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

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Man-gagement Rings?!

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Photo from Top 10 Wedding Vendors

So I came across this topic of man-gagement rings and I actually kinda loved it! WHY don’t more men wear engagement rings and flaunt them with their soon to be Mr. or Mrs.?!  I’ve never personally seen a man with an engagement ring on but the topic interested me so much I just had to do a little digging.

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Photo from The Atlantic

An article popped up written by The Atlantic and it stated how back in the 20’s jewelers actually tried to upsell the idea of men wearing engagement rings BUT it obviously never stuck because its twenty-sixteen and I’ve sadly never come across it. Although it is twenty-sixteen right? Change is beyond us! And people are furiously accepting the unknown and craving to show their individuality.

And since individuality is so MAJOR and valuable to oneself, why not dare to be different and embrace the new? Come on now, man-gagement rings aren’t even nearly as expensive as women engagement rings! Seriously the average cost of a woman’s engagement ring is six thousand dollars when a man-gagement ring is near three hundred dollars! Can you say AMEN.

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Photo from Wedding Bee

Man-gagement rings are worn in Same Sex marriages and those men are wearing those rings BEAUTIFULLY. I say let this trend grow and become something amazing between two people. But with all SERIOUSNESS if Michael Bublè can sport the man-gagement ring, why can’t we all?

Now how might you pick your man-gagement ring?! Well that really all depends on your man’s style. Does he like copper, gold, titanium, sterling silver? Or does he like thin rings, thicker rings, or does he even want diamonds? There is a lot when it comes to picking your man-gagement ring but do not stress! I included a guide I found on BuzzFeed to show you some awesome ideas for those beautiful man-gagement rings. So go have some fun and start mixing and matching those engagement rings with those wedding rings!

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Photo from BuzzFeed

For more inspiration and great additions to your day please contact us!

We are always here to help and make your day unique and special for you!

Until next time,

Your team at A&F

Heidi, Meg, & Taylor

Your (insert wedding vendor) is not a wedding planner! | Always and Forever, CT’s Premiere Wedding Planning Company

We sure have been quiet on the blog lately and we apologize. The planning season is in full swing and between appointments, design meetings, and contracts the blog has been neglected.

I have something that I would like to say and I hope that all of you that read this will pass this along to anyone you know that is getting married and may get married in the future.

I was told by a potential client that she no longer needed a planner since her caterer and DJ both said that they offer wedding planning as a part of their fee. I will be honest that this is something that I hear about more and more and as a planner, it bugs the heck out of me.

I will not go off on a rant about the many reasons that this is wrong in my mind but I will offer, any potential client for any wedding planner,  a list of questions to ask themselves when in this position

  1. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> talk you through your guest list dilemma and help you figure out if Aunt Emily needs to be invited?
  2. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> take your call at 9pm when your bridesmaid has told you that she shortened her dress 4 inches?
  3. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> work through your competing dream themes and color palettes and help you find that look that is perfect?
  4. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> call the other wedding vendors to discuss changes or additions to the contract?
  5. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> review all the other vendor contracts for you?
  6. Will < insert random wedding vendor here> be at your ceremony rehearsal to walk everyone through where to stand and when, all while calming your nerves the night before your wedding?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then I am convinced your DJ is a wedding planner! If you answered No to just one, you may want to consider hiring an actual planner.

~ Dee Dee

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!

Wedding Vendor Wednesday | No Eye Has Seen Photography | CT’s Premiere Wedding & Event Planners Always and Forever, LLC

We are so excited to feature Alicia Candelora from No Eye Has Seen Photography!  We’ve loved Alicia since we met her several years ago. Her style is amazing, her personality is awesome, and her photographic eye is unbelievable.  She is so talented and absolutely loves what she does.  I’m always amazed when a photographer can shoot an entire wedding in stilettos!

Not only is Alicia an amazing photographer, she is a beautiful person. She spends considerable time helping those that are less fortunate, traveling to Haiti to work with children and raising money to provide clean water to those in need all over the world. Alicia’s impact is felt word-wide.  She is truly an amazing woman and we hope that you get the chance to at least meet her if not include her in your wedding day….

