Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Musings: A Wake Up Call in the ER

Monday has never felt so good to me. Without getting into all the details, I went to the ER yesterday after having symptoms that were similar to having a heart attack. The testing they were able to do on my tiny, hard to locate veins came back negative for a heart attack but my heart definitely had an episode yesterday. I spent yesterday afternoon basically in shock that at my young-ish age, and someone who isn't a smoker / drug user, eats fairly well, exercises regularly and aims to live a relatively stress free life had an EKG with some 'blips' on it. Only further testing will be able to figure out what happened.

It was a massive wake up call. Too many opportunities small and big pass us by in life because we are rushing from here and there. I have so many dreams that I want to pursue and for a million reasons, they get pushed to the back burner. Yesterday was a huge reminder that life is fragile and things can change in a heart beat. Why spend our time doing things that don't give us joy and pleasure?

My cardiac team at the ER was incredible and we're nice enough to let me leave to get to dinner at Blue Hill Stone Barns with my family last night. If you haven't eaten at Blue HIll Stone Barns yet, honestly, stop what you are doing and get your bum out to Pocantico HIlls in Westchester.

As far as my business goes: its operations as usual, just a slower pace this week. My apologies if I take longer than usual to get back to you but I need to take things slower for a week or so until more testing can be done.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Congratulations!

Just a sweet note to say Congratulations to Michelle & Justin! My uber awesome assistant / Associate Planner is getting married today!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fabulous Friday: Fall Like Weather

While on the one hand, its lovely that the humidity has decided to take a mini break {my hair is thankful}, the rain and lower temps definitely made me feel like fall is closer than ever this week. And don't get me started on the fact that September 1st is less than a week away, honestly, I feel like I will close my eyes for 10 seconds and 2010 will have happened, in entirety.

To be honest, I didn't spend too much time online this week reading, but there was a fabulous post written about wedding planners versus wedding designers ... It can be easy to confuse both so read here to get the low-down on the differences.

What fabulous things have you stumbled upon this week?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Update from the Life Coach

It's been just over a month since I began working with my awesome nutritionist / life coach extraordinaire. I've made some helpful changes to my life in general that will have a positive affect on my food habits as well. A few of the changes I've made are beyond applicable to weddings, so I wanted to share them:

Put yourself first: Do nice things for yourself to celebrate you. Get a mani / pedi, take a bath, take a walk, indulge in a chocolate, just make sure that every day, you do something nice for you.

Slow down when you are eating: When we are rushed, we inhale food just so "we've had something to eat" and its kind of pointless. Coach had me read "The Slow Down Diet" and let me tell you, this book is an eye opener. When you stop to truly enjoy and savor your meal, your body takes notice and utilizes all the nutrition. If you inhale your food, your body doesn't recognize anything. Read this book and slow down at meals!

Work out consistently: before I started my company, I was a workout-a-holic. Its been depressing to say the least to think that I've been so neglectful of the gym for so long, but Coach made me realize that by going to the gym daily or doing some form of exercise daily, it will make me 100x more productive throughout the day. As Nike says, Just Do It.

What changes have you made that are positive?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What Do I Love?

I was recently interviewed for a blog that features Successful Female Entrepreneur's Under 30 ... in a few months I won't be applicable for this, so I thought I'd better answer them quickly!

One of the questions resonated with me: "What part of my job do I love?" I loved this question because it gave me the opportunity to share my thoughts on what part of the wedding planning experience that I love and it'll surprise you, while I love the planning aspect, the creative aspect and the over-organized aspect, my true love of this industry comes on the wedding day itself. I love seeing all the hard work that my couples and I have put into planning their wedding day, come to life. I love to see a set reception area just before guests arrive, knowing that each element of the design are choices that are reflective of this newly minted married couple. I love seeing my couple's recess down the aisle knowing that they have this new life to begin together. I love being told Thank You at the end of an awesome wedding. So while I love the wedding day, I love more what the wedding day represents: the joining of two souls together and the knowledge that I helped to shape their day. To me, that is incredibly meaningful.

And as an added bonus, coordinating a wedding allows me to reflect back on my own wedding day: the extreme excitement I had almost two years ago when I got to say I do to my best friend.

What do you love about your job?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Your Wedding Ceremony Is Not An Afterthought

This post has been brewing in my head for a few weeks now. I've had numerous conversations with other wedding industry folks and even guests at weddings about this and I thought I should write down my thoughts.

It seems like more and more couples are forgetting about what is truly important on their wedding day. There is so much time and effort put into pulling inspiration boards from 1000 blogs to make sure that the table scape is just so, or making sure that there is an appropriate amount of alcohol at the wedding or that the welcome bags are just that much 'better' than so and so's were at their wedding; this mentality just breaks my heart. Couples are losing sight of the most fundamental aspect of the wedding day: the wedding ceremony. Let me remind you: without the ceremony, you wouldn't be having this over the top, lavish and expensive party.

