Posts Tagged ‘wedding planning’

March 23, 2013 9:07 am

Weddings: My Styled Shoot

Over the past few years, we have seen the emergence of styled shoots within the wedding industry. They provide an opportunity for wedding planners and other vendors to share their creative talents on wedding blogs and within print publications. Styled shoots are also beloved by readers, who use them as inspiration when planning their own weddings. However, they also serve many purposes for the participating vendors. They allow us to:

  1. Showcase our talents in order to attract potential clients
  2. Affirm our company brand to help establish our place within the market
  3. Reach out beyond our own local market into the international arena
  4. Build additional portfolio work
  5. Garner respect among fellow vendors who can then refer our services
  6. Establish relationships with other vendors involved with the shoot
  7. Support local vendors and help them get their name out in the market
  8. Push the limits of creativity
  9. Learn from our mistakes and successes

Last year it became increasingly obvious to me that I needed to design and coordinate a couple of styled shoots, since I had never done it before. My particular focus was two-fold:  I wanted to refine my portfolio in order to redirect my brand to a certain clientele, and I wanted to create more publishing opportunities for my company outside my own immediate market. With that in mind, I set out to design two shoots, one of which I’d like to show you today! This shoot was hosted in one of the suites at the Westin Ottawa; we had the most fabulous team pulling everything together.

When I designed this shoot, I took inspiration from the main lobby of the hotel. There are large potted birch trees in the window and an incredible fireplace and crystal globe chandeliers (pictured below), which made for a great winter shoot backdrop. I wanted it to feel warm, intimate, understated, a bit urban, sexy, and very classy. These are all attributes that fit my brand as well as the blog on which I wanted the shoot to be published. So instead of going with a typical winter color palette like blue/brown or silver/blue I went with a warm, inviting palette of oranges/pinks/reds. Another consideration when assigning the color palette was the existing orange already in the suite. I knew I had to integrate that strong color if we were to use that room or else it would just look too misplaced!

With my color palette in mind, I then began to focus on the details of the shoot. My jumping off point was an image I had seen on etsy.com, featuring a variety of really cool white vases. I’m a sucker for juxtaposition, and wanted to feature something sleek, smooth, and urban paired with a more natural, earthy element, like wood.

With my inspiration board created, I began by DIYing wooden risers and white vases for the dining table. With the help of a second-hand store and some Tremclad white paint, I was able to create some lovely, contemporary vessels. I used styrofoam blocks and wood veneer planks to build the risers for the cake, candles, and vases to sit. Next I gathered our fine vendor team!

Other than the design itself, gathering the team is the most crucial step. The team I assembled had to mirror my own brand, exhibit exceptional work, be reliable and professional, have a strong reputation, be easy to work with, and be available for the shoot date – three days after Christmas. It took several hours each day to pull the vendor details together and coordinate everything. It was almost like planning a wedding. The level of commitment was huge and I don’t recommend this to anyone who isn’t able to devote the time required to pull it all off to perfection. Coordination efforts included vendor meetings, proofing stationary, DIYing vases and dishes, sourcing and purchasing supplies, and much more. Despite all that, the payoff is so worth it and we are thrilled with the results of our shoot!

At this point, I should mention the importance of choosing the right photographer. Not only do you need to find a photographer who reflects your own brand and style, you also need someone very adept at capturing details. The photographer will need to capture close-ups of the small, sensory-rich items you’ve created for the shoot, and the simple fact is that this is not most photographers’ strength. Barbara Ann Cameron shot our images and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. She did an amazing job and really captured the feel of the shoot that I had envisioned all along!

I’ve featured a few images from the shoot to share with you today. After editing and selecting, we ended up with between 150 and 200 final shots that we submitted to our blog of choice. When designing your shoot and choosing where you’ll submit, be very aware of their submission rules beforehand. The blog to which we submitted demands exclusivity, meaning that we couldn’t share these images with anyone until the blog post went live. They also suggested a range of shots, so we were mindful to ensure that we provided them with enough images so they could make a solid selection from their end. Also, knowing the publication, we were aware that they like multiple shots of the same detail, shot at different angles and orientations.

