Tuesday, August 27, 2013

RSVP Etiquette

RSVP Etiquette
Warning: Pet peeve soliloquy to follow.
As a wedding and event planner, I have learned that so many people do not respond to the RSVP’s on their invitations. Whether and invitations says, “RSVP” or “Regrets Only” doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t respond entirely.
Being in this industry, I have learned to work on a certain percentage based off of the total number of people on the guest list. However, there are so many people who host events that don’t utilize a planner and those poor hosts always have a difficult time in knowing how to prepare for their occasion. They might buy too much extra food and drinks or they might buy too little based on the response they had on their invitations.

RSVP Defined

RSVP is an abbreviation of the French phrase "Répondez s'il vous plaît." Translated it simply means "reply, if you please". To make it even more simple; it means, RESPOND. Period.
When you see RSVP on a party invitation, It does not mean:

1.     Reply if you want to

2.     Reply if you feel like it

3.     Reply when you get around to it

4.     Refreshments Served Very Promptly

5.     I'm waiting to see if something better comes up for that date and time

6.     Throw the invitation in a pile and forget about it.

7.     Respond only if you're not coming

8.     Respond the day of the party

9.     Respond and then fail to show up

10.   "Maybe" is not an acceptable reply

11.   I'm family so of course I'm coming, why should I call?

12.   And it most certainly does not mean show up with extra guests

Weddings and all other parties and events are very costly. Be considerate of your host and remember that they want you to have a great time.  

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pink Flowers in September...How do you find out if they are in season?

I posted the fun DIY lime floral centerpiece tutorial, but now I have to figure out what flowers will be in season in September.
Instead of getting on the phone with my florist and them telling me what flowers will be in season and me not having one clue what the flowers look like or how to spell them; I went to my age old favorite website: Sierre Flower Finder.  This website has a very easy search bar to the top right hand side of the page. All I did was search for "pink flowers in September."

I love these ideas:

Pink Hydrangeas
Pink Snapdragons
Pink Ranunculus
Pink Lisianthus

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DIY Floral Lime Centerpiece Tutorial

I just LOVE the look of limes and lemons in a flower arrangement! I love the clean, preppy look it gives off! I am busy working on a first birthday party for a client and she really loves the limes with pink flowers. I thought that I'd find some fun pictures of inspiration to share with all of you!

I also found a very easy DIY tutorial that I'll be using myself to practice with before the actual event date. Check it out: DIY Floral Lime Centerpiece.


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Friday, August 16, 2013

Fun Friday!

Can I just say that I LOVE this Fun Friday tutorial?

How awesome are these super cute little mirror boxes?! I mean, you can use them for anything! They would look gorgeous with some flowers in them! You would probably need to put some sort of water proof container inside the box or glue your mirrors around a water proof container. You can use them as decorative pieces around your house and fill them with all kinds of fancy things!

For a complete tutorial on how to make your own (ssshhhhh) Dollar Store mirrored vases, click here.

Leave a comment to let me know what you will be doing with yours!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wedding and Event Planning FAQ's.... Part 3

So we have talked about, "Do you need a Wedding and Event Planner," and "What do Wedding Planners Cost?"

When thinking about retaining a wedding and event planner, make sure that you ask your wedding planner if they do the following:

The Duties of Wedding Planners

Typically, wedding planners start off by meeting with the couple to:
  • understand the events – not just the wedding day itself, but also the rehearsal dinner, bridesmaid teas, day after brunches, and any other related events.
  • review the overall budget
  • understand the style, colors, vibe, and taste of the couple
  • discuss progress to date
They'll then propose how they might be helpful and present the couple with a contract for the wedding planners' services. Probably they will be a combination of some of the below, depending on your needs and budget:

