Viewing posts categorised under: Event Planning Advice

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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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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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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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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Our Live Broadcast Day of Mobile Wedding Planning Tour for Mark & Cristina

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Innovations / 04.09.20170 comments

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When A Wedding Planner Weds | Part I : The Single Most Important Event Partner For Our Wedding

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Real Weddings / 09.04.20162 comments

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Kiss in front of St. Francis Cathedral | Photo: Melanie West

I recently got married.  Everything that my wedding planning clients go through, I got to experience first-hand myself.

After producing over 600 weddings in my career, I decided I wanted to do something different for my own wedding. I’m a bit of a rebel at heart and knew that I wanted to make everything fresh, different, perhaps a bit unorthodox, and above all – it had to represent an aspect of my soul, and that of my husband-to-be, Darrel.  I’m a vintage girl at heart and I’ve always been fascinated by the courthouse-style weddings that took place in the 1940’s and 1950’s and think they are incredibly romantic.  This is Part One of two blogs I have coming up under When A Wedding Planner Weds on planning my own secret destination wedding elopement.

We planned a secret destination wedding to one of my favorite locations on earth: Santa Fe, New Mexico. I will share more about the decision behind this in Part Two of this series. But for now, I want to share the single most important event partner for our wedding and how I went about choosing her.

Since our wedding was a top secret and in an incredibly beautiful destination, I knew I wanted memories to look back on that would last a lifetime. I also knew that we would want to share these images with those back home when we returned.

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Our Commitment to Professional Conduct & Its Relation of Core Value to Our Services

Event Planning Advice / 05.29.20160 comments

Photo: MiBelle Photography

Photo Credit: MiBelle Photography

When one interviews potential wedding and event supply partners, checks out their credentials, referrals and work and finally “clicks” with them and is ready to hire them, there is one final gauntlet I suggest the interviewee complete.  I suggest that you have a conversation about the event supplier’s  belief structure in professional conduct the day of the wedding or event.  This includes the individual you are hiring as well as their volunteers and staff.  These particular items are rarely  – if ever – included in service contracts and yet, they are paramount to being at the core center of the caliber of service you are contracting and should expect.   Here are some items for discussion, followed by our own Code of Conduct to all Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings & Events clientele:

  1.   What will you and your staff be wearing the day of my event?
  2.   How many breaks do you take and when?
  3.   Where do you take your breaks and meals?
  4.   What is your philosophy on vendors taking their meals – should they go before guests or after?
  5.   Where do you or your staff smoke?
  6.    What do you do if you see another event service provider dining or smoking in front of guests?
  7.    How do you handle conflict with guests , should drama arise?
  8.    Do you or your staff feel it is alright to partake in the bar or alcohol while working – or on breaks during your contracted time?
  9.   How do you communicate with your fellow staff members during an event?  (example:  do you use two way radios, text, ear piece two way radios, etc.)
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The Reality of “Day-of” Coordination | Why I Won’t Be Your “Day-of” Coordinator

Event Planning Advice / 05.26.20160 comments

ART Caitlin 1With Santa Barbara going from about 5 or 6 leading professional wedding planners a few years ago to about 52 now (last count), couples getting married in this area who are either required by their venue to have a professional event coordinator or simply those knowing the invaluable investment a professional provides,  find themselves in a quandary with the overwhelming amount of choices listed for them now in our area.

The individual wedding coordinators who make up that (approximate) 52 count range from long-time, well-established professionals who are educated, experienced, work continually and are referred by venues and event partners alike, to those who moonlight on the side as a hobby to those who are simply in love with the idea of being a wedding planner (perhaps they planned their own wedding or a friend’s) and think it’s either about pointing people around day-of and/or just hiring vendors who do “pretty” things and services. 

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