The Planner's Corner
“I had a
wonderful honeymoon and now we are back and I do not know where to begin. My life feels different from before when we
were living together. We are now married
and I am so happy but at the same time confused as to where to start this new
chapter in my life,” one bride admits.
When I got
married in 2005, I did not know exactly where to begin either. I understood this statement all too
well. But never fear, help is here! We did not take a formal honeymoon until four
months after our wedding. So right after
my wedding (and nights after that), I had to the bedroom all nicely done with
candles, roses, champagne and a sweet fragrance that filled the room (my best
friend Angel did it for me while we were out of the house). I actually got married at home in front of
the fire place and had the reception at home as well. It was intimate, beautiful with our closest
family and friends.
after our romantic night, the next day I made breakfast, and prepared to get my
name changed. I had listed out all the items that I need to get changed to my
new last name (i.e., driver’s license, passport, social security card, bank
cards and account, checks, credit cards, employment, school, loans, etc.) But I had to wait for my marriage license
which I did not get back for about a month or so. I did not have a wedding gown to preserve so I
did not have to worry about that. But
for the majority of brides, they will want to get that done within 6
months. If you can get it cleaned before
then, by all means get it done.
writing out my list of things to get changed, I started out working on my thank
you cards. This was important to me as I
wanted everyone to know how much we appreciated them for witnessing our blessed
union. Since my guest list was a short one,
I created my own thank you cards and hand wrote a special note to each guest. I
did a few each night.
thing I worked on was to discuss how we were going to handle our taxes. So I contacted a friend of mine who was an
accountant and she gave us excellent advice on how we should file our taxes. So make sure you do this ASAP!, as well as,
changing the beneficiary on your insurance policies, proxy/power of attorney (in
the event you are ill) and the Will.
Something to consider.
thing you may want to do, and I hope you have already had this discussion, but
determine how you will handle your finances.
Are you going to share accounts or keep separate accounts and add one
for household expenses? “I” choose to keep it separate and start a new
one for expenses. My husband was bad at
balancing a checkbook and paying bills on time.
Later on in
week one of my wedding, I began to look through all the gifts that we
received. Thank GOD the majority of them
were checks so there was not much I had to take back to the store to
exchange. Because I registered at different locations,
it was easy for me to return them without a gift receipt and I was able to
exchange them for something else. But before
you do this, I would advise you to check the store policy on this as things
have changed over the years.
policies, make sure you know what your photographer’s policy is on your photo
album. Make sure they tell you (in
writing) when they will return you your final set of photos and/or video. I know of a couple who did not get there
photos back until a year and a half later and then the photographer lost some
of them. This is why I only use the
best, professional photographers in the business.
recap what we just discussed here:
- Keep the magic going in the bedroom
- Preserve and Store Your Wedding Gown
- Make sure to change your name if you decide to take his (or vice versa –
YES, I have seen this happen)
- Contact your accountant or tax professional to see how you should file
- Remember to send out those PERSONALIZED thank you cards
- If you have returns – check the store policy if you did not receive the
- Determine if you will have joint accounts or separate accounts
- Make sure you get your photos back in a decent amount of time
- Make sure you update your policies and Will
For more information on planning your marriage, visit www.DivaBridalSquad.com or contact us at info@ABEventPlanners.com
"...And I Now Pronounce You.."
You have waited forever to hear those words and now the time has come to say "I Do". But where do you go to get the services you need for your special day? Just because the state, and federal government may acknowledge your union, does not mean everyone will accept it. Why should you have to come out to every vendor just to get them to service you. You are human and that's all that should matter!
With that being said, I have comprised a few things to keep in mind when searching for the right vendors.
- First and foremost, stay true to yourself! If you are an exciting person, fun to be around, then your wedding should reflect that. If you love drag queens, then by all means you should have one or two at your reception as part of the entertainment.
- When you pick a planner make sure you are comfortable with them - someone you feel you can trust.
- Know that its ok to break "tradition" or not to include everything tradition. If you both want to walk down the aisle then do so. If you want your bridal party or hostess to wear different dresses then so be it. If you have a man of honor who cares?! Its your day and that's all that matters!
