Archive for the ‘Event’ Category

Event and wedding planning is a tough sell.  You have to get noticed in order to get clients.  Many new and aspiring event/wedding planners struggle with this area of the business… even more than the actual planning itself!

In this series, we’ll look at the different requirements to building a professional brand, marketing yourself to clients, and forging beneficial relationships with vendors.

Part 1: The Basics

Before you even think of marketing yourself, there’s a lot of work to be done.  You wouldn’t sell a half-baked cake, would you? Nor should you rush into marketing before having all the pieces of your business squarely in place.  If you fail at this first step, you’ll probably end up leaving clients with a bad taste for your business.

business advice

Before you can start selling to clients, you have to know what they want.  Too many event/wedding planners try to corner a market that doesn’t exist.  For example, selling beautifully elegant, extravagant and costly weddings to low-income rural communities probably doesn’t have a great chance of succeeding.

Do you work in a busy metropolitan or in a small close-knit community?  Either way, you’ll want to research what your clientele wants in a wedding and event planner.

If you’re in a large city, there are probably many options for you to choose from. Your challenge will be how to stand out from your competition.  Make a list of all event and wedding planners in your area, and what their marketing angles are.  You might spot a gap in the market that clients would like filled.  You can then survey the community and see what they think of your ideas.

Event/Wedding planners in small towns or rural areas have a different challenge.  Residents in these areas probably aren’t used to the idea of hiring a wedding/event planner.  In these cases, you might want to focus on a specific passion the community shares. For example, is the community particularly proud of a local sporting team? Is there an annual festival everyone participates in? Do all residents share a similar cultural or religious background?  Becoming a community expert might be a fun way to break into the market and attract some outside attention as well.

What’s in a Name?

It’s amazing how much the name of your business matters.  Making a mistake at this stage can alienate your clientele before they get a chance to know you.

You have two options: Market yourself as an individual (i.e. Jane Doe, IEWP™) or come up with a name for your business.  Here are a few considerations:

– If you have a name that’s difficult to pronounce, you should probably come up with a business name that’s easier on the tongue. It might be unfair, but some clients will avoid names they don’t understand, for fear of insulting you by mispronouncing it.

– If you come up with a business name, make sure it resonates with your target clientele.

– Your business name shouldn’t make people think.  If you have to explain what it means, you risk confusing clients before they even walk through the door.

– If the business name is too long, shorten it.  There’s nothing wrong with having different business names for legal vs. marketing use.  Example: QC stands for “Quality of Course, Inc.” Which is the name of the parent company.  Imagine if the school were called “Quality of Course Event Planning”. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue!

– Do your Research!  Choose a business name that isn’t easily confused with a consumer product, another business, a competitor, etc.  If you make a list of 10 possible business names, odds are 5-7 of them will be thrown out at this point.

– Make sure your business name can be registered, and that you can secure a domain name (website address) that makes sense.  If you’re unable to buy [your business name].com (most are pretty cheap), then you’ll probably want to go back to the drawing board.

A quick note about websites:  We’ll discuss “building your website” in the following section. But when choosing your business name, consider that easy and common “Keywords” in a business name (like “event planner” or “wedding planning” for example) will help clients remember you and easily find you online.  

After you’ve settled on a solid business plan and a name for your business, then you’ll be ready to move on to part 2 of this series: building your brand. Tune in on Wednesday, May 21st for more business advice!

Are you looking to start an event and wedding planning business? All of QC’s Event and Wedding Planning Courses come with our “Achieving Business Success” DVD series that offers much more detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to launch a successful business! Learn more here.

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There’s nothing quite like on-the-job training.  At QC, we try to prepare our students for a time when they’ll be working with clients and vendors, but try as we might there’s no way we can prepare you for every single scenario.  Most will agree that the first year in any business is the toughest: when you’ll make most of your mistakes, and where you’ll also learn most about yourself.  This is especially true for wedding planners.

weddingplanning101

Understand, a bride hires you as a wedding planner to help bring her vision to reality for the most important day of her life.  She’d love to do it all herself, but has bigger fish to fry and trusts that you’re WAY more qualified to do the job right.

