Valentine’s Day ~ Up Your Game <3

So today is Valentine’s Day…whether you will be celebrating alone or with a special someone we put together some fun ideas to up your game  that we think you will love

Herb, flower and fruit enhanced ice cubes – can make any drink super pretty.

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Beautiful ice cubes – so sexy and fun!

 

Perfect for the little kids in your life, these thumb print heart mason jars are sure to put a smile on your Valentine’s face….and so easy to make.

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Show the love with these Thumbprint Mason Jars

 

Celebrating with a group?  Why not have a mimosa bar?  This is super easy and a great way to Up Your Game. Super easy what you’ll need:

Champagne, Variety of juices, Fruit, Glasses and Jars/Carafes

And don’t forget some cute decor….like this one from TomKatStudio.com

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If baking is your thing, try these amazing Red Velvet Brownies, pretty, festive and yummy from AverieCooks.com

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Another kid-friendly idea from b-inspiredmama.com Heart-Shaped Pizza!  We love this idea, many of us have kids and with Valentine’s Day falling in the middle of the week it’s hard to get out and celebrate.  So your kids (and you) will love this simple and easy dinner.

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Celebrating your last Valentine’s Day as an engaged couple? Love coffee?  These mugs are perfect!  From Etsy.

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Whether you are celebrating alone, with your kids, with your significant other or however you celebrate we want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day.  We hope that everyone gets some yummy chocolate, coffee or whatever your little heart desires.

Until next time

Heidi, Meg, Grace, and Dee Dee

Wedding Planning is it for you?

So you just finished planning your wedding, you are coming off that huge high!  Everything was so pretty and perfect.  Down to the most intricate detail, everyone raved about the food, the decor and your beautiful DRESS!!  You did all of your centerpieces by yourself, you are so talented (well Aunt Bettie said so)!  Your mom agrees, she tells everyone that day that you should be an event planner you’ve already planned one wedding  – YOURS….so you know what to do, right?

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WRONG

So yes, you’ve planned one wedding, yours and that’s great.  Kudos!  Great job!  It takes approximately 250 hours to plan a wedding. That’s a lot of work. All of your evening and weekends are gone.  Being a wedding planner means you don’t have a 9-5 schedule.  Your schedule needs to be flexible, because your clients, most likely are working 9-5 so you will be meeting with them after hours. Plus 95% of weddings happen on the weekends.

Working on the wedding day is HARD work. Spending 10-15 hours on your feet and being mentally “on” is exhausting no matter how good of shape you are in. And it gets harder the older you get.

THE WEDDING HANGOVER – how you feel the day after a wedding. It’s like you ran a race then went out drinking all night. In reality, you are dehydrated, sore, and tired from working a wedding.

Working with clients means making THEIR dream and vision come true. This can be a challenge for some event planners who want to keep recreating their own wedding or imposing their vision on clients. You will end up planning a wedding that doesn’t fit your style or taste and you have to be okay with that.

It is NOT GLAMOUROUS.  I’ve been on my hands and knees, sweating. I sometimes have to count the napkins and linens before they go back to the rental company. One wedding a guest had a little too much to drink and threw up all over the most gorgeous silk table linen.  We had to wash them out into the sink…the stench, alone was enough to make us want to puke! Talk about gross!  And do you know how many port-o-potties we’ve had to unclog….way too many.

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You wear a lot of hats!  Therapist, bouncer, friend, tough guy, parent, an artist, mediator etc.  With so many family dynamics you will have to be on your toes, always!  But remember who your client is, the couple. You have to be tough, thorough, organized and so many more traits. A wedding planned needs to be adaptable and often wear several hats at a time.

It is very different from planning your own wedding and moving to making it a career. Not every wedding is the same and it will become your job to personalize the event for your clients. This requires a lot of research and education. Taking some business management and marketing courses. Also hospitality courses will prove to be very valuable. In addition to understanding the details of planning the actual wedding, the many elements of starting and running your own business also require consideration. Aside from having the correct licenses and insurance, you’ll also need to market your business, determine pricing, invoice and bill clients, attend networking events, balance your books, advertise, hire staff and much, much more.

Regardless of whether you decide a career in wedding planning is for you, reach out to area wedding planners like Always and Forever to learn more about our internship and training programs.  Remember everyone has to start somewhere, even we did!

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Until next time,

Heidi, Meg, Grace & Dee Dee

 

Images: Wedding ForwardEtsyEtsyHi Miss Puff

Tip Top Tips for Planning Your Wedding!

Got the ring. Now what? Where to begin. Let us help! Keep these tips in mind whether you are just starting the wedding planning process, hitting a rough patch deciding on a venue or working on the finishing touches! We promise these should make it a little easier!

  • Get organized!
    • Keep a binder with all emails, notes, and important dates for your special day! There are many apps that can help to keep you focused and keep your eye on the prize! Depending on the size of your event, keep Eventbrite in mind! They are a great resource for being able to organize your event and keep track of your guest list right on your phone! Check out their website and tips here: https://www.eventbrite.com/how-it-works/ and the event planning and management page is also very helpful! https://www.eventbrite.com/l/event-management-software/
  • One Step at a Time!
    • Take your time making your decisions and think about them logically and make sure you and your partner are in agreement! You will want to make sure you find a space before you book a band, and don’t hire any vendors before you set a date!
  • Prioritize!
    • When you are working on your budget, decide what are your must haves and what you are willing to let go of or maybe do a little less of. If you are dying for a fabulous designer wedding gown maybe decide what you would be able to cut back on! It can all work out, just takes a little time!
  • Keep it Honest!
    • When you are choosing a wedding dress make sure to bring your squad that is going to be honest and really help you out! It can be a lot of white which can be quite overwhelming!
  • Keep a handle on the number of guests!
    • Make sure that you are aware of how many guests you are going to have to ensure that the space is big enough! Keep in mind, dance floor, tables, waiters, and the band!
  • Keep Mother Nature in Mind!
    • You want everyone to be able to have the best time at your wedding! Keep in mind to not book your wedding during the hottest time of the year or the coldest! Also keep in mind if it is outdoors that you are prepared to keep all the bugs away! (As much as possible!)
  • Earn a little something!
    • Keep in mind if you can keep all wedding expenses to one credit card you may be able to earn some miles or fun rewards while you do it! Check into this before making any large purchases, it may have a great return in the end!