Organizational Queens
Even if you're newly engaged, you're probably realizing that this process includes many, many details that require you to be organized, stick to a budget, and stay on schedule. So even if you are a well organized person, you'll want to make sure that your wedding planners are not only on top of things, but that they'll help you stay on top of things.
Your planner will:
  • create and review vendor contracts
  • organize your wedding day timeline
  • coordinate vendor arrivals and deliveries with your venues
  • prevent expensive mistakes such as rush shipping charges or unnecessary changes
  • remind you of obligations, appointments, and budget constraints
Style Mavens
For those of you who are looking at bridal magazines, but worry you don't have the aesthetic eye to pull it off, look for wedding planners who are designers.
They can:
  • give you ideas, and tell you about current trends
  • help pull together any disjointed elements, and create a unified "look"
  • see and add details you might have missed
  • coordinate the florist, caterer, printers, invitation companies, graphic designers and any other aesthetic vendors
  • help you choose bridesmaid dresses and other wedding party attire, your bridal gown and/or groom's wear
  • find coordinating and stylish favors
  • design your tables, lighting and other visual details.
Peace Makers
If you're constantly arguing with your parents, or with each other, wedding planners can use their negotiating skills to create peace. Whether it's talking to the mother-of-the-groom about the blood red dress she wants to wear, or helping to mediate budget disagreements, and saving you from etiquette snafus, wedding planners can be invaluable.

Vendor Resources
Experienced wedding planners have a Rolodex of contacts in the biz, so they may be able to find you that reception venue with the perfect view, or the one caterer who will work with small budgets. They may also be able to pull in favors to get discounts or freebies.

Day-of-Wedding Coordinators
On your wedding day, you're going to be pulled in a million directions. Old friends will want to say hello, you'll want to relax and get ready, and people will be asking you far too many questions. And that's just before the ceremony starts.
Wedding planners can help you avoid the chaos by:
  • meeting vendors and deliveries, and handling any no-shows
  • solving other last-minute emergencies
  • running the rehearsal
  • setting up the ceremony and reception spaces
  • making sure that the wedding party is on time and in the right places
  • coordinating the reception timeline
  • dealing with wedding crashers and unruly guests
  • ensuring that the space is left clean and that you'll get your deposits back
  • collecting personal items wedding gifts and making sure they get back to you safely.
  • returning rentals and borrowed items.
Most wedding planners will handle these tasks, but it is possible to hire people just for these tasks. Though they're called "day-of" coordinators, you should meet with them at least a month in advance, and they should start confirming with vendors at least a few days before the event.

Full-scale wedding planners for big budget brides
    These are the wedding planners that you see on TV. They do everything -- creating a lavish event to impress and handling all the details while the happy couple just gets to enjoy the whole event.

    Things to Watch Out for With Wedding Planners

    • First and foremost, you need wedding planners who are easy to contact and responsive to your needs. If they don't return your calls promptly or don't seem organized, look elsewhere.
    • Beware of wedding planners who are getting kickbacks for recommending certain vendors – make sure you are hearing about vendors who are right for you, and not just those who have a hand in the wedding planners' pockets.
    • Make sure that you like their taste and style – you want your big day to look like you, not like your wedding planners.
    • Like any vendor, you'll want to have a clear contract with your wedding planners that spells out their duties, costs and expenses, and deposits and payment schedules. Make sure there are clauses that spell out how increased duties and costs will be negotiated, and what happens if they fail to meet obligations or you want to cancel the contract.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wedding and Event Planning FAQ's.... Part 2

The age old question of "how much do you charge?" is finally answered. People ask me all the time, "why don't you put your prices on your website?" It's because every event is different. Each client's needs are different.
However, this little FAQ gives you a general guideline on what to expect from your wedding and event planner for Day of Wedding Coordination and Full Service Wedding Coordination.

