Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Who Really Needs a Planner- Laura & Tim

There are few things I love as much as following up with brides to see what they did/didn't like about the the planning process.  Laura and Tim were married at Weymouth Country Club (a venue that I was familiar with) on a beautiful and very sunny day!  I had a great time working with her to put together a truly glamorous day.  She hired the great Pieter Bouterse Studio to do the floral work and design for her big day and had RAD there to capture it all.  Here are her answers along with some of the beautiful photos!  

Q: What made you decide to hire a wedding planner?
A: I hired a wedding planner because I started to feel overwhelmed with doing everything myself. I knew I was only having 2 people in my bridal party and there were so many things to consider.

Q: What types of things attracted you to each planner that you interviewed?
A: Brandi interviewed me! I needed a planner for the day of. I contacted her because she lived close to me and found out later that we had mutual friends. 

Q: What was something that made you NOT want to hire a particular planner and on the same note what was something you found that made you WANT to hire a certain planner?   
A: Originally, I did not have a planner in my budget. I was worried about the cost. Someone suggested to me hiring a planner.

Q: What was the best thing your wedding planner did for you? 
A: If anything went wrong at my wedding, I didnt know about it. And still dont!

Q: What was something your planner did that you would never have thought of doing?
A: Almost everything!

Q: Did you feel that your wedding planner was worth the cost?
A: Absolutely. Especially knowing that i did not have to deal with the invitations. 

Q: Was there anything you would have changed about your experience with your wedding planner?
A: I would have had my family more involved with my planner so I could have had less responsibilities.

Q: What would you have changed about your wedding? 
A: I wouldn't change anything about my wedding. 

There is no better testament to a wedding planners services than "I wouldn't change a thing about my wedding".  I love hearing that.  

Happy Planning!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Secrets Behind- Makeup Artist with Lindsay London

In my favorite series "Secrets Behind" I've talked with lots of different vendors this time, I'm excited to talk with a makeup artist for secrets behind the wedding makeup!
Lindsay London was kind enough to talk with me about working with a makeup artist for your wedding day.  

Sometimes, I think this aspect of planning gets put on the back burner and then is an after thought by quite a few brides.  How you look is SO important and while no one wants to look "not like themselves" (as I hear so often) real, experienced, wedding makeup artist are able to make you look JUST like you, only "wedding ready".  I think that really means they make it so that you are comfortable, beautiful and authentic but, in full makeup.
Lindsay herself has some great feedback on the process- "Most Brides are dreaming of the perfect dress since they were little girls or spend hours doing research on the styles that fit their body type best. Having a flawless face and the right hair style can be the ultimate finishing touch to the perfect bridal look. I've heard it a million times from Brides that say they can do their own make up or that their maids don't want to make the investment. But when it comes down to it, On your wedding day- you deserve to be pampered and feel like a movie star as your beauty team comes to you so you can relax and enjoy your time with your favorite ladies."

That's what you want on your wedding day, right?  Flawless.  

Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: I think the biggest misconception in the beauty industry is that anyone can do bridal make up. As women most of us wear make-up daily but by having an experienced professional apply your make up you  will not only make you and your entire bridal party look amazing in all the photos it also makes the beginning of your busy day that much  more relaxing.

Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when choosing their makeup artist? 
A: I think it’s important to find an artist that listens to your likes and dislikes about how you like yourself in make-up and someone that you’re comfortable with. Having your bestie do your make up on the morning of your wedding can not only be stressful for you if you hate it but it can stressful for her also because she can’t relax and enjoy the time with you.

Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a makeup artist?
A: It’s always a great idea to read reviews and go off of other recommendations from ladies that have already walked down the aisle. Don’t be shy to ask your artist a bunch of questions or if you need to get together for another trial to try a new look that you saw on Pinterest. Who you choose to be part of your beauty team is just as important as which venue, photographer and dress you wear. The investment you’re making in all of these things is peanuts compared to what your bridal beauty will cost but is untimely going to give the biggest impact. Everyone will notice how glowing and happy you look but a bad make up job is something you’ll have to look at forever. “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur”

Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you? 
A: Splurge on a facial treatment or two and brow waxing before the big day. This is fantastic not only for the health of your skin but a great way to pamper and prep your complexion for better results when the time comes to have your make up done. Also, Schedule your trial run! It’s a great time with your artist to plan your wedding day look so that there are no surprises on the wedding day. Trials are the time to try a few looks, address skin care concerns, test the longevity of the make-up throughout the day AND feel gorgeous. I tell all my brides to try and schedule their trial for their dress fitting, bridal shower or special night out!

Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas would you offer them?

A: If a money tree landed in a Brides back yard I would recommend her to pay for her bridesmaids and mothers bridal beauty. I think it’s a lovely gesture, because who wouldn’t want to look lovely! Besides having hair and make-up services on location, I would have a masseuse there for chair massages and a manicurist for chip free nails too. Having a monogramed bag with a LL gift certificate so they know beauty services were from you and a lip gloss to touch up with throughout the night. That way your girls feel gorgeous and they can spend all day taking care of you and touching up for photos!

Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?
A: Something that I would want all of my clients to know is that as part of their beauty team I am there to work with them. Not to do what I want. I want a Bride to feel and look so gorgeous on her wedding day and when she is in my chair that she breaths and takes a moment to take it all in.  

Makeup artist can make the difference, not only in how you look but also in how you feel, so put that on your list of things to do, SOON and get yourself "wedding ready" before your wedding day!  Thank you to Lindsay London for her time and expertise!

Happy Planning!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Secrets Behind Tenting- Scott Pickel, Everything Tented

I am SO excited to learn more about tenting and even more excited to learn from a pro.  Scott from Everything Tented was kind enough to do the interview on some behind the scenes information about tenting.  Tenting seems simple but in reality it can become one the most costly and complicated things involved in a wedding.  So, before you call on a company and ask them to throw up a tent in your backyard, read some of the details Scott had to offer.  

Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: There are two.  First, most people look at tenting as strictly seasonal, but we put on some great events in the winter time.  Costs are higher, but can be just as comfortable and it so very cool to look out from inside the warm tent at a snowy landscape.
Second, we experience a good deal of customers who think that a tented reception at home is going to cost less than renting a hall.  One of the first things we try to do is educate the potential client of the cost difference.  Renting the hall at “X” and it comes with tables, chairs, dishes, basic glassware and maybe even basic linen vs. Renting the tent at “X” and then also having to rent everything else under it for “Y & Z”
Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when choosing their tent company?
A: Focusing more on price than quality and service is a big mistake that brides will make.  The lowest price tends to come with the lowest quality and service which is an unfortunate way to spend one of the most special days of your life.  A good deal of consumers view our product as a commodity.  There are subtle important differences even in the same exact tent product installed by two different companies.  I think that the most important thing that a bride can do is find someone that they like and trust.  It’s an important day and a big decision.  Get to know, like and trust your tent provider

Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a tent?
A: Tent location is huge.  Flatness, how the site holds or drains water, overhead issues, ease for older guests to get to the site or obstacles within the site should be considered.  In most cases, a tent can go in the site, but the cost may be higher due to elevated flooring or alternative anchoring methods.

Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?
A: That’s a tough one… it depends on the event and the budget.  Things like going from a pole tent to a more costly frame tent can eliminate center poles and upgrade to trac-style sidewalls.  Adding a liner to a frame tent is a great thing to splurge on as well.  Depending on the way that a site holds water it could be adding a subfloor to protect guests.

Q: What is a story you have heard about mistakes made in your industry has made?
A: We don’t make mistakes in our industry…lol.  Well, I certainly wouldn't “air-out” a competitor here.  A common mistake that happens all around the country everyday is not properly anchoring a tent.  Especially with water barrels.  People don’t understand the real amount of water barrels needed to safely keep that tent from sliding around the parking lot.  It is typically 3-5 times the actual amount that are used. 
A mistake that I made a long time ago was talking a father of a bride out of paying for a subfloor because it was “too costly”.  The day of the event it rained so much that there was an inch of water under most of the tent.  Had a sold him the floor, the event would have been fine.  Now I make a point of quoting what a floor would cost and the fact that only about 10% of the time would you need it because it rained enough.  I let the client decide how to spend their money. AEP-(I have the utmost respect for vendors who admit mistakes, it does happen!!!!)

Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?
A: Carpet instead of Astroturf, liner for the tent, clear cover dance floor over the pool.

Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in contracts with their tent company?
A: Special notes and disclaimers.  There are times that we’ll make notes that the client is responsible for marking the sprinkler system and so many times no one read it and we don’t have it marked once on-site for installation.  Also, if a company offers a “damage waiver” go through the scenarios that this would benefit you to have it.  In general it’s not good for the client and we don’t even offer it.

Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?
A: Site inspections are the best way to get the most accurate quote for your special event.  Over the phone pricing is hard and a waste of time typically for both of us.  We are trying to give you service for your dollar from the first phone call.  By being at the site and hearing your vision for this special event, I can find other/better ways that we can make your day a huge success!

Now that is some great information on tenting.  I've been planning events for 13 years and that was even insightful to me.  I hope you learned a little more about tents and now you know who to call for your wedding and event tenting needs!  Thanks Everything Tented for your time!
Happy Planning!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Secrets Behind Photography- Hunter Harrison

I am so glad to be getting back to talking with vendors about the ins and outs of the industry.  I've had some great vendors to interview in the past and I'm looking forward to a whole new listing of them to interview over the next few months.  We are starting out with Hunter Harrison of Hunter Photographic 

Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: I think the biggest misconception about wedding photography is also true of any person who provides good wedding services. People believe my service is limited to photography. In reality, the service I provide is so more holistic. When needed, I can act as a planner, sounding board, supporter, stylist, haberdasher and organizer. My clients will tell you that I can tie a bow tie, fix a dress, mix the perfect cocktail, pin a boutonniere, and much more. I also need to integrate well with other wedding vendors, so being a great team member is critically important. For example, working with a wedding planner. Knowing what information to provide and when is important. All in all, actually taking photos only accounts for about 25% of the ample time I devote to each client.

Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when choosing their photographer?
A: Everyone has different priorities, so I am hesitant to call anyone's choices a mistake. However, I can say that I see two potential pitfalls when choosing a photographer. First, I tell clients that a good personal relationship should be their number one priority. After all, the photographer will be their shadow on the wedding day, so you want someone you can relate to. Also, the photographer will be interacting with family and friends, so they need to present themselves professionally. The second potential pitfall is not investing enough in the photographer or wedding album. Making the investment in a good photographer can make a huge difference in the outcome of the photos. Also, it's important to actually print the photos. Investing something in nice printed photos, whether an album or otherwise, is a really smart investment.
Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a photographer?
A: Everyone has different priorities when selecting a photographer, but I think a really sensible set of priorities would include the following - 
1. A great personal connection
2. A photographic style that speaks to your heart
3. That the photographer is running an established, professional business with a good track record which can be demonstrated
4. The photographer is a strong leader and communicator. Never under-estimate the value of these assets.

Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?
A: That is a very tough question, as I am torn between one of two answers - either coverage time or an album. If a couple splurges on coverage time, then the photographer is present to capture more content over a longer period of time. If the photographer is not there to capture it, then the photos won't be an option for the album later. On the other hand, coverage time has diminishing returns as it gets maxed out. An album is a forever heirloom, though. It's a physical record of the wedding that is handed down through family or estate. It's importance cannot be overstated. I guess if the choice was purely more coverage time or an album, I would choose the album.

Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?
A: Challenge accepted - 
1. Destination engagement session in a magical location
2. Bridal session, which is a Southern tradition, and something I do offer
3. Beyond a second photographer - a whole photography team
4. Honeymoon coverage - I have so many clients who say they wished I was with them on their honeymoon to capture their worldwide adventures.
5. Fully custom albums - which I do offer as well
6. Capturing the wedding 100% on film - I consistently shoot film, so this can be arranged as well

As a quick side note, I offer my clients unlimited customization. If they can dream it up, I can find a way to make it happen. In the past this has lead to adventurous engagement sessions, amazing albums, and some stunning photos. Needless to say, I welcome big dreams.

Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in contracts with their photographer?
A: Prior to my second career (but first love) as a photographer, I spent 12 years as a technology project manager. Part of that role involved reviewing lots of contracts. I don't think there is any one "gotcha" in a photography contract. Instead, the couple should review the entire contract carefully. If something is unclear, they should feel free to ask for clarification in writing. Any good business personal would be happy to clarify a contract. I would also add that everything in my contract has a specific meaning. If that meaning is unclear, then I am more than happy to explain it. I want to make sure that my clients and I are on the same page at the beginning.

Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?

A: My clients should know that they're beautiful, that they hired me, and I am committed to representing them well. My clients should feel free to dream big, because this is their best year, and I love grand plans.

You can check out some of Hunter's work below or visit his site at 

Happy Planning