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?

wedding-forward

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.

etsy

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

WADSWORTH MANSION MIDDLETOWN, CT | CT’S PREMIERE WEDDING AND EVENT PLANNERS ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LLC

The Wadsworth Mansion is a 20,000 square foot Beaux Art mansion located on  103 acres of Olmsted designed landscape in central Connecticut. The Mansion is dedicated to providing a beautiful setting and creating unique, customized weddings and celebrations. Only one celebration is held each day and brides select a caterer to create the day of their dreams.  Ceremonies and cocktails can be held on the terrace or on the expansive manicured grounds. Many brides and grooms have danced their first dance under the stars.   Ballrooms exemplifying the Gilded-Age with marble fireplaces and coffered ceilings can accommodate 200 guests.  For larger events the terrace and lawn can be tented.

Wadsworth Mansion is absolutely stunning and one of our favorite venues for weddings.  The grounds are perfectly groomed and offer many opportunities to have both your ceremony and reception at one location, which is perfect for your guests.  We love the ladies of the Wadsworth as well. Easy to work with and a lot of fun, too! If you choose Wadsworth Mansion you are sure to have an amazing experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

421 Wadsworth Street
Middletown, Connecticut 06457

Phone:
860.347.1064

Fax:
860.343.5475

Email:
events@wadsworthmansion.com
Other Places to Find Wadsworth Mansion:
Blog
Facebook
E-Brochure

Wedding Vendor Wednesday | Party Pyro | CT’s Premiere Wedding and Event Planners Always and Forever, LLC

Would you like to have that fairytale wedding just like Cinderella with all the fireworks? Well, now you can. Imagine, just as your officiant pronounces you as husband and wife and you kiss for the very first time, a flurry of sparklers ignite and create a majestic background. Or perhaps you are enjoying your first dance and at the very end as your husband dips you and goes in for a kiss a splash of sparklers fill the windows with an array of excitement. Another romantic idea is doing a sky lantern release. Gather your bridal party and have each of them hold a sky lantern. Once it is lit and filled with hot air, have everyone release it into to sky. It makes for emotional and colorful photos. How about having every centerpiece ignite with sparklers at the exact same time just as the bride and groom are introduced into the ballroom? What a way to surprise everyone. Of course nothing is more exciting than a full fireworks display in the sky.  Everyone loves fireworks and is watched more by more people on the 4th of July than any other single event throughout the year. Now you can have that incredible moment during your wedding.  These are just a few examples of ways to make your wedding special and to create a moment that your guests will talk about years down the road.

Contact Party Pyro if you’re looking for a little (or a lot) of sparkle for your event!

Party Pyro

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 Thursday Flowers by Danielle | CT’s Premiere Wedding Planning Company, Always and Forever, LLC

Danielle Farrer has worked in the floral design industry for nineteen years, opening Flowers By Danielle in 2000. With roots in the retail floral industry, and a Degree in Entrepreneurship and Business Managements, Danielle shaped her business to focus exclusively on weddings, showers, celebrations and corporate events. Danielle is also available to design fresh or permanent artificial arrangements for residential and corporate display. Danielle’s passion for flowers, attention to detail, ability to visualize and incorporate her clients ideas, and her creative flair make her an incredible designer. Her sole focus is her clients on the day of the event. Danielle takes great pride in providing her clients with the most fresh and highest quality of flowers from top growers around the world. All of Danielle’s flowers are ordered specifically for each client, and her floral designs are created just prior to each event. All of her arrangements are stored in a high humidity/low velocity walk-in cooler until delivery.

Flowers By Danielle has also been awarded the “Bride’s Choice Award” from

WeddingWire.com for four consecutive years and were also a featured wedding in “The Knot” New York Magazine in the Fall of 2011.

We absolutely love working with Danielle. She is so creative, fun and has amazing décor ideas.  We highly recommend working with Danielle for your next wedding!  Here are a few photos and her contact information.

Danielle Farrer

Flowers by Danielle, LLC

Telephone # (203) 445-0600

Fax # (203) 445-0770

Email: danielle@flowersbydanielle.com

Website: http://www.flowersbydanielle.com

Facebook: Flowers By Danielle, LLC

*Awarded the “Bride’s Choice Award” from WeddingWire each consecutive year in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012

*Featured Wedding in “The Knot” New York Magazine, Fall 2011

*Featured in The Knot “Best of Weddings” Magazine

And The Bride Wore Denim | CT’s Premiere Wedding and Event Planners Always and Forever, LLC

This weekend, my older sister got married to a great guy. This was not their first trip down the aisle, in fact this time there was no aisle. There was my mom’s living room, their kids, our immediate family, 4 friends, and a justice of the peace.

The planner in me cringed, the sister in me beamed with pride that my sister was marrying a wonderful man that makes her happy. The planner in me arrived early to get tables set up and to make sure there were something that resembled a centerpiece on each one; the sister in me sat on the floor with tears in my eyes while I tried to snap pictures. The planner in me wore black pants and a silk blouse, the sister in me wore flip flops with said outfit.

As you may have noticed, my sister and I are very different. Her original plan was a trip to a courthouse. Thankfully, their children wanting to be there won out and my mom was more than thrilled to be the mother of the bride once again. I insisted on invitations and was vetoed. I harped on and on to my parents to move all the furniture out of the living to make it seem more like a reception and the couch was there and used for ceremony seating. I had dreams of my sister in a simple dress…the bride wore jeans…and I would not have had it any other way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Love you both!

 

~ Dee Dee

It’s Good To Always Have A Plan | Connecticut’s Premiere Wedding and Event Planners, Always and Forever, LLC

It was just about 9 years ago when I decided to create Always and Forever, LLC.  Having done event planning for years for corporate clients and non-profit organizations, it seemed only natural to make the leap into weddings.  While they may seem completely different, they are pretty similar.  There is always a customer (bride/groom), always a venue, menu choices, hotel concerns, décor needed, and day-of logistics.

Nine years and two kids later, I use my planner knowledge to throw some pretty amazing birthday parties for my kids.  My son’s first birthday was an army inspired party complete with matching family camouflage gear, a face-painting station with none other than camo, an army tank cake that my husband and I created, and an army tank piñata with close to 125 guests!  Guests really got into it showing up in full-camo gear, and that one year old boy sure loved that tank cake.

A few years later it was time for my daughter’s Diva themed 1st birthday party….perfect for her little attitude.  Zebra goodie bags filled with rock star sunglasses, lip gloss, bling rings, and , of course,  hot pink and black feather boas.  She embraced her inner diva that day…and has done so ever since!

As the kids get older, the parties have been combined.  There was Sponge Bob with a homemade Krabby Patty Cake, jellyfish scavenger hunt and handrawn art. Then the Circus party with carnival games, face painters, cotton candy, snowcones and “popcorn” cupcakes.

Fast forward to this year……..the theme will be Slither and Swim!!  After several years of my daughter begging for a princess party, I had to give in.  Little does she know that “Ariel” will arrive with The Little Mermaid music, singing a song, telling stories and posing for photos (to me the best part).  And then there is Slither! We have hired an amazing animal entertainer who has assured me every child (who wants to ) will be able to touch the snakes, lizards and hopefully a baby alligator (my favorite).  Now I get to plan all the little details…that is what I like, the details. The little things that make an ordinary birthday party, extraordinary.

It is good to have a plan…and I am never without one!

~ Heidi