Your wedding ceremony should be your number one priority on your wedding day. Spend time making sure that every element of your ceremony is truly reflective of the life that you are going to create together. Remember that the vows you declare to each other are important, they have vast meaning. Your pre-marital counselling is hugely important. Don't just shrug it off and not take it seriously. By getting married, you are making one of the biggest commitments of your life: this isn't an aspect of the wedding day where you should spend only 30 minutes thinking about. All too often I come across couples who are so pre-occupied by the reception that they've lost sight of what is actually important: their verbal commitment to each other for forever.

Please spend some time on your ceremony. The rest of the wedding day: cocktail hour, reception, after party is all gravy. Your wedding ceremony is the reason that you are having this fabulous celebration, otherwise you are really missing the point of the marriage and the wedding day.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Musings

We had so much fun at Kristin and Jarret's wedding in June in Southampton and it looks like they did as well:



{via Craig Paulson Photography}

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another Friday, another week down. Can you believe that its almost September? I would love to find the brakes on this year since its whipping by so quickly!

Lots of goodies around the web this week ...

My good friends, Aleah & Nick {The Good Life Events} wrote up a fabulous post about your wedding not being a competition. Truer words have not been spoken.

Your married, now what? There used to be "rules" that all married women adhered by, times have changed!

Another fabulous and to the point perspective on hiring a wedding planner for your very big day!

Ok, I really wrestled with linking to this post, but its a good one, I promise. Very insightful.

And lastly, an honest opinion of what separates a professional wedding planner from a I was a bride and I know about weddings wedding planner.

Happy Weekending!

Assistants Perspective: Two Weeks Before The Wedding Day

I am a packing procrastinator, the person that is still be packing moments before I have to leave for the airport. Don’t do this on your wedding day! You want to be relaxed and know that you have double and triple checked that you have everything you need for the big day. By packing ahead of time you will have it out of the way and be able to enjoy those last few days as a bride.

For your Wedding Day:
Organize all the items you need for your ceremony and reception and label them. This way the venue, wedding planner, friend, or even you don’t have to shuffle through the items and try to figure out what programs go into what basket. Have a copy of your vows and readings printed on index cards just in case someone forgets them.

Ask your venue if you can drop off all reception items off the day before, items such as Menus, favors, escort cards, signage, cake knife, etc.

Gather your dress, undergarments, shoes, jewelry, and headpiece and put them all together in a closet for safekeeping so the morning of it will all be in one place, ready to be worn!

Wedding Day Emergency Kit:
Prepare an “emergency” bag with essentials you may need. Pack items like an extra pair of shoes, make up bag, double sided tape, safety pins, breath mints, tissues, small first aid kit, deodorant, stain remover wipes, snacks, medications, if you are curling your hair, pack a curling iron in case you hair needs a little touch up.

Honeymoon:
We are leaving the morning after our wedding for our honeymoon which means everything must be ready to go! Even if you aren’t leaving right away it is important to at least create a packing list and throw a few of the essential items you know you need to take into an open suitcase. Make sure you have all the medications you need, travel documents, and cosmetics. You may think that you can pick something up at the local drugstore, but keep in mind the location you are visiting, the brands and items may differ from here.

Happy Packing!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Venue Visit: Wolffer Estate Vineyards

One of the perks of being a wedding planner is that you get to visit beautiful places that couples can get married, which isn't a bad perk at all! A week ago, Lisa Barr, a very dear friend invited me to spend an afternoon at Wolffer Estate out in Sagaponack {The Hamptons}, wine tasting, touring the vineyard and learning about the weddings that the vineyard puts on. Um, Lisa, darling, you had me at wine.

The vineyard has a lovely Tuscan feel to it, its architecture is very rich and Mediterranean. Wedding Ceremonies take place out amongst the vines and grapes at a sweet Gazebo. Dinner is served alfresco on a large porch. Dancing takes place in the Tasting Room. The space has a lovely relaxed feel to it, you can easily forget that you're only a two hour drive from Manhattan! {Sans traffic of course}.

If you are looking for a destination wedding spot that's close to home, check out Wolffer Estate Vineyards ~ you'll really feel like you've take a quick trip to Italy! They offer wedding packages and have a venue fee, and can accommodate all faiths. They have room for 175 people.


{via NY Post}


{via Cappy Hotchkiss}

And some celebrity signed wine barrels:

{via Lisa Barr}


{via Lisa Barr}

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weddings = Family Drama

Chances are, once you got engaged, you've begun to see different emotions come out of various family members. Happiness, excitement, bossy-ness, aggression ~ I haven't quite figured out why a wedding, the union between two people makes family members {ok, mainly mom} behave in different ways, but they do.

