Hello brides, grooms, birthday men and women, bridal party squads, mothers to be, fiancés, god-mommies and anyone planning a celebratory event . . . You Really Do Need a Planner or a Day of Coordinator at the very least. I know many will disagree and that’s ok. But I know what I know and I say this after having enlisted the help of friends and family members for years as I planned my own wedding and themed birthday extravaganzas for my daughter. What I learned from doing that is that they would have welcomed the opportunity to be a guest and enjoy themselves at these amazing celebrations.
I know that everyone wants to save money where they can, but the truth is that nothing is free and everything you opt to do yourself is going to cost you somehow. It will cost you in time, peace, patience, enjoyment and real money. In planning your event, it’s not just the logistics that you have to contend with. It’s the people. Your 10 vendors, 65 guests, family on both sides, best friends, clergy person, spouse and significant other. Everyone means well, but they will tug at everything you’ve got before it’s all over and you will not be happy.
I’ll share a personal experience.
This year I threw myself a Birthday Brunch and I made it “a thing” as my daughter calls it when I do more than a little something. Customized evites with limited spaces available were sent out. I invited 99 people (literally) with only 34 spaces available. **Close your mouth, that’s how you get people to respond quickly with only 2 weeks notice.** And respond they did. So, 3 days before the Brunch, I sent out an update to the invite. I told my VIP guests that I would be unreachable 24 hours before the event because I would be preparing this wonderful experience for them. So, for the next 2 days, they could ring, text or email me off the hook with any and every question they had. My guests began to make fun of me, as only they could because of this missive. I was here for it all because it just created more buzz around what the heck I was planning and increased their excitement for the celebration. Yaaaaas!
But I issued this edict because I’ve watched many of my clients endure last minute calls, bad news updates and shocking questions leading up to the start of their event and that was not good. This threw off their whole #mood and frustrated them greatly before their wonderfully planned event. I did not want this before my event so I was good with the update I sent them. But true to form, I received 2 calls during that “do not disturb” period – what the heck? What did I do? Asked a friend to call one and I just texted the other one the information she needed. But I reminded them of my request and we all laughed about it over a fabulously planned brunch.
What I learned is what I already knew and try to share with potential clients who are on the fence about investing in themselves . . . Hirer a Planner or Coordinator because it will save you in unimaginable ways. Planners and Coordinators are filled with so many valuable resources that you’ll come to appreciate when we start to work together. We can also save you money because of the relationships we’ve developed with our vendors who pass the savings onto you. Finally, as much as you’ve planned, there are always things you haven’t thought of that Planners and Coordinators pick up on immediately and it can make the difference with the type of experience you and your guests will have at your wedding or event.
So, without a doubt, You Really Do Need a Planner! You'll be all the better for it and your guests will appreciate it too.
As we begin what signifies the end of summer (Labor Day Weekend), I am totally excited because I’ve been invited to 2 BBQs this weekend! Why so much excitement? On the surface because I really do love a good burger and hotdog off of the grill. There is nothing like it and they take me to a happy place in my soul. But thinking about it more closely, I believe in celebrating "just because" and that celebrations cause us to pause from the “must dos,” to experience the “happy to dos” and that increases our quality of life.
This personal belief led me to think about why I do what I do in my business. I believe that celebrating is necessary for a life well lived. Whether you’re planning a 350 person Nigerian wedding, or inviting a college friend over for Chinese food and beer; creating opportunities for people to stop their grind and “to dos,” inserts a pause button to the noise and provides exhale moments for us to enjoy life. The more of these we have the merrier.
We can get so caught up in getting everything in our lives done, completed, finished, accomplished, solidified, crossed off and checked, that we forget to LIVE LIFE. We “do” all night and day, but we have fewer moments where we’ve lived enjoying something or someone. By living I mean taking the time to experience what makes you feel connected to someone or something and that makes you excited about being present to experience what is before you (this does not include things that are illegal, destructive or harmful).
Whether it’s celebrating another year of life, visiting a cousin you haven’t seen in years or even going to the super bowl party because you haven’t had nachos in a while, it takes you to a happy place inside and life feels good.
Whatever the reason, what ever the occasion, LIVE LIFE consciously and engaged in the moments that bring you joy, cause you to remember that you do have “people” and you’re not alone in the world, and that makes you grateful to be alive. Celebrations are necessary for an enhanced quality of life so let's celebrate.
The love of your life got down on one knee...wrote a message in the sky...put a ring in your drink...asked you casually over breakfast to marry him and you said, “YES!”
Congratulations! Now what?
I’d like to share a few things for you to consider as you determine your next steps to marital bliss.
1. Stay True to What You Want
The well-meaning people in your life are beyond excited and each of them has something to say about what you should do. They have thoughts on when and where you should have your wedding. Who should be in your bridal party and who should not. Where you should get your dress(es) and what your color scheme should be. They have it all figured out.
But remember, this is your day. This is your wedding season and what you do and have should be what you desire. Are you listening to me? I want to stand in solidarity with you as you say no to blush pink and yes to Pantone’s Color of the Year – Living Coral! If you don’t want 20 people in your bridal problem, then there won’t be 20 people in your bridal party. If you want food trucks at your reception, then food trucks it is!
Whatever you and your groom desires, comes before what everyone else thinks.
2. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Brides
This kind of loops into the first point but deserves its own emphasis because you need to remember this. It’s very easy to get caught up in the Pinterest pictures and the exciting calls of others you know who are planning a wedding at the same time you are. Don’t. Get. Caught. Up. In. Doing. What. They. Are. Doing.
You want your guests to confirm that what you’re wearing is your style and compliments you. You want them to see your personality in the décor and activities. When you look at your wedding pictures and video, you want to see the wedding that you always wanted and not a copy of what someone else did for theirs.
3. Think of Ways to Manage the Stress
You can plan pampering sessions at your favorite spa. Spend some time doing yoga. Take afternoon naps. Do whatever relaxes you because wedding planning is stressful, and you need help remaining calm. I’d also like to suggest not going it alone. While you are well able to do it yourself, you don’t want people coming to you on the dance floor at your wedding reception to tell you that the top layer of your cake is sliding off in the scorching heat of your outdoor wedding. Let someone else handle that.
I planned my entire wedding when I got married, but I put together a team of people to handle every aspect of the wedding for the “day of.” So, at minimum, think about hiring a “Day of Coordinator” who will serve as your point person on your wedding day.
If your plate is full and the thought of planning a wedding takes you over the edge, hire a Wedding Planner – it will save your life and decrease the number of gray hairs on your head. A full-service Wedding Planner can handle all the details and find EVERYTHING you need for your wedding so that you feel catered to and cared for.
Being engaged and planning for marriage well be one of the best times of your life and you should enjoy it. I want you to ask yourself along the way if you’re enjoying what you’re doing. If you’re not, give me a call.