So you fly in with your inspiration boards and list of vendors (maybe you’re wearing a cape), ready to make her dreams come true… Only to find yourself buried in mounds of emails and 3 a.m. phone calls for the next 12 months.

“How in the world did I get here!?” you might ask

Likely you made the same mistake that a lot of wedding planners have made before you.  In trying to be accommodating, you forgot to establish clear boundaries with the bride-to-be. This can lead to disastrous results.

While you’ll never be able to fully eliminate the possibility of a bride going off a deep end, setting clear expectations through a contract or the initial consultation can be a lifesaver!  Here are a few points you’ll want to cover with your clients up-front.

#1: You’re her wedding planner, not her friend.

This is a tough one. Over the course of planning you’ll get to know the bride very well, and you’ll come to care for her deeply. Likely she’ll feel the same way, and she might end up seeing you as her “wedding therapist”.

Obviously you’ll want to approach this in a very delicate way, but the bride does need to understand that she has bridesmaids and family to talk to, cry with, and get her through whatever stress, doubt, or anxiety she may be feeling.  You need to focus on making sure everything with the event runs smoothly… for her sake!

#2: Set a clear communication schedule, and stick to it!

When you agree to work with a bride, one of the first things you’ll want to do is explain the dos and don’ts of communicating with you. Give her a schedule she can follow.

Example: You’ll speak with her on the phone twice a week for 1 hour per call, you’ll meet with her in person on X, Y, and Z dates, and you’ll be in touch with her via email regarding all other topics, between times A and B.

Make sure you set clear expectations here. Take the time to walk the bride through this schedule, 1-on-1. She needs to understand that while this is your career and you’ll work very hard for her, you have a home to go to at night and friends and/or a family of your own to care for.

A quick note on giving a bride your cell phone number:  Try to avoid this until you get to know your client a little better.  You want to be friendly and obliging, yes, and be available in case of a wedding planning emergency, but unfortunately the definition of “emergency” is different for every person.  Once you’ve worked a little with the bride and you’re confident she’ll respect your space, then you can give her your number and trust her to use it under extreme circumstances only.

#3: On the big day, you’re still there to work.

At the actual event, many brides will want you to join them and share in the festivities. From their point of view you can understand: they’re having a great time, they’re grateful for your services, and they want you to benefit from what you’ve spent months planning.

You’ll want to explain to the bride that your job doesn’t stop when the wedding starts. Quite the contrary, actually! While she’s having a wonderful time dining and dancing, you’ll be busy coordinating with the caterer or keeping the band on queue.

Just make sure she understands that if you don’t sit down for dinner or enjoy a drink with the wedding party before the ceremony, it’s not because you don’t care about her!

#4: Screen your clients carefully

Ok, this should actually be step zero.

When a bride goes to you for a consultation, she’s interviewing you.  She wants to see if you’ve got what it takes to pull off planning her wedding.  This is where you put your best foot forward and pull out all the stops, but it’s also a chance to interview her and decide if she’s a client you want to take on!

There’s nothing wrong with refusing a client if you don’t believe you’re a compatible match.  I know it’s tough to refuse a job… but if she doesn’t seem like the type of client you’ll be able to work with for whatever reason, it’s better for everyone if you take a step back right away.  Consider referring her to another wedding planner, if you know any, who might be better suited for her needs or her personality.

In the end, you’ll likely have to cut the bride some slack on a few of these points.  The truth is most brides are wonderful to work with and are extremely respectful of their wedding planner. She KNOWS she could never do it without you!

But a wedding is a stressful event for anyone, and even the most well-tempered bride can lose her nerve once or twice leading up to the big day.  Following these guidelines will hopefully make the planning process a little less stressful… for all involved!

Do you have what it takes to be a wedding planner? QC’s online wedding planning course can help you get there! Request a brochure today and get started on a path to a wonderfully rewarding career!

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April 30, 2014 10:00 am

DIY Wedding: Creative Table Numbers!

Table Numbers

I think the best part about doing a DIY wedding is the opportunity to create customized projects that really show off the personality of the couple. For my beach wedding last year, I decided to create DIY table numbers that complemented other beachy elements of my DIY décor. Read on to find out how I created these inexpensive table toppers.

