Vendors I Know: Crafty Broads!

April 24th, 2017
Custom Silk Jersey White and Purple Color Blocked Wedding Gown. Photo © Brave Lux Photography.

Custom Silk Jersey White and Purple Color Blocked Wedding Gown. Photo © Brave Lux Photography.

Remember a few weeks ago when I said I was moving into an office space with Crafty Broads?  Well, the lease is signed, and it’s official.  So who are these Broads and what makes them so Crafty?

Crafty Broads was founded originally as a wedding planning and custom garments/alteration business.  The wedding planning half of the business has moved to St. Louis, where the business has expanded.  But you’re probably more interested in what’s in Chicago if you’re reading this.

Crafty Broads in Chicago makes custom garments, including wedding dresses, suits, corsets, and probably just about anything else you can imagine.  You can have a custom veil or fascinator made for you.  You can have garments altered to fit you.  Pretty much, if you want something done with clothing–especially fancy clothing–you can get it done at Crafty Broads.  If you want to get an idea of the breadth of their work, check out the gallery on the website.

And don’t forget the alterations.  If you have a garment that isn’t quite right or needs repair or just doesn’t fit, Crafty Broads is the place to go to make it right.

I’m lucky to be sharing a space with so much creativity.  It has inspired me to start making lace again, which you’ll be able to see when you’re at the shop.  There’s a lot of goodness all in one place!

The Wedding Planner and Your Budget

April 17th, 2017
Even a very small wedding can benefit from having a coordinator.

Even a very small wedding can benefit from having a coordinator.

There are two major reasons people don’t hire a wedding planner or coordinator:  First, they think they don’t need one.  Second, they think they can’t afford one.  I’ll address the first issue in a couple of weeks, although I’ve written about it before.  Today, let’s talk about how a wedding planner or coordinator has an impact on your wedding budget.

Hiring a day-of coordinator for your wedding can add a few thousand dollars to your budget (depending on which coordinator you hire).  It’s usually less than 10% of the budget, unless you have a very small budget.  Is that the end of its impact on your budget?  Hardly!

When you hire a coordinator, you can actually save money.  And the earlier you hire, the more likely your coordinator will be able to help you save money.  One of the things that makes weddings expensive is the fact that a great many people getting married have never planned a wedding before and can get trapped into spending more than necessary.

That is one of the reasons why I encourage my clients to keep in touch with me as they plan.  Let’s say you hire me to coordinate your wedding as soon as you have a date, maybe a year in advance.  You can always drop me a note or call me up when you have a question or problem.  Chances are, I have an economical solution.

I was talking to a woman recently who was a couple of months away from her wedding.  She was thinking about hiring a coordinator, but before we were able to have a discussion about it, her budget blew up and she decided she couldn’t afford me.  I kept thinking what a shame it was that she hadn’t hired me much earlier and given me a chance to prevent the budget blow-up in the first place.

So, when you’re making your budget, include a reasonable amount for coordination.  In the long run, your budget will thank you.

Thoughts on Style

April 10th, 2017
Classic and elegant or funky and fun--your style is front and center.

Classic and elegant or funky and fun–your style is front and center.

I’ve had the good fortune to work with many different people who all have their own ideas about wedding or party style.  As most of my clients are not obsessed with (or, mostly, even interested in) high wedding fashion, they can give free rein to their own good taste.  This has resulted in my working on weddings and other kinds of parties that have been wildly different from one another–and all beautiful.

You might wonder how a planner deals with such diversity of tastes.  After all, doesn’t the stereotypical wedding planner try to impose her vision of the “perfect” wedding on all her clients?  Not at all!!

My personal taste and style has very little influence on how I approach your event.  This is, I think, partly a hold-over from all my years working as a theatre stage manager.  In that capacity, it was my job to execute the designs of all the various designers in the service of the director’s vision.  I became quite good at adapting myself to the styles of my collaborators.

I bring this same quality to party and wedding planning.  I spend as much time as necessary learning what you like and how you think things ought to look so that when I am setting up your decor, I can make it look the way you had in mind.

All this is not to say that I don’t have definite ideas about style.  If you need guidance, I’m always happy to supply an opinion.  I don’t lack for those.  But it’s more important to me that your vision shines through.

Vendors I Know: Ryan Timm Photography

April 3rd, 2017
Photo by Ryan Timm Photography.

Photo by Ryan Timm Photography.

Sometimes I run across a vendor that I never knew about and whose work I like a lot.  Photographer Ryan Timm is in that category.  I worked with him on a wedding last fall and was completely stunned by the photos he shared with me.  I’m pretty jaded about event photography, too, so it’s hard to get my attention.  But Ryan managed it with beautiful photos, each one a little narrative in itself.

I was also impressed that he caught so many wonderful photos working entirely by himself.  Most wedding photographers work in teams, so I was very surprised that he did all the work himself.  I was doubly impressed that working solo did not compromise the quality of his photos at all.

There are a lot of excellent wedding photographers in the Chicago area.  There are plenty that I’d be more than happy to recommend.  I’m glad to expand the list by one more, now that I know Ryan.