Wedding planners can be invaluable vendors for the busy bride and groom, but many worry that they are expensive and unaffordable. The truth is that the cost of wedding planners vary widely, and most couples can afford to hire someone to help them with at least a portion of their big event.
  • Full-scale Wedding Planners handle things from beginning to end, designing the look and feel, keep things organized, find and manage vendors, and coordinate everything on the actual day. They might attend meetings without you, make decisions on your behalf, and find many ways to make things easier for you. They charge between 10% and 20% of your total budget, depending on their experience and the size and scope of your event.
  • Day-Of Wedding Planners make sure your wedding day goes smoothly, create timelines, confirm vendors, and coordinate all details on the actual day. They typically charge a flat fee between $500 and $2000, depending on their experience, the size and scope of your event, and the prevailing costs in your local area.
  • Coordinators and Consultants Most couples are looking for wedding planners that do more than a day-of-coordinator but don't cost as much as the full-service couture event designers. The wedding planners that most hire will help you get organized, create budgets, schedules and timelines, give advice, and help avoid pitfalls. But make no mistake - you'll still be responsible for a fair amount of the work. You'll make phone calls and send emails, find vendors, attend meetings – sometimes on your own, and make hard decisions. These wedding planners typically charge between 5% and 15% of your total wedding budget.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wedding and Event Planning FAQ's... Part 1

We had such a great time in North Carolina, that I'm having a hard time getting back into the swing of things here at home!

Although I wish I could stay away in vacation land forever, I have SO many fun and exciting projects waiting for me!

I'm going to be doing a little series over the next week to answer some wedding and event planning questions.

I'm going to start out with a question and answer sheet:


Many couples or hosts never even consider hiring a wedding and event planner, not realizing that having outside help can save you time, aggravation, and even money. Here's an easy checklist to find out if you need a planner:

__ You're way behind on your checklist and schedule.
__ You both work full-time jobs that will prevent you from meeting with vendors on 

__ You don't have other outside help such as an involved mother-of-the-bride, helpful

      bridesmaids, or knowledgeable friends.
__ You don't know many people who can give you reliable vendor recommendations.
__ You are having a destination wedding.
__ There are personality conflicts between the couple, their parents, and/or other people
__ You're excited to be married, but just thinking about wedding planning fills you with

__ You're having a very short engagement.
__ You can envision your wedding, you have no idea how to make your dreams come true.
__ You can't even envision your wedding.
__ You're feeling overwhelmed and stressed
__ Even after you've read the *ahem* excellent advice from all your wedding planning  

       books, you still wish that you had someone to give you advice and leadership.
__ You are not sure about the timing and scheduling of when to send out your save the  
       dates and wedding invitations.
__ You are not sure of how to correctly address wedding invitations, bridal shower
       iinvitations, thank you cards, etc.
__ You don't know who will be the person responsible for making sure that all your rental
       items, cake, favors, linens, flowers and the works will be set up and ready for your   
       wedding or event.

If you've checked off one or more of the above options, you should at least investigate hiring a wedding and event planner. If you're looking to save money
, this may be an expense that you can avoid. But keep in mind that because of inside connections and experience that allows them to avoid common mistake, hiring a wedding and event planner might be the most cost-effective move in the end.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Hydrangea Inspiration.....Part 4

Wouldn't this magnificent arrangement make a statement at your next wedding or event?

It will leave people breathless!

This piece would a stunning addition to your wedding ceremony. How about one on each side of the isle?

You could also use this in the center of your food table at your rehearsal dinner, birthday party or anything of that nature. For a better ratio of table size to flower arrangement, place 4 six foot tables in a square shape with your arrangement in the middle. This will give you plenty of room for your guests to dish up comfortably and for them to be able to enjoy the flowers.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Fun Friday!

We are celebrating one of the last few Friday's before school starts again. Although our girls are not in school yet, my youngest sister will be a senior in high school this year! *sniffles*

What about celebrating with your kids? I am loving this low budget back to school DIY project from Spaceships and Lazar Beams.  Keeping the decor cost low, invite over a few friends and make some apple shaped sandwiches for lunch with a cookie cutter.