- Make sure that a one stop shop consists of you leaving with one contract with ALL of the wedding services you require (i.e., DJ, Baker, Caterer, Decor, etc.). Most places that claim to be a one stop shop will have several contracts for you to sign because there will be many vendors that are represented under one roof. You want to get the best deal possible.
- You do not have to invite people who do not support your wedding. Nevertheless, with family pressure you may have to give in and invite them. But guess what? they may not show up anyway.
For more tips on same-sex marriages or if you need planning services, go to www.ABEventPlanners.com or email us at info@ABEventPlanners.com. We are gay-friendly planners!
This is a reprint from Debbie Orwat of Every Last Detail. Below are accurate things that we as planners do not share with our client.
These are just a few
of the details that
wedding planners would love to tell you but usually keep to themselves. Many of us live and breathe
our jobs and only want the best for our couples and their families. We love
what we do and truly care about our clients.
How emotionally involved we get in the wedding planning, design
and coordination process.
We pour so much of
our hearts and souls into every single event. We do get emotionally attached to
some of our clients and families which makes us do a fantastic job because we
truly care. You just can’t put a price tag on that.
2. How much of our income goes
to taxes and business expenses before we pay ourselves.
Many of our clients
work in professional careers but do not own their own business. Understanding
that your wedding professionals only make 50-60% of what you pay us (after
taxes and business expenses) may help brides and grooms understand why we
charge what we do.
3. We cannot remember every
single detail of your wedding every single minute of the day during the
Wedding planners may
have 10-20 weddings that they are planning at one time, each with hundreds of
details. That’s why we write everything down. It is also why we like to
schedule meetings and phone calls in advance so we can refresh our memories
4. While we put everything we
have into making sure our client’s wedding day is the best it can be, we have
families and other obligations as well.
Many wedding planners
set up office hours to deter brides and their families from calling their cell
phone at all hours of the day and night. Planners often schedule certain weekends
and evenings off and can’t always be available at the last minute. Many clients
understand and respect this but we have a few who consistently think we should
be available 24/7.
5. If you hire your wedding
planner after the planning process has begun, she or he needs to know every
As soon as you hire
your planner, the planner needs to know about all contracts already in place,
vendor contact information and any problems you have come across with the
venue, vendors or family during the planning process. For wedding coordinators
to successfully pull off a wedding, we need to know details like the fact
that the groom’s parents are divorced, and if you sit them close to each other,
they will fight. Or that you are having a problem getting in touch with a
particular vendor. Many brides, grooms and their families don’t fully
understand that the wedding coordinator needs to know every single thing
related to the wedding. Even if it’s not something that you think is a big
deal, it’s better to err on the side of giving too much information.
6. We only have so much time
and energy to get things done on the wedding day.
If our client has a
two car loads of wedding details, favors and stationery to set up on the
wedding day, we may need multiple assistants to get it all done in time. This
is especially important to remember when there is a limited amount of time for
setup at the venue. We may need to add on staff (and charge additional
fees) to accommodate last minute requests as well. Even though we try to
be superhuman, we can only physically accomplish a certain amount of work in a
7. We are an advocate for the
bride and groom.
We are there to
create your vision and make your day exactly what you have been dreaming about.
We are also a buffer between you and all the details, vendors, mishaps and
family members that would prevent both of you from completely enjoying and
living in the beautiful moment of your wedding day.
only day we can guarantee to be 100% yours is your wedding day as we can’t
ignore our other brides for days. Also, don’t assume we are available the day
after your wedding (i.e., returning lost and found). After working 12-16 hours
on a wedding day we need a day to recover, especially during peak season when we
are at weddings every single weekend.
Before saying "I Do", there are a few things you need to know before you walk down the aisle. I know its exciting that the person you are with completes you. They are your everything right? Well, let's step back for a moment and explore what you know what it takes to be married.
First, you must understand that living together and being married are two different things altogether. When living together there's no "contractual obligation". Did I just say "contractual obligation"? Yes, that's right! Meaning when you live together you have nothing to lose, your not obligated to the other person contractually - so if you stray outside the relationship, all the other person has to do is move out -without financial or legal obligations.