This is the lobby shot I referred to, which sets the tone for the winter shoot. Barbara is highly skilled at posing models and this was a huge plus for me so I could achieve the sexy, urban, polished look I so wanted!

I love the polished , urban look we achieved.

I love the polished , urban look we achieved

The tablescape included a variety of flower types all in the color range of the shoot. The repetition of the white vases, service wear, and place card holders created continuity in the shoot while the multitude of flowers used created variety and visual interest.

We kept the color scheme to white, red, pink, and orange

We kept the color scheme to white, red, pink, and orange

I wanted the cake to be an understated, contemporary design and I think we achieved it beautifully! The very talented florist created these beautiful carnation beds for the shoot and we used them several times in a multitude of ways, including a cake plateau.

Our contemporary cake design

Our contemporary cake design

Over the table in the suite were these fabulous boxed fixtures that were just screaming for decor. We hung Mokara orchids from the center of each fixture to achieve this amazing floral canopy over the table. You can see the wonderful repetition of the fixtures captured in this photo as well!

A gorgeous floral canopy

A gorgeous floral canopy

We featured letterpress stationery in this shoot. I chose letterpress because it’s stunning, tactile, and high-end. We wanted a finer paper product that was simply stated and modern and I think that was accomplished with the square motif and bold font. They’ve also incorporated the wood-grain element in the invitation, again to achieve continuity, and carried that same motif throughout the various pieces.

This letterpress stationery kept to our theme

This letterpress stationery kept to our theme

The florist we worked with is very imaginative and created something contemporary and a bit edgy for the bridal bouquet. When I first showed her the inspiration board, she knew that something like this would work very well for the feel we were creating in the shoot. She was so right!

We topped it off with a creative bouqet

We topped it off with a creative bouquet

There are dozens more images that I could share with you, but I hope these give you a feel for our shoot and some inspiration for what you can achieve in your own. Looking back at both of the shoots I did last year, I am really pleased with the end results. They both reflected my brand, allowed me to connect with vendors whose work I adore, and were both publishable, which was the end goal! Before entering into a styled shoot commitment, remember that it takes a lot of to pull it all together effectively. There are also costs involved that you must be aware of. For my shoot, costs included:

  1. Decor details
  2. Half of the flower costs (the florist shared the other half)
  3. Lunch and refreshments for the vendor team on shooting day
  4. Parking
  5. Thank you notes for the vendor team and gift cards

Fortunately, many of the direct costs involved in the shoot (e.g. stationery) were absorbed by the various vendors in return for credit within the publication, which is great. But there are still costs involved and a huge commitment of time and effort, so be prepared. Also be prepared to be very pleased with the results of your efforts after the shoot! It’s a lot of fun allowing your imaginations to come up with concepts that you might not otherwise be able to achieve within your usual contracts.

With wedding season upon us, I’m back to my usual routine. No time for styled shoots for me, but best of luck with yours!

Happy planning!

All images courtesy of Barbara Ann Studios.

Wedding planner Lynn LeeWritten by Lynn Lee
www.weddingsunveiled.ca

Lynn Lee has over 10 years experience in the event and wedding planning industry. These days, she’s focusing her attention on her growing wedding planning business, Weddings Unveiled. Her weekly blog posts include business tips, wedding trends, and expert advice.

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March 22, 2013 6:44 pm

Looking for Wedding Planner Classes?

Wedding planning is a creative, fun, and growing industry. It might be hard work, but it’s so rewarding to plan the absolutely perfect event that a couple of newlyweds will remember fondly for a lifetime. Wedding planning gives you the option to work for yourself or to work for an established company. But if you want to get started, you should probably enroll in wedding planner classes. This can be difficult for people who already have a full-time job and are looking to switch fields, or those with demanding home lives. That’s why QC Event School offer wedding planner classes that you can complete from home – on your schedule.