What you’ll need:

– Tolsby frames from Ikea

– Hot glue gun

– An assortment of seashells

– Strands of plastic pearls in different sizes and colors

– Engagement photos

– Super glue

Let’s get crafty!

1. Unscrew the base of the frame and lay it down flat.

2. Arrange the seashells on one side of the frame. I found the best way to do this was to put larger seashells in the corners and then fill in the areas in between.

3. Glue down each shell with your hot glue gun. Don’t be afraid to use lots of glue!

4. Glue down seashells on the other three sides.

5. Use super glue to attach pearls to seashells.

6. Insert engagement photos into the frame.

7. Screw the base back onto the frame.

Tips:

– If you wish, you can glue seashells to both sides of the frame.

– Consider making an extra frame to display a thank you message for your guests.

– You can spray paint the frames to match your wedding colors.

Want to learn more about event and wedding décor? Check our course outline here. You can also request a free brochure at any time.

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April 25, 2014 12:00 am

Graduate Feature: Amore Events by Cody

Cody GrannisName: Cody Grannis

Location: Charlottesville, VA

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram

A little bit about Cody…

Cody Grannis, a lifetime Virginian, is an award winning, certified International Event and Wedding Professional (IEWP), holding certificates in Non-Profit Management and Meeting and Event Planning from the University of Virginia.  She has over 6 years of experience planning University events in Charlottesville and throughout the country.

Cody, the mother of four, is the founder of Amore Events by Cody, LLC.  She has orchestrated many weddings in Charlottesville, Virginia and has an extensive network of reliable vendors in the region.  You will find her to be extremely dedicated and always working hard to ensure that each bride receives the wedding of her dreams.  Through Cody’s attention to detail and creativity, you can count on a wedding that will exceed your expectations.

Amore Events by Cody

Did you always see yourself becoming an event & wedding planner? What started the dream?

No, not at all! I started working at UVA in 2007 where my first job was an event planner in the Alumni Department. I had no idea that I would enjoy it so much! I had never traveled before, but for one of my first events at UVA, I was sent on a trip to Palm Beach to plan a small alumni gathering. I had so much fun on that trip, getting to meet new people and work in a new and exciting environment. After that trip, I knew that event planning was something I wanted to continue to do long term. A little while later, I switched jobs at UVA and starting planning much larger events ranging anywhere from 100-5,000 people. After a couple of years at UVA, I got tired of all of the red tape and bureaucracy, and decided that I wanted to do something more creative on my own. I did some research and decided to become a wedding planner! We are now going into our forth season as Amore Events and we cannot be anymore excited!

Can you tell us a bit about how you got to where you are today?

I was a teenage mother of two little ones by the age of 19. And because of that I had to work extra hard to get where I am today. Knowing that I needed to provide for my family, I jumped head first into research on how to become an event planner, getting my certification from the QC School, and even took a course an event-planning course at UVA. When I applied for my job at UVA, I wrote them a letter and told them how excited I was about the position and how I really felt that I could do the job. They trusted me and hired me even though I didn’t mean all of the qualifications because I showed them how I was a fast learner and knew that I would succeed in the position.

Graduate Feature - Cody Grannis

Let’s talk branding. It’s probably one of the most challenging aspects of starting a business, and we’re sure our students would love a little insight into how Amore Events became what it is today.

Branding is a daunting thought, especially when you haven’t done it before. One of my biggest regrets is including my name in my business because I can never sell it. It is possible to change the business name, but not without a lot of paperwork and paying a bunch of money. Another huge part of branding is a logo and website. One thing that is necessary is working with a graphic designer and working through lots of different options with them. Make sure you go see lots of different logo designs and website templates before you choose. Take your time with this part because it is going to cost a good bit of money and in the end, it should be exactly what you want. One thing to remember through all of it is to stay true to yourself and your own personal style. You want your logo and website and overall brand personality to reflect you and what you have to offer. It is okay to get inspiration from other planners or people in the industry, but in the end, your brand needs to be all about you. Something to remember is that you can always re-brand. That sounds crazy, but it is actually a big part of growing your business. You might re-brand when your style changes, or when you add different services to your packages, or even when you want to reach a different clientele. We are actually in the process of re-branding right now and it is already paying off.