However, when you are married, you enter into a legal agreement. As soon as you say "I Do" you are in a binding contract to each other. You can't just walk out and run to your single friends to get their advice when you have an argument with your partner (which you do not do once you get married anyway). You are in it 'til death do you part.
Now, lets explore some of the things you need to know before you get married.
- Follow your gut instincts. Your gut never lie. If you feel something is not right investigate it.
- Make sure you know each other and understand that you will not be change the other.
- Talk about your expectations going to the marriage and talk about what it means to be married.
- Know what each other will contribute to the marriage when making a major purchase. Place it in a separate account.
- When you say I Do, know that you are saying I Do to his family as well. Do you get along, what role will they play in your marriage?
- Understand what your limits are regarding your partner. How much would you be willing to do for them?
- Know where each other stand credit wise. Order your credit report and analyze the report to determine what needs to be taken care of first to boost your rating.
Its important that you go into your marriage knowledgeable. This is only touching the surface of what you need to know before you say "I Do". For more information on this topic, visit www.DivaBridalSquad.com and register for the next bridal seminar today. You cannot afford not to. Your marriage depends on it.
Below are some helpful tips to get you through the planning process. For more tips and information about wedding preparation, visit www.DivaBridalSquad.com.
Tip #1: Go Prepared Before You
Know what your budget is for each item you need to purchase for your
wedding so that you do not over spend. (A
good wedding planner can help you with creating a realistic budget). Only try on dresses within your budget. Also,
when shopping for your dress DO NOT invite “cast members”. Only take one or two people at the very most to
go with you. The opinions of others with
drive you insane. Last important fact,
make sure you know the style of your venue so that you will pick the best dress
that will fit the style of the venue.
Tip #2: Twas’
the night before my wedding
One of the most
common mistakes brides make is to party the night before their wedding. This is a complete NO NO! This night is for you to rest, reflect, and get
refresh got it! No dancing, no experimenting
with unfamiliar foods, no suntan, and no hair weaves. Get
it, got it, good night!
#3 It's Time to RELAX!
spent at least 120 hours or more planning your wedding so that it will be
perfect right? So now its time to take a break, trust what you have
planned all these months and let other people (hopefully you would have
hired a Day of Wedding Coordinator) sweat over the details. Sit back and
wait until its your turn to step up to the door.
#4 Get It In Writing
sure you get it in writing! Avoid costly wedding mistakes when dealing
with your budget and get all provisions in writing! Go over all verbal
agreements and make sure its documented and signed by vendor. This will hold everyone accountable in the
As stated in my last blog, everyone focus' on the wedding day. Every moment is spent on the big day and making sure everything is perfect. But what preparation have you planned for the marriage? I bet the answer is NONE. You never even thought about it, right? Its perfectly normal. No one thinks about what will happen after the wedding ceremony and honeymoon. A new life will begin and things will never, ever be the same and if they are, then something is wrong.
In preparation for your marriage, understand that it is important that you start off going into the marriage on the same page. Talk over how you are going to handle finances, chores, errands, children, choosing a religion, etc. Here are a few more tips that you should focus on:
How will you decide how to resolve a disagreement. Let's face it, its going to happen you cannot avoid it. But determining how you will handle it makes all the difference in a happy ending. Decide in the beginning that when you disagree to do so without arguing. Create a plan on how you will resolve the issue(s).
Listen, Listen, Listen
Its just as important to communicate as it is to listen. Listen emphatically and see things from their point a view - through their eyes. Share your perspectives and get it resolved so the makeup can begin.
Its imperative that you focus on spending your time and energy on solving the problem and not focus on who's right or wrong. No one likes a loser, so do not focus on that. Focus on resolution!
Saying I am sorry or I apologize is a sure sign of maturity! Its also imperative that you be able to say, "Baby, I apologize for.....". Once you decide to be the one to end it, and the other person forgives, then you are on your way to a happy and loving marriage.
Make your check list and determine the items you need to discuss before you get married! For more tips, go to www.DivaBridalSquad.com! Cheers to a happy and loving marriage!
It's amazing how people
always plan for the wedding and do not give a thought about the marriage.
