer, Officiant.
You've also included the music choices for the Prelude, Processional & Recessional.

Great - keeping everyone in the loop.

So, where do they go after the Ceremony? Do they even know there is a Cocktail Hour, followed by a sit down dinner in a large hall on another floor?
Is there any indication as to where the washrooms are, or when food is to be served?

How to solve this dilemna? Big Day Timeline
This could be a seperate card, or printed within the actual program.
Personal preference is given to a seperate little insert, in an attention getting color. Start &End times can be listed, including when the Newlyweds will be departing for the evening.
This gives a subtle hint to guests when the festivities will be over!

Here's an example from Event Girl's Destination Wedding in Hawaii:

What else can be mighty helpful?

Welcome Letter - could be included with a package of treats to hotel rooms.
Map/Directions to the Ceremony - leave copies at the Front Desk of the hotel for OOT Guests, or include in a Welcome Package.
Rent a Sandwich Board for Street Viewing - Indicate to Guests where to park for the Wedding.
Menus for the Bar & in the Reception area - what is available?
Helpful hints for the Guest Book or Wishing Bowl (if you want specific things to happen)

Can you get carried away? Oh yes. Incorporate what works for you, and the ambiance you're creating for your big day.
Just try to think from a guest's perspective - they will be complete newbies to the Venue & Timeline.

Here's to stylish sanity!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

I received such a lovely handwritten thank you note from a former Bride this past weekend.
Now, that may not seem like Big News to share.
But, there are times when as a planner, you hear nothing!
You receive praise the day of, but many a bride simply forgets to thank the Vendors that were essentially the glue of her big day.

That's why receiving this note was oh so sweet.
You see, Megan & James were married May 3, 2008.
I truly appreciate her taking the time to remember Go2Girl Events - 3 months later.

Here's an excerpt....
Dear Sandra,
Thank you for the beautiful decoration set-up. Everything was exactly how I imagined it! Thank you for making it possible. It was so important to have your help. We really appreciated it.
You really pulled it off, even with some of our guests arriving sooner than expected! (our ceremony went faster than we thought!). Thanks again for your hard work.

Love, Megan

Here's a few pictures of their Wedding Reception @ Tibbetts Creek Manor in Issaquah, WA

Feeling stumped over proper Thank You note etiquette?
Here's a great resource to get you started.