QC Event School Graduate - Cody Grannis

In the event industry, making connections is key. When you were first starting out what was your approach to networking?

I started with just joining local event planning communities in the area. That is an amazing place to meet people, get your name out there and just make connections in the industry. A big thing I did that not a lot of other planners in the area did, was actually go meet with vendors face to face. I just wanted to get to know them and get to know their business better and really learn about how they like to work with planners.

I also joined free websites to market my business. The main ones I used in the beginning were Wedding Wire and The Knot. They were a big help in getting my name out in the industry and getting seen when couples search for wedding planners in Charlottesville. I also started requesting reviews from my brides. These reviews could be seen on both Facebook and Wedding Wire. This is a beneficial tool because I can use it to send to people who are inquiring about hiring me.

What do you find most rewarding about your career?

I just love working with my brides. I love taking care of them and being such a big part of making their special day as perfect as I can. My favorite part of the wedding day is getting to steal my couples away for a few minutes and show them that every little detail we planner together has come together in the most beautiful day for them!

QC Event School Graduate - Cody Grannis

What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?

The biggest step in my career so far has been getting a studio space! It is a place that we have where brides came come and meet with us and can see all of our décor laid out. Something else that is huge for us with this space is being able to create a full mock-up of their reception tables. With all of our décor displayed in the studio, it is easy for us to walk around together, pick up things they like, try them on the table and really decide what they love. That is something we have never been able to do before, but it really adds an amazing touch to the experience for our brides.

A huge highlight of my career so far has been seeing our weddings and styled shoots on different national blogs, like Style Me Pretty, Southern Weddings and, Wedding Sparrow, and being published in Barn Weddings, a book by Maggie Lord. To see all of our hard work and our beautiful brides featured in these amazing places is really special.

QC Event School Graduate - Cody Grannis

As you know, many of our students have dreams of owning their own businesses. Do you have any advice for those who are just starting out in the event industry?

Some quick snippets of advice I would give are take your time with starting, really do your research about the industry and the market you are entering, have patience and kindness with both your brides and your vendors, be quick and assertive, learn how to say no, figure out your own personal design style, but also make sure you are keeping up with the trends.

QC Event School Graduate - Cody Grannis

You’ve been featured on sites like The Knot and Style Me Pretty. That’s something to brag about! What do you think the future holds for Amore Events?

Amore Events is really taking off and I couldn’t be more proud! One thing that I would really love to do sometime in the future is open up a wedding venue. I would also love to make more connections outside of Charlottesville. It is a dream to work with vendors in California and New York and even in another country. There is so much inspiration in the world that I don’t get to see, so I would just love to experience and learn about other styles and bring it all back to Charlottesville.

QC Event School Graduate - Cody Grannis

 Curious to learn more about the wedding and event planning industry? Check out QC Event School and read our free brochure!


Planning and coordinating an event is a stressful job! Whether experienced or novice, most event planners will make a mistake or two throughout their careers.  Here is a quick list of the most common event planning mistakes made, and our tips on how to get around them.

event planning mistakes

1. Doing it all yourself

Jack of all trades = master of none.  Do-it-all event planners will handle the guest list, all the finances, the decorations, the technical elements, the food… the list goes on. Having so many balls in the air yourself is almost a guarantee that you’re going to drop one or two.

The solution: As an event planner, your job is to coordinate all the elements of an event, not to execute on all the different pieces that come together on the big day.  Instead of tackling everything yourself, consider contracting out an event decorator, a bookkeeper, a caterer, etc. who can work with you to make sure your event is a great success!

2. Leaving it to the last minute

Whether “it” is a door prize, promotion, or equipment rentals, leaving anything to the last minute is a sure fire path to chaos, sooner or later.

The solution: Most events take months to plan. If you’re well organized and stick to a concrete plan, you should have all the pieces secured (including backup plans) at least 4 weeks away from the event… though we recommend 8-12 weeks to be safe!