QC Event School offers a comprehensive wedding planning course that will give you all the skills you need to get started as a planner – all through distance education. When you enroll, you’ll receive your course materials in the mail: course guides, full-color lesson texts, instructional DVDs, business templates, and a bonus book for your library. You’ll work through your hands-on assignments entirely at your own pace. If you only have two evenings a week to dedicate to your coursework, that’s okay! As you complete your assignments, you’ll upload them to an interactive Online Student Center to be reviewed by your personal tutor.

Your tutor is a professional wedding planner, and knows exactly what it takes to plan a successful wedding. She will look at all the work you submit, and provide you with audio feedback letting you know what you’ve done well, what areas you could improve, and what additional resources you might want to explore. Your tutor is there to help you achieve your individual goals, and together, you’ll be that much closer to becoming a wedding planner.

To complement your planning training, you’ll also learn the ins-and-outs of how to start your own business. From choosing a business name to marketing and promotion, you’ll graduate with a thorough knowledge of the industry, and a solid plan to start your own wedding planning business.

To learn more, visit www.qceventplanning.com.

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March 21, 2013 9:35 pm

Fun and Fresh Guest Book Ideas

Here at QC, one of our own is in the midst of feverishly planning her own wedding – so we’ve had weddings on the brain. There are just so many little details that have to be considered, and it’s hard to juggle all that planning while still making the day unique and personal. One of those details is the guest book. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little tired of those old-fashioned, ribbon-bound guest books. Does anyone even look at them after the big day?

That led me on a search for fresh guest book ideas. Here’s what I’ve come up with…

Finger prints! What I love most about this idea is that after the wedding day, you can frame this and showcase it in your home. There’s so much versatility with the fingerprint guest book – different colors and different designs really allow the couple to choose a style that matches their personalities. Also, it doesn’t require guests to think of something inspiring to write to the couple. All they need to offer are their fingers!

Again, a guest book that can actually be used after the event! This porcelain platter comes with a special pen and instructions on how to preserve the signatures for years to come. What a great keepsake for the happy couple.

Photo booths have been really trendy in weddings lately, probably because of their vintage vibe. Although this idea is more along the lines of a traditional guest book, giving your guests the opportunity to add their snapshot is a great way to add a bit of fun to your reception. You can easily rent out photo booths for weddings and other events, and often the rental companies will provide digital copies of all the photos you take – something your guests will surely appreciate afterward.

Do you have some alternative guest book ideas? Let us know in a comment below!

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Determining how to base your fee structure as a wedding planner is one of the hardest things when you’re starting out. It certainly was for me! When I was in school I was taught to base my fees on my clients’ wedding budgets. As a young planner, the industry standard was 10 per cent. That meant if my client’s wedding budget was $50,000, my fees would be $5,000. I thought that was a pretty good, simple deal, until I had an enquiry for a wedding with a $10,000 budget. Did that mean that my fees were to be $1,000?

All of a sudden this percentage-based charging didn’t seem like a great idea anymore. With the number of hours I’d be devoting to their contract I would end up making about $6.00/hr. Very quickly, I realized I would need a minimum charge regardless of the budget just to cover my labor and costs of doing business. The problem was at that time in my business’ young life I didn’t really know the average number of hours I would put towards a contract. So I talked to other planners, got a sense of what they were charging, and tried to guestimate how many hours of work I thought I would have to put in. A minimum fee was established and I set forth to gain my first full planning contract!

Everything moved along as planned and I secured my first “full planning” clients within a matter of three months (yes, it does take that long – sometimes longer!). A contract was drawn up and my fees were based on 10 per cent of their budget, which was $25,000. All was good, that is until we started delving into the planning process, securing vendors, and making decisions. It quickly became apparent that the budget was going to change. Some weeks it was up, others down. Once we got to the week of the wedding, it was time to reconcile my charges with my clients’ final expenditures. I ended up owing them money. However, that wasn’t the thing that bothered me most. It was having to reconcile at all. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have felt uncomfortable having to ask for more money if my clients had gone over budget. Might I have felt a little weird benefiting from their over-spending? My answer to that question was a definitive “yes,” and I quickly threw my budget-based fee structure out the window in favor of flat-fee based quoting.

