This article was featured on Special Events Magazine and made it to the top of Google News.
Many wedding planners (or their clients) may have seen (thank you, Pinterest) how charming it is to share the general event time line for guests to see—either on custom-crafted framed signs, in the wedding program, or on the couple’s wedding website. While many ideas are appealing in photos, they do not translate well in reality. For the inexperienced wedding planner and for the couple, who is triply more inexperienced, this can look like a charming touch—or if really naive—a way to keep guests “informed,” or a way to keep the event on track because “everyone” will now know the time line and be in sync.Read More >>
Sometimes we have clients who contact us stating that they “just” need us to do what they “tell” us to do and all we need to do is “show up” on the wedding day and “direct”. There’s a problem with that. Most do not know what needs to be done… let alone on the level it needs to be done.
While there are some coordinators who may be willing to take this kind of client on, we do not. Pointing people and services around with no advance prep is all about putting fires out that could have been prevented in the first place. And ultimately is costly to the couple. You may save $2000 by hiring a day of coordinator who will only charge $300, but the potential disasters that could happen could end up costing tens of thousands of dollars in the end.Read More >>
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.
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 >>
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 >>
“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.
- 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 outRead More >>
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.Read More >>
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 ofRead More >>
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.Read More >>