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Fireside Wine With a Wedding Planner: An intimate “workshop chat” for wedding consultants

Blog, Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Industry Shenanigans, Our Events Industry Pros / 12.02.20170 comments

wine fireContinuing 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!

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How Using An iPod Ruined One Wedding (And the Friendships That Went With It)

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Rants / 09.18.20171 comments

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.

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Why “Re-Using” Ceremony Chairs for The Reception Does Not Work (Or Save You Money)

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Rants / 09.18.20170 comments

Photo Credit: WonderTribe

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.

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Intimate Destination Santa Barbara Wedding Experience: Mariachis, Margaritas & Merry-Making

Real Weddings / 08.10.20172 comments

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. 

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Wedding Planner Newcomer Workshop | A Power Lunch Mentorship Experience

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Industry Shenanigans / 07.01.201713 comments

Wedding Planner Newcomer Workshop

“A Power-Lunch Mentorship Experience”

Third-generation Santa Barbaran, Certified Wedding Professional, and founder of one of the area’s most successful and long-standing event planning companies Kerry Lee (Dickey) Doehr created this workshop in response to the demand of local newcomers seeking authentic and experienced advice from a trusted and experienced professional.

Read about our last sold-out PowerLunch Mentorship for Wedding Planner Newcomers from October 25th.

Workshop Highlights:

  • The unique challenges of Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties on producing events
  • Deciding what you will offer– packages, hourly rates, and more
  • Contracts– basic inclusions, including suggested terms and conditions
  • Marketing & advertising

Review of online and print options

The best course of action for starting out

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Now Casting for the Next Wedding: Wedding Guest Roles

Blog, Rants / 06.26.20170 comments

Cheers to you, Mr. /Ms. “Take Over the Wedding” Guest! We see you at every one of the 1,000 weddings we have produced for almost 20 years. You have been the inspiration for this post, celebrating the next “casting call” for the next wedding we produce.

All candidates are invited to audition this September; however, it is helpful if we know in advance who is taking on which role, but if you wish to just show up for more of an inprov performance, as we are used to, we welcome that, too. In fact, we will be looking for you.

Know It All Bridal Party Member

Trying to show off in front of others and convey that he/she is a true friend, Know It All is really just struggling for attention and feels inadequate in power in life in general. Still, she decides the wedding planner and all the professionals doing their job who have spent a year working together to plan the couple’s wishes do not know as well as she does and asks each one constantly, “Should we be doing it this way?” on the actual day of the wedding, and then proceeds with her own idea and making sure that all the hard work planned by the bride/groom and professionals is thrown out the window because her way is better. Perhaps secretly she always wanted to be a wedding planner; perhaps she wants to look like a hero to the couple, but whatever the reason, her way is always better and she lets everyone know.

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Introducing: The Affordable Wedding Planning Series™

Blog, Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Event Planning Advice, Services / 05.30.20170 comments

A Santa Barbara wedding and expert wedding planner are, in fact, within reach.  The Affordable Wedding Planning Series allows couples to re-invest what they save from hiring a full-service wedding consultant back into their priorities for their wedding.  From The Mobile Wedding Planning Tour For Two, Ceremony-Only Coordination, and The Jump Start, to Full Service Support, investments range from $350 to $1695, providing exceptional value for those needing  professional wedding expertise, guidance and resources with limited budgets.  This series offers 4 easy-to-understand and affordable planning options for the couple watching their money who is also willing and able to be more DIY.   Planning options below.

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When A Wedding Planner Weds | The Reception Soirée Story: A “Mobile Dinner Feast”

Blog, Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Real Weddings, Special Events / 05.05.20170 comments

When we announced to some of our closest friends that we just got married in a secret destination elopement to Santa Fe, New Mexico, one text came back immediately from a long-time friend:  “We want to host a reception for you when you return to celebrate.”  Seeing as this text was from one of the area’s leading event partners and her daughter, a professional wedding and event planner who had been my Associate for so many years, we knew we were in for something special.  But just how special, we did not know until we arrived at the private home of our hosts Heidi and Mike Whitcomb, owners of Ventura Rental Party Center for a grand celebration in style.  Event planners extraordinaire Heidi and Ashley  of Events by Ashley W. produced a night we – and our family and friends- will never forget.  My husband and I did not do one bit of the planning nor were we involved at all.  We provided them with a guest list and literally just showed up and stepped into our reception.  In fact, being on the other side of planning a wedding was almost overwhelming. I remember staring at our wedding cake for cake-cutting not quite sure how to tackle it, despite the fact I’ve counseled hundreds of couples for over 15 years on this exact act.

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Wine Country Experiences | Vineyard Yoga: A Meditation of Movement

Blog, Event Planning Advice / 04.23.20172 comments

As a third generation Santa Barbaran and one whose business has largely been centered in wine country, I am always trying to stay aware of unique experiences for my clients and their guests when they visit my hometown.  Vineyard Yoga SYV (Santa Ynez Valley) is an experience that you simply won’t get at any yoga studio and if you come to Santa Barbara and /or its wine country (The Santa Ynez Valley), this is a must.

Founded by Certified Yoga Instructor Cori Crawford Lassahn, Vineyard Yoga SYV offers guests a relaxing setting at some of Santa Barbara wine country’s most beautiful wineries surrounded by vineyards and panoramic views. Instructor Cori graciously welcomes guests of all abilities and her presence as she guides students through all the moves and the experiences is one of the main differentials between this and other yoga classes.  She continually rotates her teaching position so that students on all sides of the class have equal opportunity to hear her and see her examples;  her music playlist songs are carefully chosen to relax, inspire (and even, in a few cases, boogie – as I found myself bopping slightly to the beat during warrior pose, which was fun).  Every movement had a purpose as a “meditation”, as we were all invited to be present with the feeling of

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Mark & Cristina Enjoy Mobile Wedding Planning Tour for 2 and Find Their Dream Wedding Location

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Industry Shenanigans, Innovations / 04.11.20170 comments

Photo by Jose Villa

The Mobile Wedding Planning Tour for Two is perfect for couples just like Mark and Cristina who knew without a doubt they wanted to get married in Santa Barbara, but a) did not know where to start and b) were not sure they wanted to invest in a full-service wedding planner  and c) had a limited spending plan  (aka “budget”).

One of the biggest mistakes I see newly-engaged couples make is to spend weeks or months researching venues in an area on their own, and then when they find their dream venue, often fall so in love with it that they do whatever it takes to book it and sometimes a site fee alone can eat up almost half  (or a good portion) of their spending plan, if they aren’t careful.  They then find themselves over-committed financially and sacrificing on the other absolutely-crucial elements necessary for a lovely, memorable event for themselves and their guests.  All of this could be avoided with coming into the whole planning experience with an overall spending plan and a professional to guide them up front.

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