Without further ado….Meet Alicia

I am so thrilled and honored to be featured on Always and Forever blog today because I absolutely adore these gals! I started my wedding photography business in Europe about 7 years ago and when I decided to relocate back to the USA, I knew it would be important to network with other vendors who were like-minded. When I first met Heidi and Dee Dee I knew immediately that I would love them and work well with them. For me it is super important to not only give clients an exceptional product and quality service, but to also create an experience for them that is unforgettable. Heidi and Dee Dee get this, as they also run their business in a way that compels their clients to brag about them. 🙂 If you are a client who is looking for more than just cookie cutter wedding photography and event coordination, then you have come to the right spot and I hope you don’t leave disappointed 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alicia Candelora, Lead Photographer

No Eye Has Seen

203.980.7968

http://www.NoEyeHasSeen.com

www.facebook.com/NoEyeHasSeenPhotography

http://www.twitter.com/noeyehasseen

 

Meet Elizabeth and Jamie a 2013 Couple | CT’s Premiere Wedding Planners and Coordinators

I first met Elizabeth and Jamie back in September 2011, they were flying in from London and were hoping to hire a wedding planner and choose a reception and ceremony venue all within one week!  I was so excited to meet with them, it was a dreary day and we met at a Starbucks.  I loved them instantly, between Elizabeth’s super sweet nature and Jamie’s rocking Scottish accent, I knew it was a perfect fit.

Listening to them talk about how they met and when they got engaged, I could feel so much love between the two and I knew that I wanted to make their wedding planning perfect and easy.  One of the tricky things was they were not planning to be back until Mary of 2013, a week before their wedding!  Planning from London was never going to be a challenge, thank God for Skype!  After meeting for about two hours we parted ways as they were going to check out some potential venues.  They promised to get back to me before they left.

I was so excited to see their email when the next day saying they wanted to hire me!  I quickly did a contract and met them a day later at the same very Starbucks.  We talked about their venue choices, budget and potential number of guests.  Luckily they had enough time to narrow down their venue choices to two, the Inn at Longshore and Mystic Seaport (two amazing locations)!  I was so excited , loving both those venues, and I knew whichever one they chose would be perfect for their New England inspired theme with Scottish components woven in.

So, they left two days later, and we’ve been skyping every two weeks since!  I’ve been busy visiting venues, working on budgets, securing contracts, scheduling Skype sessions for entertainment, florists, and a potential justice of the peace.

So, I know the suspense is killing you… Jamie and Elizabeth chose the Inn at Longshore, perfect for a Memorial Day weekend in 2013.  With the majority of the guests coming from overseas, Westport offers the perfect location for their destination wedding.  So far we’ve ordered save-the-dates, chosen bridesmaid dresses, secured the venue, started a preliminary wedding day timeline, spoken with a DJ, florist and created an inspiration board.  We are so looking forward to their big day next year, and are recently excited to learn they are hoping to come back this November to meet with some more vendors!!

Here’s to the happy couple!

LOVE YOUR WEDDING | CT’s Premiere Wedding Planners and Coordinations, Always and Forever

I want my wedding to be the best wedding people have ever been to.

I want my wedding published in a magazine.

I want my wedding to be perfect.

I want my wedding to be a true representation of us and be filled with love and laughter.

Bets are that most brides and grooms, have said the first 3 but rarely do you hear the 4th. Why is that? You will be celebrating your marriage. Celebrating the day that you vow to love and honor and cherish each other for the rest of your lives. When did getting your wedding published in a magazine or talked about on the internet become an important part of one of the most important days of your life?

You have found the perfect mate. You are building your life together. You love baseball or Sci-fi movies. You never miss a Friday Karaoke or watch your favorite movie together once a week. You are a unique couple and the celebration of your marriage should be, too. Uniquely yours.

Pick colors and flowers that you love. Pick a venue that speaks to you. Make decisions on theme and decor that reflect you as a couple. Just because all your friends say you need to have the newest trend or the internet and magazines tell you that you must wear a lace gown in a vineyard, doesn’t make it right for you.

You know who you are.

Your partner does, too.

When you put the 2 of you together, you have the most beautiful theme there is…Love.

Love YOUR wedding.

And we can help you LOVE YOUR WEDDING!

~ Dee Dee, Sr. Bridal Consultant