What you will need:
* Paper plates
* Green felt
* Hot glue gun
* Really awesome kids with some really awesome friends

* Play around with your apple leaf shapes by trying them out on some paper or card stock first. Trying to figure out the size and shape might take some practice. Once you have something that you like, trace your apple leave stencil on your felt. Using a thin tip marker will show up best.
* Cut out your leaves and double them up with a hot glue gun so that they are nice and stiff.
* Glue your finished product onto your paper plates and viola!

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hydrangea Inspiration...Part 3

We have all seen the peacock thing... But, peacock feathers usually tent to give off a very modern feel. I just fell in love with the subtle nature of the peacock feather with the blue hydrangeas in this centerpiece. It gives the whole tablescape and decor a more relaxed, yet elegant feeling.

Hope that you enjoy this centerpiece as much as I do!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hydrangea Inspiration.....Part 2

Many people are afraid of using only one color to decorate with. If your color is used correctly and you incorporate textures and patterns, one color can be very striking.
When you look at this tablescape, it shows you how to use the same color, in different patterns and textures to help break up the monotony of the blue.

I am in love with this tablescape! This would be perfect for Easter, a Bridesmaids luncheon, a bridal shower or even a baby boy shower.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hydrangea Inspiration... Part 1

I was so inspired by the gorgeous blue hydrangea's that grow so beautifully in everyones gardens in North Carolina. If they weren't so sensitive to our Florida heat, I would have a whole hydrangea collection in my back yard! 

I love this beautiful, yet simplistic nautical feel that this arrangement gives off. It's so elegant and understated but makes a statement itself.

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

DIY Chalk Board!

I was privileged to do my 3rd consecutive photo shoot for the Family Times Magazine. Click here for images from the photo shoot!

I am even more excited that some of my DIY projects were featured in the photo shoot!

I bought this really scary old man from Goodwill.... for $10.

I bought some white, semi gloss spray paint from a local craft store and used my 40% off coupon for a bigger discount.

At home, I wiped the dust off of the old frame with a damp cloth and also wiped the surface of the frame. I waited for it to dry before I sealed off the entire old man with none other than Press and Seal saran wrap!

I worked in a well ventilated area and began to spray paint the white paint all around the frame. The press and seal protected the surface of the frame so that my chalk board paint would go on smoothly and evenly.

I left the spray paint to dry and repeated several coats until I was happy with the overall look of the frame.

I made sure everything was dry before I took off the Press and Seal.

I followed the directions on the chalk board paint and began to paint over my scary old man! I also added a few extra coats just in case after the first coat was dry.

Hope that you love this cheap, easy and fun DIY project as much as I did!

I just love how this frame was transformed!
You can use your chalk board as a menu display, decor display, message board, decorative grocery list, in your office or wherever your heart so pleases!

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Family Times Magazine: LOCO for TACO's!

Once again, I was privileged to do another tablescape setup for the Family Times Magazine! The amazing editor, Rose, was thinking something along the lines of "taco time" but didn't want to have the traditional Mexican color palette.

Without using traditional Mexican colors, I still wanted to compliment the tacos. I thought that bringing in some edgy black and white stripes and accenting the table with bold yellow's would do the trick!

Fresh pineapples added a bold, modern, yet comfortable feeling to the table and complimented the taco theme perfectly.

I added some fun yellow flowers.... Billy Balls, Spider Mums and Snapdragons.

I also created the super amazing and easy white chalk board frame! For a complete tutorial, click here.

I asked one of our local restaurants to donate some of their highly sought after fish taco's for the shoot and was able to steal the recipe as well! THANK YOU Rondo Fernandez and the Mojo Grill and Catering Co for your generous contribution and the famous recipe!

Remember to grab your very own copy of the Family Times Magazine at your local Publix or Sweetbay Supermarkets today!

Thanks to Wayne and Lucy Smith from Foxtale Photography for shooting the tablescape.

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