Now don’t get me wrong, flat-fee based earning is no perfect solution either! How do you know how many hours you’re going to put towards a given contract? Gather as much information as you can about your clients’ wishes before you start working to give you something to go on when trying to estimate a time commitment. But let’s face it, it’s not an exact science, and I do believe we win some and lose some with this type of charge. Despite that, it better reflected my values and required no interim accounting (which I loved). Plus, I thought it was fairer to my clients that they know exactly what their commitment is at the outset. Six years later, I still base my fees in this manner. It works for me and I will never go back to percentage. There are times when I hear of large earnings from colleagues who were involved in top-budget weddings based on percentage-based charges. It makes me wonder, momentarily, if I made the right decision some years ago. It’s just human nature to question things a bit!

So which way is right? The answer is that the right choice is what is right for you. Each business owner has to make the decision based on their own business values, needs, and abilities. But take solace in the fact that nothing that you decide is set in stone and adjustments to your fee structure or pricing can be made down the road should you decide that changes are warranted. So, which method of charge will you use starting out? Here are a few points to consider as you’re weighing the options:

Percentage based fee structure

  1. Rumored to increase your earnings in the long run
  2. Some planners don’t feel this structure is in keeping with their own value set
  3. Some clients balk at this variable structure since they don’t know their exact financial commitment until all the spending is complete
  4. You will not know your exact earnings until the planning process for each contract is complete
  5. A lot of paperwork is involved with this structure
  6. You may want to estimate your fees on the low side so that when you reconcile at the end of the planning process, your clients will owe you, and you don’t have to pay out

Flat fee structure

  1. Rumored to provide you with lower potential earnings when compared to percentage based fees
  2. Easy accounting for you- one quote and you’re done!
  3. You don’t necessarily benefit from being involved in higher-budget weddings with this fee structure (unless you increase your quote based on the wedding budget)
  4. There’s no going back with this type of fee structure. Your quote sticks even if your client increases their budget or accelerates their plans down the road (unless you include some sort of contract clause to cover you in certain instances)
  5. In my experience, some couples have greater sticker shock looking at a dollar figure as opposed to knowing they’ll be charged a given percentage. I think it’s just having that big number placed before their eyes, which is why I like to break the total fee down into monthly payments for them. It’s not so overwhelming that way!

Regardless of your choice, talk to other planners and educate yourself on industry standards and regional norms. That will help you to know what your local market will bear in terms of pricing. Plus, by keeping pricing standards in line with our competition, we encourage couples to choose their planner based on performance, reputation, portfolio and personality, not price. This is important since we are still developing our credibility as an industry, and the more we can do to improve expectations industry-wide, the better it is for everyone concerned, ourselves included!

Best of luck with your decision!  Till next time!

Written by Lynn LeeWedding planner Lynn Lee
www.weddingsunveiled.ca

Lynn Lee has over 10 years experience in the event and wedding planning industry. These days, she’s focusing her attention on her growing wedding planning business, Weddings Unveiled. Her weekly blog posts include business tips, wedding trends, and expert advice.

 

 

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March 14, 2013 9:45 am

Business Growth: Focus on Quality

Business growth…the title alone probably conjures up positive thoughts for many of you. As entrepreneurs, we’re encouraged to seek more, to build, to conquer, and to grow to our full potential. After all, isn’t the goal typically to manage large, big-budget weddings, perhaps several per day? To step into the role of lead planner, overseeing a staff of support personnel who help make it all happen? This what we see when we visit sites like www.sashasouzaevents.com and www.mindyweiss.com. We work hard to gain the kind of reputation where demand for our services forces us to increase our internal staff numbers. I adhered to this thinking when I first started out, thinking bigger was definitely better. But after a couple of years, I realized I needed to go in another direction, one that was a better fit for me, my goals, my values, and my personality.

Several times a week, I am approached by talented women looking for employment, whether on an internship or part-time basis, or as a full-time career move. I always feel bad that I am unable to offer them a position, but I have chosen a different route than seems to be the norm. I do seek growth but of a different kind. Growth for me is achieving a reputation and a brand that enables me to do the type of events that are truest to my nature.