Regardless of how your family is behaving know these two things: their thoughts aren't your thoughts, you aren't beholden to doing things their way or taking them up on their every desire and this isn't their wedding, its yours. While its beyond easy to get sucked into whatever emotions they are having - don't let yourself. This is your special day and it really doesn't matter if Aunt Suzy thinks that you should do x, y and z at the wedding. This wedding day is about you and your soon to be. It isn't about anyone else.

While I know its easier said than done, I promise, you'll have a much more zen like wedding planning experience if you can just shut out the white noise.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Musings: New York City



I can't remember where I found this image, but isn't it such a lovely view of NYC?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fabulous Friday the 13th!

Its Friday the 13th! Let's hope that today is full of awesome inspiration and beauty, not horror film images!

Lots of articles this week around the web about hiring a wedding planner. Not to toot my own industry profession, but these are very insightful! Read on for knowledge:

Aisledash talks about affording a wedding planner ... before you contact one for a consultation, make sure your overall wedding budget includes a planner's fee.

I've talked a ton about why couples should consider hiring a planner even if your venue claims to have a coordinator: here is the lo-down on hiring a coordinator from the venue's perspective!

And yes, there is a planner that fits every couple's style, taste, budget, read here for more insights!

Happy Planning!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thoughts from a Bride Three Weeks Before The Wedding Day!

My name is Michelle and I am an Associate Planner at Anderson Green Events. I am getting married in less than 3 weeks, and Lisa asked me to share some insight into my wedding planning now that the big day is getting really close!

When we first got engaged, my fiancĂ© and I sat down and created a wedding planning timeline that listed every single detail that had to be planned month by month, week by week. In the beginning stages I worked off this list religiously and found a sense of accomplishment and excitement every time I checked something off. After 15 months of planning I realize I left off a very important “TO DO”…and that is take a break!

Since the moment you got engaged all your coworkers, family members, friends, and future spouse have heard is wedding related thoughts. By attending family BBQ’s, meeting friends for drinks, or simply having a date night with no wedding talk will feel normal. You, your future spouse and all your friends will certainly appreciate this and feel like you have come back down to earth out of Bridal la la land, even if it is only for a few hours everyday. Besides, not talking about the wedding 24/7 will give you a chance to relax as well.

It’s important to realize the reasons why you’re getting married in the first place; you said yes for a reason so don’t let the last few weeks leading up to the wedding day make you loose sight of that because you are feeling so pressed for time to get things done. Years down the road you don’t want to be disappointed that you missed out on little things that may have happened because you were so wrapped up in all the final details for your 8 hour wedding day. Let normal life happen and enjoy it a little too.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

First Impressions

If you think about it, our entire lives are filled with 1000s of First Impressions - meeting new people, going to new cities and places, going into a store you've never been to before ... we experience a first impression frequently. And what do we do with these first impressions? We made an immediate reaction to them, a judgement if you will. This reaction can play a huge part in how we emotionally view this person, place, store, interaction. It will influence how we perceive things and how we ultimately decide we feel about things.

So how does a first impression work in weddings? I've found that its a huge influencer when it comes to engaged couples making very important decisions for their wedding day. If when meeting a vendor for the first time, the vendor is rude, unfriendly, uncaring or generally rubs the potential clients in the wrong way, there is a slim possibility that these potential clients will become contracted clients. But, sometimes its the potential clients initial judgements and then their first impressions that steer them away from a wedding vendor who they should be working with - and to me, that is just sad. Let me explain: you cruise around websites looking for potential wedding vendors to work with and to bring your wedding vision to life. Here is one first impression that allows you to create a snap judgement. Either the website / the images / the words / the blog whatever it is, you either feel drawn to or you dismiss it. {We all do this!} If you feel like this wedding vendor fits your style and aesthetic, you reach out to them for a meeting. When you arrive at the meeting, you make another first impression since you are now meeting this person in the flesh and you either confirm that your original first impression was spot on or you overturn it. Obviously, everyone prefers when your initial impression equals your meeting impression and the vendor is a match, but sometimes it doesn't go that way.

So what to do then? Think through your decision - why doesn't this vendor in real life match online? Is their branding off? Did you have a certain image of them and they didn't fit it? Basically, you need to figure out if your impression was valid {online claims lux service but the person arrives looking worse for wear and is clearly not lux} or did you make an unfair snap judgement?