3. Miscalculating the size of the event

This is a double-edged sword.  You want to make sure the size of the venue is adequate for the number of guests, but you also want to ensure the guest list is adequate for the venue!  Too many guests for a small space will lead to a very crowded and unworkable event. You might also run out of materials or food.  Too few guests for a large event will give the event an air of emptiness.

The solution: Confirm the guest list as early as possible, and give a final head count to your vendors as soon as you can. This will give everyone the chance to adjust the plan based on the number of attendees.  Also, if you’re unsure of the guest list, make sure you pick a venue that offers options for different group sizes and vendors who offer flexible services according to a finalized guest list.

event planning mistakes

4. Not allowing enough time for setup

Imagine setting up decorations as the guests are entering an event, or finding out you’re missing a power cord 10 minutes before your keynote speaker is supposed to go on stage. This nightmare is faced by many event planners and coordinators at least once during their careers.

The solution: Plan out the event setup well in advance, and make sure to hire enough people to complete all tasks before the event starts!  If it’s possible to have everything set up a day or two in advance, do it! If not, a well laid out plan (planned down to the minute), can make a difference between a success and a disaster!

5. Keeping clients in the dark

This is a nightmare for planners and their clients alike.  Phones and emails are the standard communication these days, but that can lead to confusion or misunderstanding down the road.  You don’t want your client to see the venue for the first time on the big day, and be disappointed in all the hard work you’ve accomplished because it’s not what they envisioned.

The solution: Schedule plenty of face-to-face time with your clients.  Walk them through the venue, and show them samples of wardrobe, décor, food, etc. before making any final decisions.  Keeping clients engaged throughout the planning process can save a lot of headaches down the road!

6. Forgetting it’s all about the guests!

This is actually a very easy mistake to make! You’re so concentrated on meeting the client’s needs and coordinating between the vendors, you forget about simple accommodations for the guests.

The solution:  Make a checklist of guest accommodations for any event, and keep it in mind at all times.  This list should at least include:

– having a parking plan

– coat check (for events in colder months or climates)

– signage leading guests to the venue (especially in confusing layouts!)

– having bathroom attendants (nothing like a dirty bathroom to kill an event!)

– making certain there are vegetarian/vegan food options available

– planning for inclement weather (tarps & umbrella stands)

Whatever your event, you should always remember Murphy’s Law: whatever can go wrong will go wrong.  A successful event planner will take a cue from the boy scouts and be prepared for just about any situation can just save your event… and your reputation!

Have you made these types of mistakes planning an event? Share your story!


The bride walks down the aisle, wearing her fancy dress and carrying her glamorous bouquet.  Her fiancé awaits her at the altar, along with her bridesmaids, the groomsmen, and the officiant who is waiting to join the happy couple in the long-honored tradition of matrimony.

Surprisingly, many wedding traditions we observe today have origins during ancient times when marriage had a very different purpose.  Here are our favorites!

wedding traditions

The Bouquet

Nowadays, it’s almost unheard of for a bride to walk down the aisle without an elegant arrangement of her favorite flowers!

Believe it or not, this tradition most likely originates around the time of the great plague, when arrangements of herbs, spices and even garlic were used to ward off disease and evil spirits.

For the ones who survived this devastating era, a bouquet of pungent herbs became a symbol of good luck and protection against evil. Over time, these were replaced with more appealing scents and the traditional wedding bouquet was born!

The Veil

Originated to protect the purity of the bride, the veil was once again made to ward off evil spirits.

As everyone knew during ancient times, brides were especially vulnerable to enchantment! A veil would hide the bride’s face and identity, making it more difficult for spirits to find the one they were looking for. The Romans took this a step further, shielding their brides in flame-colored veils in order to intimidate or frighten away those evils.

During the Victorian era, veils took on a new role: to display a bride’s status.  The larger and grander the veil, the higher the bride’s ranking in society.  You can still see this tradition observed today in grandiose royal weddings.

