Another Non-Wedding Event

March 28th, 2016

I mentioned before that I volunteer my time in my community with the Rogers Park Food Co-op, a community-owned grocery store in formation.  I head the Events committee.

Everyone who volunteers with the Co-op just finished work on our first Annual Meeting.  Naturally, I was very much involved in putting together this event.  It was an all-volunteer, low-budget event, which presented any number of challenges.  It turned out absolutely terrifically.

Many of the neighborhood restaurants very generously donated food for dinner, giving us a gorgeous ethnic buffet.  We were lucky enough to also have donations of photo and video services, so I can share with you some of the fun.

We had a paper theme: In this case, it was the co-op's logo stamped on butcher paper to cover the tables. Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

We had a paper theme: In this case, it was the co-op’s logo stamped on butcher paper to cover the tables. Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

Volunteers made paper flowers to decorate the tables. Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

Volunteers made paper flowers to decorate the tables. Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

Collective Resource helped is in our goal to a zero-waste event.  (We threw out only four paper bags of garbage, and one of them wasn't even full!) Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

Collective Resource helped us in our goal to a zero-waste event. (We threw out only four paper bags of garbage, and one of them wasn’t even full!) Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

First order of business was the presentation by the board. Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

First order of business was the presentation by the board. Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

Then, we opened the fabulous buffet! Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

Then, we opened the fabulous buffet! Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

A dozen restaurants donated food, beverages, and dessert. (Yes, that's me, trying the vegetarian food.) Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

A dozen restaurants donated food, beverages, and dessert. (Yes, that’s me, trying the vegetarian food.) Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

There was also a raffle of gifts from other generous neighborhood businesses. Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

There was also a raffle of gifts from other generous neighborhood businesses. Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

A good time was had by all!  Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

A good time was had by all! Photo by Perfect Light Photos.

Wedding Planner Expectations

March 21st, 2016
Getting married in your back yard?  I'll work with you!

Getting married in your back yard? I’ll work with you!

I was in an get-acquainted meeting with a couple who ended up hiring me recently and the groom mentioned that, before he met me, he had been opposed to hiring a day-of coordinator.  When I asked him why, he said it was because he had a negative image of wedding planners and didn’t want one at his wedding.

I think I’ve run into this stereotype before:  The wedding planner is bossy or unapproachable or a know-it-all or insistent on rigid etiquette or only has one way of doing things.  I wouldn’t want someone like that at my wedding, either!

Fortunately for you, if you’re getting married, most wedding planners don’t fit that description.  I certainly don’t.  My job is to serve your vision of your wedding and make it happen.  It’s important to me not to make any judgments about your choices.  It’s your wedding; it’s going to be wonderful; and I want to help.

Please, Negotiate With Me

March 14th, 2016
Because we work closely together on your wedding, I want you to get what you need.   Photo by Peter Coombs.

Because we work closely together on your wedding, I want you to get what you need. Photo by Peter Coombs.

I find that sometimes potential clients are hesitant to negotiate the draft contract I send them.  If you are one of those people, I’d like to give you a couple of good reasons to jump in and negotiate.

Reason Number One:  If you do ask for changes in the contract, then there is a good chance that you will get something you want, instead of feeling stuck with something you don’t want.  I don’t always accept every change exactly as it is proposed, but I will go out of my way to make sure you are happy with what you are getting.  I don’t want to start our relationship on the wrong foot.  I want you to be happy you hired me.  I don’t want you to feel as if I have bullied you into accepting my terms.

Reason Number Two:  When you and I have discussed changes and come to an agreement we can both live with, especially if you have special circumstances that you want included, it increases the trust level between us.  We understand each other, so we can trust each other.  And it is very important to me that that trust is there, as we will be working closely together and I will have the responsibility to do some very important things for you.

So, will you always get what you want when you negotiate my contract?  No, but if you don’t, it’s because there is a very good reason for it (and I will explain the reasoning to you).  Should you always ask?  Yes.  Because if you don’t ask, you will definitely not get what you are looking for, and I might not, either.

Wedding Trends

March 7th, 2016

I’ve noticed a trend in the weddings I have worked on in the last year or so.  It’s not at all universal, but I am seeing a certain number of wedding receptions where there are no floral centerpieces on the tables.  All of these couples say they want to keep things simple, and that is definitely one way to do so.  They generally compensate for the lack of flowers by using a lot of candles, instead.

If you search for “wedding centerpiece no flowers,” you’ll get lots and lots of photos of elaborate tablescapes.  That’s one way to do the job.  But if you are trying to keep expenses down or if you just don’t want a lot of visual fuss at your wedding reception, you can keep it simple.

Here are two images from recent weddings with only candles for centerpieces.  The first one is as simple as possible, while remaining elegant.  The second one is more colorful and whimsical, proving you can express your taste and stay simple at the same time.

Photo by Becca Heuer Photography.

Photo by Becca Heuer Photography.

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