I’m interested in planning better events, not more events. I want to take part in events where I play a pivotal part of the planning process. I want to enjoy a close relationship with my clients and their family, and help them to achieve their goals with ease. I want to create events that mirror both my clients’ and my own values. It’s taken five years of often excruciatingly long hours and a commitment to excellence in all that I do to get where I am today. Now, my brand consistently attracts the exact clientele I want!

There are several reasons why I opted for a different type of growth – growth in quality versus quantity. All of those reasons are unique to me alone and my position in life, and yours will be too. Here is a list of just a few of my reasons, to give you an idea why I made the business decisions I did:

  1. Being closer to retirement than many planners, growth wasn’t necessarily a good fit for me because of the time commitment involved in overseeing multiple events and staff.
  2. I find my connection with my clients the most rewarding part of my career, and to give that experience up to my staff wouldn’t be as satisfying to me.
  3. I am a bit of a type A personality (okay, not just a bit…), and have a hard time giving up control.
  4. I tend to feel most stressed when I feel out of control. Therefore, keeping control of a smaller number of events would improve my quality of life.
  5. Put simply, at the age of 50 my values do not include making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Someone at the beginning stage of their career would probably have different financial goals than I do.
  6. I value being wholly available to my clients, so providing a high level of service to a small number of couples is a better fit for me.

Although the decision not to grow in the usual sense was sometimes a difficult one, I have no doubt that it was the right move. Entering my sixth year, I am enjoying every event with which I am involved and really feel like the business is a true reflection of who I am and what I can offer the industry. You too will develop a business plan that will evolve over time until it becomes exactly what it should be for your own values and personality. I assure you, it will be a wild, rewarding ride getting there.

Best of luck and happy planning!

Written by Lynn Wedding planner Lynn LeeLee
www.weddingsunveiled.ca

Lynn Lee has over 10 years experience in the event and wedding planning industry. These days, she’s focusing her attention on her growing wedding planning business, Weddings Unveiled. Her weekly blog posts include business tips, wedding trends, and expert advice.

 

 

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March 13, 2013 3:46 pm

Featuring Demarra Smith, QC Graduate

graduate feature demarra smithMeet Demarra Smith. Demarra graduated from QC Event School’s International Event and Wedding Planning course nearly a year ago. Shortly after, using her creativity, dedication, and just a pinch of style, Demarra successfully launched her own planning business, Bello Events. After working in the medical field for years it was a major career change, but Demarra now loves what she does each and every day.

We’re so pleased to bring you her story, get her perspective on the event and wedding planning industry, and showcase some stunning photos of her work. Make sure you check our her website, and social media pages!

Company Name: Bello Events
Description: Event planning services
Region: Southwest Michigan, United States

Email: demarra@belloeventsforyou.com
Phone: 1-269-389-0368
Website: www.belloeventsforyou.com
Social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

QC: What motivated you to start your career as a professional event and wedding planner?

Demarra: My motivation came from wanting to do something that I am passionate about. I wanted to get into an industry where I could enjoy working again. Now, I look forward to work!

QC: What are some highlights of your career so far?

Demarra: One of my biggest highlights so far is starting my own business! I also enjoy all of the professional relationships I have made. I have met a very diverse group of professionals from near and far in the event industry, and they have all taught me some valuable knowledge.

QC: How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

Demarra: This course prepared me for working in the field by giving me real life situations for planning a successful event. When I took this course I had to do the research for each assignment within my area. I made phone calls and talked to different vendors, and received quotes for different services. By doing this, it helped me have a better understanding about how to approach different situations for various events.

QC: Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career?

Demarra: My advice is to stay focused, be dedicated, don’t give up, and continue educating yourself after you graduate. QC teaches us very well, but there is still so much to learn afterwards.