The Honeymoon

The tradition of the honeymoon dates back to Norse times when women were literally abducted from neighbouring villages.  The woman was given to a single man, and the couple would remain in hiding until the woman’s family would give up their search for her.  Unfortunately there weren’t a whole lot of all-inclusive beach front resorts back then. So during this time of hiding, friends and family of the groom would visit them daily, bringing them mead and honey wine.  Thus, the “honey moon” period!

The Rings

Common opinion among historians states that wedding rings once again originate during times when women were abducted to become the property of a strapping young man or warrior.

The woman would have her hands and feet bound together with braided grass, until it was certain that she would not attempt to escape.  Once she had settled into her new life, she was freed and a rope was tied around her finger only, as a symbol (or reminder) of her captivity.

Rings are also known to have existed in ancient Egypt and during the Roman Empire, used as a symbol of ownership. It wasn’t until the 1200’s when a Bishop declared marriages with rush-rings to be legally binding, thus giving birth to the modern tradition of exchanging rings during a wedding ceremony.

What are your favorite wedding traditions? Have you heard different stories of origin for the ones mentioned here? Let us know!

 

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I have to say I admire my best friend’s determination to not let her wedding break the bank.  She and her fiancé have made a pact to not let each other go overboard with wedding plans, and to not be in debt by the time the wedding’s over this coming August.  Of course, that doesn’t mean she’s ready to sacrifice on style or glamour.

So… let the DIY begin!

Once the dress was picked and the venue was booked, we moved our attention over to flowers.  Professionally assembled bouquets can cost hundreds of dollars… and they only last a few days.  Instead, we decided to put our craft skills to the test and assemble brooch bouquets.  These stunning pieces last a lifetime, and cost as little as $20 to assemble.

A quick visit to the hardware store and a few ebay sprees later, we were ready to blossom.

Here’s what you’ll need:

brooch bouquets

–          Lots and lots of brooches. Make sure they match your wedding colors!

–          Faux fabric flowers (get them cheap at the dollar store). Again, colors are important. You want these to be subtle.

–          Spools of 0.8mm steel wire.

–          Fabric tape

–          A 12-inch ruler

–          Pliers

–          A power drill

–          Silk or lace fabric

Step 1: Measure it.

Measure about 24 inches of steel wire, cut it, and fold it in half. Do this two more times.

Note: The length here can vary. At 24 inches, it’ll give you a “stem” about 10-11 inches long once complete.  You can make these shorter or longer, depending on the person who’ll be carrying the bouquet.

Step 2: Thread it.

Thread the three steel wires through different locations on the brooch. Make sure you to this only in/on sturdy sections to prevent damaging the brooch! We broke a few brooches discovering this, so it might not be a bad idea to start off with the not-so-special brooches until you get the hang of it.

Note: for smaller brooches, two steel wires might be sufficient

Step 3: Do the twist!

Bunch up all the loose wires, and use pliers to trim them to exactly the same length. Then, tighten the wire tips through the drill and slowly twist the bunch until the wires form a solid, sturdy stem.

Alternative: If you don’t have a drill, this step can be done by hand.  Twist each (doubled-over) wire on its own, and then twist the three strands together.

Step 4: Tape it.

Use the pliers to flatten out any sharp edges that might be on the tip of the stem, then tape the entire length of the stem from the top down.

Ta-Da! You now have a brooch on a stem.

brooch bouquets

Step 5: Repeat!

Depending on the number of bouquets you’re assembling… you’ll be repeating the steps above anywhere from 20 to 100 times. Why not get the girls together for an arts & crafts night! Put on a movie, pour some wine, and assemble brooches together. Fun!

Step 6: Assemble it

brooch bouquets

Once all your brooches are done, it’s time to assemble the bouquet.  You’ll want to experiment here with what works best for you.  Since the colors for this wedding are white and blue, we decided to go with white felt roses as the base, with white/silver brooches and a hint of blue ones.

When you’re happy with your bouquet, tape the stems together and then wrap the lace fabric around the entire stem.