Lastly, enjoy it all! It may get stressful at times but this is such an amazing time that will be totally 100% worth it in the end! As always we are always here to help! No matter if you are just getting started or right in the thick of it! We can guide you through to make some of those hard decisions a little easier!

Happilyeverafter
Photo Via Best Bride

Until next time,

Your Team at A&F

Heidi, Dee dee & Meg

Top Tips for a Backyard Wedding!

When it comes to getting married in your  backyard, do you want romance, do you want laid back, do you want comfortable, but just aren’t sure where to start?? Look no further than these great ideas for a beautiful relaxed backdrop for your special day!

Use what you’ve got! Say “I Do” beneath a beautiful big tree!

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Photo: Pie Shoppe Photography
Use a window pane for an alternative seating chart!

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Photo: Flavio D Photography

Loving how this bright colorful backdrop sets a fun tone for the wedding!!

Streamers
Photo: Joe and Marianne of Marianne Wilson Photography
Mason jars can be used for a ton of things to keep things simple and sweet!

Flower Vases
Photo: Katie Kaizer Photography
Keep your guests warm with some cozy blankets!!

Blankets
Photo: Michelle March
DIY a wood pallet for your menu!

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Photo: Josh Snyder Photography
Guest book? Why not Jenga?!

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Photo: Josh Snyder Photography
Share a sweet treat as a favor to remember the night!

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Photo: Vitalic Photo
Do these ideas look great to you? Have some ideas of your own for a backyard wedding? Whatever your wedding needs may be we are always here to help! We would love to be a part of your special day!

Til next time!

Your Team at A&F

Heidi, Dee dee, & Meg

Pictures also found at HuffPostWeddings

 

More Cake Please!

Chocolate? Strawberry? Naked? Fondant? Caramel? Strawberries? Sweets Overload? Say No More! We are here to help give you some alternative tier dessert ideas for your big day!

  1. Strawberry Brownie Cheesecake Tower! Via John Alexander Photography

 

2. Ombre Macaron Wedding Tower! Via Colini Murdoch Studio

 

3.  Meringue Tower perfect for a spring or summer wedding!! Via Meringue Girls

 

4. Waffle Cake! Perfect for a breakfast or brunch wedding! Via Becca Rillo Photography

 

5. Rice Krispies Cake!! Doesn’t get much better than this! Via Ashleigh Jayne Weddings

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6. Ombre Crepe Cake via Spanglish Studios

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There are so many sweet ways to celebrate your big day!! The options are endless! If you would like us to make your day even sweeter please contact us!

As always we are here to make your special day amazing!!

Your team at A&F

Heidi, Dee dee, & Meg

 

Beautifully Boho!

I just flipped when I found out that Free People has released a beautiful new line of wedding gowns, beautifully boho! Wow these dresses are unreal, full of unique details, romantic styles, and right on trend! These dresses can be the perfect addition to your backyard, garden, or rustic wedding! Take a peek below to see some favorites!!

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The lace back and bell sleeves make this dress!
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Separates? Yes please!!

All dresses found at the FP Ever After City Bride Collection from Free People. Photos used from GreenWeddingShoes.com

These dresses also make us want to jump into this beautiful rustic wedding that has also given us Boho fever! Check out some of the photos below! Via GreenWeddingShoes.com

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Do you love these looks as much as we do? Let us make it happen for you! Will you be a boho bride? Let us know what you think!

As always we are here to help!

Your team at A&F

Heidi, Dee Dee, & Meg

A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF US | CT’S PREMIERE WEDDING AND EVENT PLANNERS, ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LLC

This week has been a crazy one, but we love crazy!   Many people ask us how our days are spent, so here’s a little sneak peek into the life of planner during a week:

Monday – Prep for a 2013 meeting, design two inspiration boards, confirm meeting, get mom and bride’s cell phone numbers in case something comes up.

Tuesday – Prepare all documentation for March 2013 couple, meet with mom and bride for over two hours, talk about  what they like, don’t like, budget, venues, decor, wedding style, theme development, dresses and everything wedding related.

After meeting speak with DJ about another 2013 wedding to confirm details and secure contract.  Send three emails to another client and florist to confirm Skype meeting.

Wednesday – Respond to several emails, schedule a Friday morning appointment.  Continue to work on scheduling venue appointments for new March 2013 couple we met on Tuesday. Speak with a June 2012 couple and provide quote.

Thursday – Rework inspiration board for March 2013 couple, respond to more emails, and prep for Friday morning meeting.  Confirm rentals for a corporate event in June, blog

Friday – Early morning client meeting, blogging, prepare two quotes for client, prepare weekend to-do list, confirm venue meeting for the following week

Saturday – Try to accomplish some of the things on the to-do list, get organized for the next coming week, volunteer at a new winery, website updates

Sunday – Relax? Ha we never relax!