Take a look at some photos of Demarra’s work…

graduate feature demarra smith

Photo credit: Brittany Toornman

graduate feature demarra smith

Photo credit: Brittany Toornman

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March 6, 2013 5:04 pm

Creating Memories for Your Clients

As business owners, we are always looking for ways to ensure that we continue to thrive. With the growth in our industry over the past decade, the competition gets fiercer every year, so we are constantly challenged to be creative, to be fresh, and to offer the best service and support we can muster! I think one of the ways that we can do that is to look closely at our clients and suppliers to see beyond their immediate needs. I’m not talking about their wedding planning needs. We’re getting paid to do that, it’s not an option, and we better do it well or we’ll quickly lose the next client to the competition! I’m talking about the extra little things you can do for your clients and vendors, I’m talking about creating memories that make working with you special. That way, when your clients’ friends ask, “Who should I hire as a wedding planner?” your name is unquestionably the one that rolls off their tongues. You’ll be memorable enough that your vendors adore working with you and tell all their own clients and other vendors how wonderful it is!

So, how do we create memories? How do we make these people feel special and appreciated, the way we all want to be made to feel? The answer to these questions is probably going to be different for each of us. After all, it’s what we each bring to the table that makes us unique and valuable as entrepreneurs. I’ve also been generating some ideas as to how I engineer special moments for my own clients and fellow vendors. I’ve always been proud of the relationships I develop with these individuals, but only recently did I really look closely at my own processes, realizing that I too had much room to improve! This is going to be a huge focus for me in this coming year as I take my business into year six, and I have allocated a significant portion of my budget to accommodate. Given my brand, my focus as a planner is as someone who creates meaningful, memorable, personal events. Quite frankly, it’s long overdue!

I’ve been brainstorming ideas and keeping my ears open for suggestions from others. Here is just a sprinkling of some that have already surfaced:

  1. Sending a hand-written thank you card to vendors who went the extra mile for you or your client at an event. Yes, I mean to use the dreaded snail mail!
  2. Make note of client/vendor birthdays when you can and send them birthday cards on their special day. For a real treat, enclose a gift card to be used at their favorite coffee shop or restaurant. Christmas cards, new home cards, congratulations on your promotion cards, all cards are fun to receive!
  3. Next time you have a meeting with a client or vendor over coffee or tea, take note of their preferences and order takeout next time you’re on the way to a meeting with them, with their drink in hand. What a great start to a morning meeting!
  4. If someone has something special coming up in their lives (ex: vacation, special celebration, bachelor party), make a note of it in your calendar and when the date rolls around, follow up a couple days later to share in their excitement.
  5. Surprise your client with a thoughtful touch at their event. Maybe they expressed loving a certain thing that you could integrate into their day? Or maybe they really wanted something but the budget just couldn’t handle it? They’ll be totally surprised when they arrive to find out that you secured it for them on your own dime.
  6. Next meeting, bring a little sweet treat to nibble on. French macaroon, brownie, favorite yummy. Maybe even in their event theme colors!

I have no doubt that you will have some amazing ideas of your own. There are countless opportunities to be thoughtful and it really just boils down to being attentive. With smartphones and tablets, it’s so easy for us to jot a quick note to ourselves next time we have an opportunity and refer to our notes next time we can use them. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, but the way we make people feel is priceless. And that is good for our souls and good for business!

Enjoy creating those memories. Till next time!

 

Written by LyWedding planner Lynn Leenn Lee
www.weddingsunveiled.ca

Lynn Lee has over 10 years experience in the event and wedding planning industry. These days, she’s focusing her attention on her growing wedding planning business, Weddings Unveiled. Her weekly blog posts include business tips, wedding trends, and expert advice.


March 4, 2013 4:18 pm

Ask the Expert: Wedluxe Magazine

Many wedding planners, myself included, look forward to the bi-annual editions of Wedluxe magazine. The magazine originates in Canada so its content is highly meaningful to this Canadian, and it often highlights the work of other colleagues whom we have gotten to know over the years. However, you can find similar magazines from all over the world! The buzz surrounding the current issue is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Always stunning, this one is beyond that and truly showcases some of Canada’s best talent. I was floored and humbled as I turned the pages for the first time!