Costs:

We purchased all the brooches for $1-$3 on ebay, shipping included.  Since we used varying amounts of brooches in each bouquet, prices varied but here’s a close estimate:

– Bride’s bouquet: 20 brooches, $35.00

– Maid of honor: 15 brooches, $25.00

– Bridesmaids (times 5): 5-10 brooches, $10-15

Flowers for the entire wedding party: under $200.00

Tips:

– If your brooches are gold instead of silver, you’ll want to use gold-colored wire to make sure the colors blend!

– Try to purchase brooches that represent your ladies’ personalities! You can find brooches of different animals, hobbies, sports, or even movies and TV Shows! As long as they match your colors, this adds a personal touch that real flowers just can’t offer.

– For an added bit of glamour, try draping pearl necklaces, earrings, or sequins from the edges of the bouquet. (Of course this can also drive your costs up!)

– These are pretty heavy… so just keep that in mind if you’re planning on throwing the bouquet during the reception! You might want to have your guests wear safety glasses or be ready to duck!

Looking for more savings? Use these as centerpieces!

Ready to check another item off your to-do list without adding any extra cost? Brooch bouquets can double-up as centerpieces for the reception.

Simply have sturdy vases waiting on each guest table, and have your maids drop their bouquets in those vases as they enter the reception.  Job done!

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April 1, 2014 8:09 am

First Client Consultation

Our apologies! This post has been removed. You can view our other event and wedding planning posts here.


Whether you are simply a beginner planning on embarking on a career in the events industry or a seasoned veteran, while you plan and prepare your event down to the last detail, on the day it really is best to expect the unexpected!

After months of careful planning I’ve had opening keynote speakers stranded at airports in bad weather, course hand-outs arriving in boxes just ten minutes before guests arrive, sponsor display boards falling over, technical failures, dodgy catering and more to cope with.

MacGyver solves complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand, along with his ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army knife. Actually, come to think of it, those two items are very useful for event planners to bring along too!… However it’s his resourcefulness we can really learn from.

The devil is in the detail and there are some everyday items that might just save your event, or at least minimise the effect of any unexpected or embarrassing moments for your guests. Whatever else happens will be a test for your inventiveness.

EVENT MANAGEMENT

Safety pins

My best friend the safety pin can be tasked with many a job, holding up a hem, replace a button, fix a gaping top, attach an impromptu name badge or anchor a billowing tablecloth. It’s good to have generous supply of these on hand!

Baby wipes

Another insider secret is baby wipes. These are pre-moistened and ready to mop up food and drink spills. They are also highly effective at removing stains from clothing. Even coffee stains on crisp white business shirts!

Personal supplies

Confidence is everything for your speakers. It’s not unusual for presenters to arrive without their luggage or even wallet. I’ve seen this happen due to missed travel connections, lost luggage and, in one case, a car accident on the way to the venue. Even just being late and rushing can make people feel stressed and flustered.

Mostly they just need a kind word, a glass of water and a private space to gather their thoughts. Now and again they might need personal supplies. To save embarrassment (and further delay) I encourage them to take what they need from a handy little box stocked with deodorant, tissues, chewing gum, toothpaste, toothbrush, bobby pins, hair ties, sanitary products, contact lens solution and in many a case a spare pack of pantyhose.

One day I went through four pairs of the spare pantyhose myself! It was due to the rough underside of the table I was sitting at. Every time I crossed my legs the material would catch. I’m sure MacGyver would have found a way to sand the surface smooth! I just made sure I was sitting at a different table the next day.

Health and comfort items

Hopefully the most pressing health concerns you’ll have to deal with are the very common blisters and dry ticklish throat – both easily fixed with Band-Aids and cough lozenges.

In the spirit of using what’s already on hand, set up a few seats at the back of the room for those attendees that might need to stand up and stretch more often, or come and go for health concerns. I’ve had this request on many occasions from attendees with bad backs, morning sickness and tummy bugs.

People do tend to pick up bugs when travelling so you should have a dispenser of hand sanitizer available. The alternate MacGyver use for hand sanitizer is removing sticky spots from tables and other flat surfaces.

Hardware

Twist ties, fishing line, double sided tape, masking tape, wire, scissors or the trusty Swiss Army knife should fix décor items, open reluctant boxes and minimise trip hazards in a darkened room.

