Viewing posts categorised under: Rants

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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Wedding Spending Planning Advice: 3 Reasons Not to Re-Use Ceremony Chairs for the Reception

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Rants / 03.17.20162 comments

Bacara Resort Wedding | Photo: Michael Costa

Bacara Resort Wedding | Photo: Michael Costa

When I first started out as a wedding planner,  I saw it all the time and to this day, I understand why it is done, but I do not understand why, with all the options available to manage a budget, couples want to aggravate guests, create a clumsy flow and above all: not actually save that much money in the long run (read on).  We are talking about the use of the same chairs for the ceremony as the reception.  There are other ways to maximize your spending plan (budget) than re-using your ceremony chairs for your reception.  I never, ever recommend this be done, and here are my top reasons why:

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On The “Unplugged” Wedding: The Gracious Art of Combining Your Wishes with Happy Guest Experience

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Rants / 03.06.20160 comments

Example of a popular "unplugged wedding" sign from OffBeat Bride

Example of a popular “unplugged wedding” sign from OffBeat Bride

With cell phone camera and selfie stick use at an all time high, often taking away from life’s moments, it is no wonder there is such a huge trend for “unplugged” weddings.  If you are new to this term, “unplugged wedding” refers to those weddings where guests are asked to refrain from any cell phone use – including taking photos of any kind during the ceremony.  Before I express my thoughts on this entire topic, let me say first and foremost: I am completely in favor of any bride and groom who wants an unplugged wedding.  But recently,  I have seen a new trend going to an extreme:  where wedding couples are asking their guests to give up their cell phones entirely when they arrive and they are not “allowed” to have them back until they leave the wedding reception that night.  I was also recently asked to go up and “grab” the cell phone from any guest who started to use it during the ceremony.  And no, I will not do that.  For many, many reasons.  No matter how much you pay me (please read on).

First of all, let’s look at all the great reasons to have an unplugged wedding ceremony:

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What Your Wedding Planner’s Social Media Can Reveal About Them

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Rants / 01.17.20160 comments

Photo Credit: Michael Costa | Location: Bacara Resort & Spa

Photo Credit: Michael Costa | Location: Bacara Resort & Spa

I’m tired of click bait personally, so decided not to title this article “The One Thing Every Bride Should Check Out Before Hiring Their Wedding Planner“.  Although, if I could, this title would be more accurate.

Here’s the thing about social media professionally:  it is intended to share and convey a brand. To engage with current customers as well as potential customers.  And yes, it is supposed to get personal from time to time.  Again, the operative phrase being “from time to time” . All business social media gurus and international marketing leaders agree that allowing potential customers to catch a glimpse into your personal life – sparingly- fosters trust and can build common ground and this trust leads to sales/bookings.

But besides the personal element of social media in business, I wish to bring up another topic rarely addressed, but one that is equally -if not more- important. It is a thorough review of how your prospective professional event planner handles themselves on social media, as it will tell you more about their work style and personality and

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How to Never Be Referred for Your Event Service

Blog, Rants / 08.18.20150 comments

Location: Bacara Resort and Spa | Photo Credit: Michael Costa

Bacara Resort Wedding| Photo Credit: Michael Costa

I admit it. I have had some of the world’s best service training and have integrated many of these practices into my business and brand.  And yet, I still always consider the nature of the event, the circumstance and have a keen appreciation for humanity in all its facets, styles, and also fully acknowledge everyone has a different style of “getting it done” at the end of the day.  And yet.  And yet…..

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The Number One Possible Hidden Element in Some Catering Bids That Every Bride Should Know

Event Planning Advice, News, Rants / 08.18.20150 comments

Photo Credit: MiBelle Photography

Photo Credit: MiBelle Photography

At Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings & Events, we have a required “Full Service Caterer” list from which our clients must hire.  These professionals already adhere to service basics in producing weddings and events. They know that the caterer’s job is more than just to provide good food.  They are the backbone of a successful event: from coordinating rentals to set up, breakdown, proper clean-up, timing, and so much more.  Plus, they provide one of the most essential elements of any good caterer, and that is the element of pre – event day planning and communication with a dedicated representative that will be with you in the planning stages of your event. The latter is not always reflected on a catering proposal, and not paying attention to this can cost one dearly “day of”, or in unexpected charges from the sub-standard caterer (or other service providers who have to do extra work to accommodate what the caterer should have been doing to begin with). 

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Behind-the-Scenes Services Your Coordinator Performs That You May Never Know About

Blog, Rants / 07.19.20150 comments

Photo by Tim Halberg

Photo by Tim Halberg

An experienced, professional wedding consultant is worth their weight in gold. And then some.  Predicting and preventing crises before they happen has always been a part of our “legendary event planning expertise” we offer clients.  But perhaps just as important,  is our trademark that includes how we make people feel at the end of the event day.  This includes our clients, every guest interaction and vendors, too.

We receive inquiries on our services and many are simply looking at price alone.  And while we feel we offer significant value for our highly unique professional background and experience, our clients are also paying for our attention to detail in those moments and for those details  in which we are not technically contracted.  Here are just a few examples of what we (and many professional coordinators) are doing behind the scenes to make your wedding and event a seamless and stress-free affair:

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So You Saved A Few Dollars Hiring a Coordinator for a Few Hours Only. Congratulations. It Shows.

Blog, Rants / 12.04.20140 comments

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Photo by Mary Jane Weddings | Location: San Ysidro Guest Ranch

“Oh, I’m really hands on,”  the caller says to me during our initial interview.  “I will do all my own planning. I just need a few things put out and someone to direct vendors,  day-of.”  This is generally where our conversation and interview end or, if they are genuinely interested in the expertise of a professional, I can provide some education that helps to re-direct their thought premise.  The fatal thinking behind this notion is simply this:   the caller is most likely doing wedding planning for the first time and as a seasoned wedding professional, this is my approximate six hundredth.  There is no such thing as a  “hands on” bride who can flawlessly execute her wedding planning solo and have it turn out seamless. It is  because of this: 

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How the Wording On Your Wedding Invitations Affects Your Entire Event

Blog, Event Planning Advice, Rants, Tip of the Day / 03.02.20140 comments

Life-Sized Wedding Invitation | Photos by Matt Edge

Life-Sized Wedding Invitation | Photos by Matt Edge

No, I will not just put down what time you “think” or “want” guests to arrive at your reception when I’m your Reception-only Coordinator and have not been involved with planning your entire wedding.   I need to see exactly what your guests see, and this is why I ask for a copy of your actual ceremony and reception invitation. It guarantees that I will view it as your guests will and what they will inevitably end up doing as a result of what you told them. This is also so we as the event supply partner team can be ready to meet this expectation.  And for most of us, we not only want to “meet” the expectation, but we want to exceed it.

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Tales from a Wedding Planner’s Lair | When I Fire a Bride

Blog, Rants / 10.31.20130 comments

Photo from Stardust Celebrations

Photo from Stardust Celebrations

This post begins a series of “Tales from a Wedding Planner’s Lair” we will be featuring here on our BLOG and we are proud to announce is under consideration for a possible national column. This particular story’s content is particularly timely for Halloween Day because it is nothing short of horrific.  And the story goes something like this:

Once upon a time brides were blissfully happy to be engaged and were glowing at the thought of something very simple, but very profound:  they had met and were marrying the love of their life.  The only thing important to them was perhaps a beautiful wedding gown and marrying their sweetheart.  The end.

Over the years and 600 weddings later,I’ve noticed

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