You may ask yourself, “What about the marriage that I need to know?”
“We will figure it out as we go along.” “How hard can it be from what we
are already doing?” “I don't want to think about that now; I have a
wedding to plan!” Seriously!? This is the most important aspect
about getting married.
Statistics have shown that more people are getting divorced each
year. Why is that? Lack of proper planning for the marriage,
(amongst other things for sure). Let's explore this a little further.
You see, if people began to put in as much time planning their marriage
as they do for their wedding, I bet there would be a lot less divorces.
Everything needs a plan and/or vision goals to strive for; (planning
for a family, planning a trip, planning for retirement, planning to purchasing
a house, car, boat, planning for burial, etc.). I know it’s hard to think
about dying/burial expenses when you have not even walked down the aisle....but
guess what? It's a reality that will come one day. It's all a part
of planning for the marriage. You need a plan of action to
accomplish that what you have set out for and for what’s to come. If you
have not set aside money for a down payment on a house, you can't just go to
the seller and say, “I want your house, but I have no money for it", and
expect to get it. Below are five tips to get you thinking about planning your marriage before the wedding:
Find a balance in spending time with family, friends and each
other not to mention work. Keep a life outside of the marriage but just
now you cannot do the same things you did when you were single. In other
words, don't be dependent on your spouse 24 hours. You both have
different interests (at least I hope so), continue to do them when you are
married and if you need to make adjustments then do it.
So you (and your fiancée, this is important) have a clear picture
of what you want your wedding to be right? Do you both have a clear
picture of what your marriage will mean and what it will be like?
Most people are unsure of this part because they have not gone this far
in the planning process. This is an integral part that needs to be
discussed fully. Each hour you spend on planning the wedding, spend the same
time discuss how you want your marriage to be set up. (Start talking
about family, work, finances, date nights, religion, etc.)
Communication is essential! It’s what will hold you two
together when everything else falls around you. Shouting, talking
loudly is not communicating. How will you talk to each other when
circumstances keep changing, a budget is needed so you know where the money is
going, problems with family relationships. These are areas that
engaged couples may experience, but, could help strengthen the marriage before
it even happens. Talk to each other and not at each other.
Listen to each other. You will be partners and need to know that you can
work together in all aspects of the marriage.
Compromise, compromise, compromise! It’s ok to do
this. Everything does not and should not go your way all the time.
To keep each other happy and a peaceful home, you must be able and learn how to
compromise. As you become one you will have different views (and if you
are already living together you have picked this up by now), priorities,
ideas. A middle ground will be needed with you bump heads.
Every day will not be a party but you can look for the humor and
laughter in each situation. Find ways to bring excitement and fun into
your marriage. It’s really ok if you don't take yourself seriously at
times. Laughter is good for the soul, so do it often!
For tips about planning for the marriage, tune in next week as we
discuss creating a marriage plan.
I offer a program that prepares you for the wedding as well as the
marriage. The Diva Bridal Squad Enhancement and Enrichment Program is
designed to walk you through the planning process of both without the added
stress. Check out the website and see what others are saying. Go to
www.DivaBridalSquad.com for more information.
Soon after couples announce their engagement, planning the wedding becomes one of the first financial obstacles that the couple has to overcome together. The best thing to do is to learn about typical trends when it comes to planning a wedding and what mistakes lead to the most financial failures amongst couples during this process. Should you put everything on credit cards? Or create a separate checking account specifically for wedding expenses to avoid overspending?
The infographic below highlights information from couples who have gone through this process, wedding planners, and event coordinators to give newly engaged couples a few tips on how to save on their wedding, avoid financial conflicts, and lastly and most importantly the benefits of stress free well planned wedding.
Those redundant words, your wedding day is just one day, may very well be the truth. But society has given us Bridezillas, Say Yes to the Dress!, and all the jazz to keep us wanting that one big day, to be one very big day. Don’t get caught up in the fuss, and listen to the advice from people who have been through this process before.
For more information, check out creditcardinsider.com.
Do you need to step up your meeting in a different location? Need the team to think outside the box? Need productivity from your employees? Boss wants you to plan the next corporate meeting in an different location, but you are at your wits end in finding the right spot?