Now as you know, print media has had its tough times over the past few years, as demand for online content continues to grow. But Angela Desveaux, founder of Wedluxe, seems to have found the perfect niche in Canada by setting the bar high and choosing its content, vendors, and style very carefully. This allows them to preserve their luxe branding. Additionally, Wedluxe has an online presence in its website and blog. This helps to generate excitement around their brand and magazine so that their print sales continue to climb!

Like so many other wedding blogs, Wedluxe considers both real wedding and styled shoot submissions for its content. Styled shoots, for those of you who are not familiar with the term, and “mini wedding mock-ups” that allow professionals to highlight their talents. With our preferred team assembled, we are given an opportunity to dream big, to design without restrictions (well not as many anyway), and to showcase our individual styles. Ideas can stem from a particular colour palette, time of year, texture, shape, just about anything! The shoot itself, is usually completed in one day. Images captured include details of many of the most common wedding elements such as bridal styling, stationary, cake, tablescapes, and flowers (just to name a few).

Many wedding planners and photographers aspire to have their work accepted on the Wedluxe blog, but the real pinnacle is to see it on the pages of their magazine. One of the things that Wedluxe does every year (twice actually) is to open up an opportunity for its preferred vendors (or glitterati as we are termed) to submit a styled shoot for publication consideration. Each edition has a theme assigned to it and this current edition finds inspiration in the big screen and Hollywood glam. Using this theme, glitterati members have assembled and designed weddings that are simply unbelievable. As I flip the pages, I am still stunned by the incredible attention to detail found in every element of the shoots. Here are just a couple of examples of the work you’ll see:

  1. The Great Gatsby inspired shoot that features a giant floral peacock sculpture
  2. The Wizard of Oz’s wrought iron gate studded with a stunning multiple cake cascade and floral OZ monogram
  3. Let Them Eat Cake gold-gilded dessert table
  4. Shakespeare In Love’s deep crimson floral works that are beyond words

The winter/spring issue of Wedluxe, or any issue for that matter, really is worth the purchase if you work within the industry or are preparing to do so. After reading it, I walked away with two prominent feelings: the first was one of pride that the wedding industry continues to showcase the value that we provide to all of our clients through our hard work and creative talents. The second was one of awe and admiration knowing that I have much to learn from these masters. It’s really worth a look, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Written by LynnWedding planner Lynn Lee Lee
www.weddingsunveiled.ca

Lynn Lee has over 10 years experience in the event and wedding planning industry. These days, she’s focusing her attention on her growing wedding planning business, Weddings Unveiled. Her weekly blog posts include business tips, wedding trends, and expert advice.

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March 1, 2013 3:43 pm

Bridal Shows

I’d like to talk about bridal shows today, since this is prime time for shows! In my own local market, we host several wedding shows, both big and small. The biggest one, and the one that appeals to the higher budget wedding, just recently took place. The show included booths exhibiting the work of 11 wedding planners, one of which was hosted by Kennedy Events. I wanted to highlight Shannon Kennedy’s booth for you today, since I think it’s a great example of what to do when you’re investing in wedding shows as part of your marketing plan.

In my opinion, Kennedy Event’s booth demonstrated six major considerations when designing a bridal show booth: current market trends, layout, show clientele, branding, consistency, and details. Let’s look at each!

Current market trends

Shannon’s booth both exhibits her knowledge of the upcoming trends as well as appeals to brides looking to feature some of them at their own wedding. This year, we’re seeing softer colors, elegant, luxurious weddings, gold metallics, and a bit of bling, and Shannon’s booth highlights all of these elements. By including these in her booth display, Shannon demonstrates to potential clients that she can represent them well in today’s ever-changing market.

Layout

Kennedy’s booth is laid out to welcome visitor traffic with two points of entry. There is ample space around the tablescape to encourage interaction with Shannon and her team. Visitors can also make their way around all the displays so they can see all the wonderful touches that have been included. The booth is uncluttered with just the right amount of details so there is no sensory overload, and just enough pretty to make us all take notice.