Technical backup

Phone chargers, pens, batteries, a back up copy of all presentations and a geek on call should help you through any technical minefields.

You can alleviate a lot of stress by being as organised as possible prior to an event but beyond stocking these basic everyday items, it’s attitude that saves the day.

Be attentive, approachable and honest. When trouble strikes, help can come from any corner, and people like to feel useful.

Keep your eye on the big picture. This industry is essentially about people connecting and it is these connections that people remember long after any other impression of your event.

Guest post by Anna Johnson, PR Works
Anna Johnson works in PR and marketing and specialises in working with large clients in the hospitality and event industries such as 
The National Convention Centre and The Star Events Centre. Anna takes a great interest in everything events, marketing, social media and internet related and enjoys sharing her knowledge on these subjects.  You can follow Anna on Twitter @AnnaO_T

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An exotic destination wedding can add a touch of flair and passion to any wedding event. Rather than hosting the important occasion near their area of residence, many couples opt to hold their weddings in exotic location. These locations don’t just serve as beautiful backdrops for tying the knot; they also make the event magical and memorable.

destination wedding

Fiji’s Turtle Island

Fiji’s Turtle Isle offers couples a romantic ambiance within a serene beach setting. The 500-acre landmass can only allow 14 couples per time, which translates to an idealistic and peaceful background free from overcrowding. Weddings at this enchanting destination include customary Fijian attire, fresh flower bouquets for guests and a realistic Fijian choir if desired. The bride usually arrives on-scene with a hand sewn wedding raft, carried by a strong procession team who are also donned in traditional Fijian clothes.

Italy’s Romantic Cities

Whether you plan to host your wedding in Venice, Rome, Florence or Tuscany, the country offers love birds an exotic experience full of culture and natural beauty. Venice is a mysterious but vibrant town where one can catch a ride on ancient wedding gondolas. On the other hand, Tuscany is famous for its fine winery and pristine fresh grape vineyards. Tuscany is also home to ancient regal estates that couples can visit at their own convenient time; these include Villa Chianti and Mona Lisa Estate.

Germany’s Castles

Germany is a beautiful country with hundreds of antiquity castles dotting its landscape, from Heidelberg Castle to the majestic Neuschwanstein Castle and enigmatic Mespelbrunn. Though it may be expensive to rent space in one of the fortresses, you can do so at adjacent patios with nice backdrops of your favourite castle. After the event, you can explore Germany’s historical museums, ski slopes and the beautiful countryside scenery.

Switzerland’s Mountains

Whether the wedding occasion is held during winter or summer season, the magnificent Swiss Alps can offer a grandiose and spectacular backdrop to any outdoor or indoor wedding. During winter the hillside is usually snow-capped with endless opportunities for tobogganing and skiing. Summer weddings also feature majestic mountains that are usually covered in green lush forests and outdoor opportunities for sightseeing, hiking and swimming.

Jamaica beach weddings

This gorgeous Caribbean island serves as a scenic setting for those who want to enjoy cool beach breezes, white sandy surroundings and all-inclusive seashore resorts that can also serve as perfect honeymoon spots. The most romantic resort areas include Montego Bay, South Coas, Port Antonia and Ocho Rios.

Bali Island

Bali is a small tropical island found just off the coast of Indonesia, the place is characterized by lush tropical forests and miles of unspoiled beaches that newlyweds would find inspiring. Couples also have a choice of luxurious villas to choose from including the Balinese traditional villas found along Kerobokan road. This villa spreads down to the expansive rice fields offering guests a quiet and tranquil atmosphere.

Malaysia! Truly Asia

This sultry South Asian country is an enticing destination for many couples; one of its best places is Langkawi archipelago on the shores of Andaman Sea. It boasts 91 luxury villas and pavilions with indigenous architectural sets amidst remodeled beachfront gardens. Malaysia samples the best of Indian, Asian and Arabic cultures.

Hawaii

Of course the list cannot be over without mentioning Hawaii. This US Island is characterized by the fresh, floral air that energizes visitors including the warm tranquil waters that can revitalize any wedding event. When planning to visit Hawaii, remember to get a visa for USA from their official embassy in your country!

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