I have listed some places for you to consider as well as some things you need to consider when relocating your next meeting.
Places to host your next meeting:
- On a rooftop of a building
- Park setting
- Off site location - Cave
- Transform a room
- On a boat
- In the airport
Things to Consider:
- The noise level (high traffic area (horns, whistles, bells ringing from church/schools, trains going by, airplanes flying overhead) blaring music, kids talking/laughing/playing loudly, etc.
- The Location/Convenience (safe, distance to and from, security on premises, etc.)
- Time of day (what activity goes on during the day, afternoon, or night)
- Demographics of the area (commercial district, residential area, high crime area, etc.)
- Smells (does the air smell fresh and clean or does it smell like a zoo, Chemicals, a beach or dead fish- what does the air smell like
- The acoustics/sound of the space (are ceilings to high, to low, need microphones, etc.)
- Room (depending on how many people a company will host you want to make there’s the right amount of space to accommodate the meeting (not too big where you would lose the crowd, not too small where it would be a cramped area
- Windows – can they be opened
- Air-conditioning or heating – will it be sufficient during the meeting
- Lighting/Security – will there be enough lighting around the perimeter of building and parking lot, are there cameras, security patrolling the area
- Restroom facilities (handicap accessible, enough restrooms to accommodate everyone, do you have to supply your own toiletries or are they included)
- Access to kitchen or does it comes with catering (you want to make sure if you are having a meeting outside the office you want to make sure you feed people or tell them if it’s a brown bag lunch meeting- where they bring their own).
- Supplies – will they be included or do you need to bring them (white board, paper, pens, notepads, projector, computer, podium, tables, chairs, etc.
- Accommodations (are there stairs – how many flights of stairs, is there an elevator – what’s the capacity, parking – how many spaces available, do you need a shuttle, will there be valet parking – what’s the cost per car – flat rate or by per car, etc.)
- Fire extinguishers/water sprinklers – are they up to code, usable, last time they been inspected, etc.
Once we get into a relationship, how can we guarantee that we stay in it? We found that special someone, and see us spending the rest of our life with them, right? You have some much in common and you truly enjoy being around each other. So what are some of signs that can kill a relationship that should be avoided?
Slow down. Take your time in getting to know each other. Enjoy one
another as the relationship blossoms. If it’s been over a year, and s/he
has not begun to talk marriage....then maybe s/he's not ready. If this is the case,
then you need to find out what their intentions are for you.
9. Bringing baggage from a previous relationship. When you enter into a new
relationship, make sure you resolve the old issues and leave them. Give
the new person the benefit of the doubt that they will not be like your
8. Being too comfortable with each
other. Once this happens, you will begin to lose that thing that brought
you two together and begin to take each other for granted. Always stay in
the dating mode and your love with never die, even after you’re happily
7. Three's a crowd. Leave your
relationship problems at home and not shared with your friends or family.
Be careful of who you have around you and/or your mate. They may just have
other motives. Do not discuss your sexual relationship with your friends either. This can be a relationship killer not just among your mate, but your friend as well. Keep it Vegas.
aware of each other habits. Eventually, they can become annoying and be
more prevalent when you get mad at each other. Make sure you communicate
with each other about what bothers you.
getting along with each other's family or friends. It's important to keep
a "friendly" relationship with the closets people in your mates’
4. Being on different pages. If you both are not aiming for the same goal, then you will soon be on different pages which will allow for room for
distance, or someone else to walk in.
Knowing when to spend time. It is equally important to know when you both
need to exercise "me time" and spend time together. Make sure
you do not work too much or else the other person will feel lonely and thus seek other
things to fulfill their time while you are gone.
Comparison. Never, ever, compare each other to your previous
relationship. This is surely grounds to separation. Leave the past
right where it is - in the past.
1. Stepping out. Stepping out on the one you love is a sure bet to kill your
relationship. This is the ultimate level of betrayal. True, some
people who have been cheated on bounced back, but never to the level of trust
they had. It will always linger in the back of their minds.
Share your thoughts on some of the other things that are relationship killers.