Whether you are a fellow event partner (vendor), or a wedding/event client, the ethics and integrity with which your chosen professional wedding consultant approaches his/her work can make all the difference in the outcome of the wedding/event. We adhere to some standards that some may call “old-fashioned”, but in the end, we are referred by many of our fellow event partners and chosen over some planners because our commitment to integrity and ethics benefits them, as well as our clients. Here are top most commonly-violated ethics in the wedding industry and how we handle them:
- Accepting kick-backs or incentives. While some event partners offer kick-backs or monetary incentives to wedding coordinators who book their services, we refuse to accept them or offer them. Why? If we accepted personal gain from an event partner for referring them, our allegiance then shifts from our paying client (who is paying us to look out after their best interest) to the event partner providing the best incentive (or any incentive at all over another vendor who may not offer it). We promise our clients that we will provide them referrals to the event partners who are the best for them: this includes their spending plan, style, vision, and more. If we are accepting any kick-backs from event partners, our allegiance will then not be with our client who is paying us and will shift to the event partner we prefer to get the best kick-back from. “But everyone does it,” a Hotel GM told me one time. I still politely declined. One very prominent event partner in our area openly offers the choice of kick-backs to event planners or the choice of passing on the savings to their clients. I choose the latter and my clients love me for it. They are confident that I have their best interest at heart and then the bidding “game” truly becomes about the event partner seeking my client’s business and not my business.
Every event supplier working a wedding works incredibly hard, long hours. In fact, most of us have put in more than a full day’s worth of hard, physical (and mentally-challenging) work before the actual event event begins and guests arrive. Further, depending on the service you are providing, your “break” time may be at a different time than when it is suitable for the main vendor meal break. I respect everyone’s vibe and the right to a well-deserved break and nourishment to provide the energy to keep going and doing the stellar job that they need to do.
That said, a wedding is a production. It is about providing the client and their guests with the experience of a lifetime. In order to create this magic, no matter how casual the event, there are certain professional standards that any wedding and event professional “gets” as necessary to create that backdrop of magic for the event experience, and those include: professional attire (sorry, Birkenstocks may be comfortable for you, but don’t really set the tone even for the most “casual” of weddings, particularly when you are being paid to provide a service on one of the most important days of someone’s life); not smoking in front of guests; not taking personal calls in front of guests; not taking a break in guest view when possible; not drinking from the bar (or at all) – not even on a break; not eating your meal (or any food for that matter) in guest view when possible.
But the worst offender of all of these? The event partner who demands that their vendor meal be given at a distinct time completely at odds with the rest of the event and perhaps even before guests have eaten. And if it is a buffet, asking to go through the buffet line before it’s open to guests is the height of poor taste and lack of professionalism. If you don’t know these basics, you won’t be working with me. And if I’ve “inherited” your service from the client (that is, they chose to hire you and not through me), and you do this, I will make sure you are not referred again and will let others know of your unprofessionalism.Read More >>
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
at the historic
The Fireside Wine With a Wedding Planner series continues with perhaps the first-ever Santa Barbara Wedding Industry Summit: “The State of the Santa Barbara Wedding Industry: Define. Design. Evolve”.
With the recent Thomas Fire and Flood devastation in Santa Barbara wiping out or causing delay to several popular wedding locations, engaged couples may think Santa Barbara is simply not the spot to get married in 2018. On the contrary, I think it is better than ever – especially when you have a professional planner to help you navigate the logistics of what is available, and suits your spending plan and date. A local professional wedding planner’s knowledge means he/she is in the trenches of what has been going on here location-wise, as well as is privvy to locations and venues (many not advertised to the public) and because of his/her in-depth knowledge of location, site fees and more, will know almost instantly the leading locations to which you should be steered, saving you invaluable time and money.Read More >>
On Wednesday, January 31st, we welcomed wedding professionals from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara’s own wine country for a “mini summit” at Ventura Rental Party Center. This was an encore presentation of our last sold-out Wedding Planner Newcomer Mentorship/PowerLunch Experience, and I was excited to share even more updated information and offer the opportunity for collaboration at the end. As attendees arrived, they were greeted with sparkling bubbly and tablescape inspiration styled and designed by the professional talent at Ventura Rental. As with all our workshops, our signature “Little Black Box” made an appearance, too. Photographer Isabel Gomes from Isabel Lawrence Photography was on hand to capture the story of the afternoon in photos (see below).Read More >>
Continuing the Wedding Planner Mentorship Series is Fireside Wine With a Wedding Planner, an informal “chat workshop”, which will explore in more detail two of the most popular topics from the Wedding Planner Newcomer PowerLunch #1 on October 25th. You spoke and we listened. The top two topics requested for more intense detail from our last workshop were: 1) Deciding What You Will Offer (packages, hourly rates, flat fees, the extent of types of coordination/planning/design) and 2) Marketing & PR for the Independent Contractor & Small Business: Cost-Effective, Powerful Methods (including tune-up tips for current endeavors to capture revenue during this prime booking season, which is now through February)
+PLUS+ Bonus Content: delving into the one factor no form, market research, budget projection or potential client filter questionnaire can do for you with regard to sales & booking new business. We will continue to take a more in-depth look at that #1 Source of Revenue we discussed in our first workshop on October 25th & the factor many miss when building their wedding planning business. Bring your most pressing questions, because this informal chat workshop around the cozy fire allows for some personalized consultation!
What makes this workshop especially unique is the intimate nature and the fact we are reserving a whole section for you – the wedding consultant/professional- to bring your most pressing business and marketing questions for professional consulting from an expert – as well as some of your peers.
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At a recent wedding, the couple thought they would save money and ask a friend to “man” their iPod for ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner /dancing. Let me save you time from reading the entire article below and fast forward to the summary right here: a professional special event DJ is not only worth their weight in gold, you are actually maximizing your investment if on a limited spending plan. For one service provider, you have peace of mind from ceremony through the end of the evening and they are almost always more cost-effective than a band if you have super limited funds.
However, if you are the type of person who needs actual, real examples of “why” because you think wedding service providers are out to take advantage of you financially, below is a real-life example from a recent wedding where they insisted on using an iPod and having “friends” man it for the wedding.
I am continually asked by clients who are watching their spending plan if moving chairs from the ceremony to the reception is a good way to save money. Before we talk about the actual money part, let me give it to you from another (almost more important) angle: it is never a good idea to move chairs from the ceremony site to the reception site and here’s why: people and logistics. From the bridal party needing the ceremony site for post-ceremony photos, to guests still lingering at the ceremony site, there is nothing more awkward, less-gracious and classless than staff having to tear down chairs and make their way around guests, asking them to move, running into them, and more.Read More >>
If you are looking for a feature on an opulent wedding that included a 5′ tall wedding cake, three gown changes for the bride and a 10-course meal with trapeze artists, this is not that wedding. But if, however, you want a genuine, grass-roots, heart-centered wedding that celebrates love, family and includes a quintessential Santa Barbara experience, then this wedding story is for you.
Cristina and Mark originally came to me for my mobile wedding planning tour for two. This initial consultation was a customized tour of Santa Barbara wedding venues that matched their budget and event vision. Turns out, they found their ideal wedding location on our 2nd site visit that very day. Cristina and Mark were my favorite type of clients and because of their vision, make my work effortless. Their sole goal was to keep the wedding small and only include immediate family and some very close friends. They wanted to invest in an “experience” for their guests that showcased Santa Barbara and its unique Spanish heritage, and in doing this, allow them the opportunity to spend quality time with each guest the whole time.Read More >>