What Sets Me Apart

May 26th, 2014
It's the intangibles that make for great event and wedding planning. Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

It's the intangibles that make for great event and wedding planning. Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

When potential clients interview me, they usually have a lot of questions.  One of my favorites is, “What sets you apart from other wedding planners?”

There are plenty of obvious things you probably know about me already if you’ve looked over my website.  I like working on non-traditional weddings and I’m interested in everything eco-friendly, for example.  But the big differences are experience and temperament.

I’ve been working on events, one way or another, since sometime in the mid-1980s.  That gives me about three decades of experience.  I have also had a huge variety of experiences, everything from cocktail parties to operas to street fairs to (of course) weddings.  I won’t claim to have seen it all, but I have dealt with an extensive variety of challenges in my career, and I have learned how to manage them.

I am also fortunate to have a temperament that is suitable for event planning and management.  I can handle stressful situations without giving in to the stress.  I have excellent, unflappable problem-solving skills.  And I know how to deal with all kinds of people.

So, that answers one question. If you have more questions about why you should hire me, feel free to give me a call and you can ask me in person.

Assigned Seating

May 12th, 2014
You aren't required to have place cards for your guests.  Photo by hannahelaine photography (hannahelaine.com).

You aren't required to have place cards for your guests. Photo by hannahelaine photography (hannahelaine.com).

A question I am sometimes called upon to answer is, “Do we have to have assigned seating?”  The answer is, “No.”  But there are some things to think about if you don’t tell your guests which table to sit at.

One of the advantages of assigned seats at a large event is that everyone will be sitting with the people they arrived with.  If seats are not assigned, there is a chance that a group finding seats after most of the guests have sat down will not all be able to sit at one table.  If you don’t plan to assign seats, do plan to have an extra table (or two, at a larger event) so everyone can find seats together.

And, of course, there is the old Cousin-Mary-can’t-stand-Uncle-Bob problem.  If you feel you need to manage family relationships, assigned seating gives you, as the host or hostess, a certain amount of control over the placement of volatile family members.  But if you prefer to allow adults manage their own preferences and antipathies, you can let them find their own seats.  Chances are, Cousin Mary will find a table where Uncle Bob won’t be sitting on her own.

Another thing to consider is the catering service.  If you are having a formal, sit-down, plated dinner and if you have asked your guests for their meal preferences in advance, it will be much easier on the serving staff if you have assigned seats and can tell the caterers in advance where all the guests eating salmon will be sitting.  Open seating works much better when your meal is a buffet.

There’s no single answer to the question of how to manage seating assignments, but there are a few things to think about to make sure that if you don’t assign them that things still go smoothly.

Vendors I Know: Mille Fiori Florist

May 5th, 2014
Here's an example of the work of Mille Fiori. Photo courtesy of christytylerphotography.com.

Here's an example of the work of Mille Fiori. Photo courtesy of christytylerphotography.com.

I was fortunate enough last summer to coordinate two weddings on two consecutive weekends with Mille Fiori doing the flowers.  And I hadn’t even been the one to recommend them!

It was a lucky coincidence because it gave me a chance to see the range of their design abilities.  One wedding was more casual and outdoors at home; the other was more formal and indoors at a hotel.  They made arrangements that were suitable for both weddings.  I thought all their work was lovely.

They were also easy to work with, which is just as important in my book as doing good design work.  I’m sure I’ll have a chance to recommend them sometime in the near future, and I won’t hesitate to do so.