Appeal

This particular bridal show appealed to a higher-end, urban clientele. Kennedy Event’s booth is positioned very well for this. It might not have worked nearly as effectively if it had been part of a DIY or rural show appealing to a smaller wedding budget or crafty bride.

Branding

When designing her booth, Shannon clearly focused not only on the above considerations, but also on remaining consistent with her brand. I hope I speak for Shannon in describing her sensibility as contemporary, romantic, lush, feminine, pretty, shimmery, and organized to a “T.” I could have walked up to this booth, without any signage, and known just whose booth it was. This is exactly what Shannon would have wanted since her branding distinguishes her from other planners exhibiting in the show and appeals to the best client for her!

Consistency

This is a bit of a continuum of the above point. There is consistency within Kennedy’s booth that makes it present so effectively. Her color palette is consistent throughout, as is her style. There is enough variation to make it interesting but enough consistency to present a united display that pleases the eye. She is also very careful to use certain elements throughout like the gold shimmer on the stationary, candle holders, and individual cakes, just to name a few!

Details

And lastly, the details. Shannon excelled here with lots of little touches that excite the senses! Crystal charger, stationery elements, stunning chair garlands, and fabric choices. Kennedy demonstrates to potential clients the ability to attend to the important detailed elements that will create a stunning wedding and one that is unique to each couple. And isn’t that exactly what they all want?

Choosing to exhibit in bridal shows is more than just renting a booth and having some promo materials printed up. For a wedding planner, it is an opportunity to showcase what we uniquely offer our clients. Kennedy Event’s booth is a fine example of what we can all do with an exceptional design, superior planning and execution.

My thanks to Shannon Kennedy and Melanie Rebane for allowing me to share these images with you today!

Till next time, happy planning!

 

Written by LynWedding planner Lynn Leen Lee
www.weddingsunveiled.com

Lynn has over 10 years experience in the event and wedding planning industry. These days, she’s focusing her attention on her growing wedding planning business, Weddings Unveiled. Her weekly blog posts include business tips, wedding trends, and expert advice.

 

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February 28, 2013 3:55 pm

Winter Wedding Ideas For Your Client

A winter wedding can be so romantic and beautiful, but also very tricky. Especially in the month of December. After all, your client’s December wedding is in competition with the fabulous holiday parties that seem to take place nearly every weekend of the month. With all of these festivities, how do you make your event stand out? Read on for some winter wedding ideas.

Do you have some great winter wedding ideas of your own? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Don’t overdo it

It’s always tempting to go overboard at this time of year with the holiday theme. Reds and greens, holly and poinsettias are certainly beautiful, but are a bit overdone during December. What’s more, they might make your event seem more like a shopping mall than a classy affair. Instead, choose a more unique winter palette, like silver and blue, or plum and white.

Cover up!

Wedding dresses are not always weather-friendly. Strapless, backless, and sleeveless garments are stunning, but not always appropriate for the cold. After all, goose bumps don’t make very nice accessories. Thankfully, sleeved wedding dresses have been making a big comeback, so it’s now a lot easier (and trendier) for brides to cover up. If your bride still wants to go sleeveless, a classic faux-fur stole or cape is the perfect way to keep warm during chilly outdoor photo sessions.

Light up the night

At a time of year when fresh flowers are scarce (and expensive!), a creative planner can come up with some creative decor. Nothing says warmth and romance better than candles, so don’t be afraid to put them everywhere! In lieu of flowers, winter arrangements made from branches, evergreen, and pinecones really capture the simplicity of the season, while still keeping the budget low.

Comfort food

Root vegetables are all the rage in the winter months. Delicious, hearty, and comforting, they make the perfect soup or side vegetable for your guests. What better way to warm up? When it comes to winter treats, s’mores have been growing in popularity at weddings this season, so why not enjoy this fun and yummy trend as well?

On the beverage side, this time of year really lets you offer some interesting drink options. Mulled wines and ciders are always a hit. And don’t be afraid to go on the sweet side with hot chocolate and egg nog. Come to think of it, the best part of winter weddings may just be the food!

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