Has there been a time when your online impression with someone and your in life interaction didn't add up?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Musings: Applying For A Job

This isn't so much of a musing as a PSA. I receive many job inquiries each year and while I am so flattered that people would love to come and work for our team, I have to say that I spend most of my time wondering what information people are getting about applying for a job ... so I am going to use this post as a little soap box.

Job Application Rule 1:

Actually want the position that is being offered, or at least want to be apart of the company you're applying to.

This is important! Do RESEARCH about the position and the company. Know the company's culture and figure out how you would fit in. Being fake or not knowing anything about the history, the brand or what the company does isn't going to get you hired.

Job Application Rule 2:

READ the person you are contacting bio and use the appropriate salutation. "Dear Hiring Manager" is not acceptable.

I receive at least a handful of job applications every week that are addressed to "Dear Sir" "Dear Mr. Green" ... neither apply to me. My image and my name are on my website. Its fairly apparently that I am a female. If it doesn't have "Dear Mrs. Green" or something to that affect at the top, you can bet that I delete without reading.

Job Application Rule 3

BCC is not your friend. Do not mass mail a bunch of companies at once. Spending time to cultivate your resume and your cover letter and whatever else you are required to send in. Tailor everything in your communication to the SINGLE company you are applying to. Yes, its tedious work but seriously, sending a mass job application email is just plain wrong. And yes,I check the to / from field.

Job Application Rule 4

Your email address should be professional. Use your name in some form, keep it simple. A hiring manager probably isn't going to take you very seriously if your email syntax is "lovesbigpapa@gmail.com" {I've seen far more perverse ones}, I know I won't. Doesn't matter if you are a Harvard grad and would be perfect for my team.

Job Application Rule 5

Follow instructions for submitting an application. Following directions particularly in a detail oriented industry shows that you detail oriented. Not following instructions shows me that you don't read, care or particularly want the job.

Job Application Rule 6

Please don't send a video resume unless you are applying for some awesome cinema related job. Nothing further needs to be said about this.

Job Application Rule 7

Please proof read every thing before you send. Use SPELLCHECK. Again, this industry is about the d-e-t-a-i-l-s.

Job Application Rule 8

Objectives aren't necessary. Don't include some generic objective because some 15 year old resume book told you to. I know what your objective is: to get a job. It doesn't need to be stately since you are writing to me for employment.

These are just the basics, but all too often they get missed which is a shame because I am sure that applicants are very qualified for the job they are applying for but they cut themselves out of the running by not put in the time and effort to truly make their application awesome.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fabulous Friday: Hot & Humid in NYC

So for those that haven't melted yet in the heat, we've made it to Friday! And, most importantly, thank you to all who've read my Time Out article!

While there have been some fabulous articles floating around the web this week here are two that really stood out to me:

Ipods & Weddings: The potential glitches and how to thwart them - must read if you are going the ipod / itunes route!

How do you feel about styled photo shoots being shown on wedding blogs? Chime into the discussion over on {ELD}.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Anniversary Gifts - Need Recommendations!

We'll be back to non-personal posts next week, but being the plan in advance type, I need some help from y'all!

Our Two Year Anniversary is quickly approaching on September 6th and I need some gift ideas! I know the traditional gift for year 2 is cotton (do I get him yet another pair of khaki's?!) And the modern gift is china (I can't see him really appreciating china plates!). I would love to be creative and meaningful at the same time but I need some suggestions!

Thank you so much, it means so much to me! Feel free to comment below or email me directly. I promise that Mr.G doesn't read the blog so everything will remain between you and I until the 6th!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time Out New York!

I was recently interviewed for Time Out New York on an article that focused on five entrepreneurs who began their businesses just before or during the recession. It is beyond an honour to be along side this group of talented individuals. Click here to check out the article!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To Rehearse or Not To Rehearse?

First, before anything gets written here, let's just mention that today is National Ice Cream Sandwich day. Go and eat one, its your civic duty!

Since I am a planner by nature, I am inclined to rehearse or at least do a walk through of most major milestones in my life. My inner perfectionist can't rest if I don't have a chance to practice. But, others prefer to just be organized and "wing it" so to speak.

So where does yours wedding fall on that spectrum? Are you definitely having a rehearsal so that everything runs smoothly with no surprises during your ceremony? Or are you sure that by telling people what to do, they will just do it and it will be smooth?

In my experience, the latter almost never happens since your words inevitably always get lost in translation from your lips to someone's ears. When you say move to the left of the officiant, they hear go stand in front of the officiant. Its uncanny, but every wedding I've done that doesn't have a rehearsal prior to the ceremony, things have not gone smoothly.

So here are some pros / cons to doing a rehearsal:

Pros: Not a guarantee for perfection, but pretty close. At least your bridal party will have a vague idea of what the space looks like and where they should go. Everyone will feel a bit more comfortable about the ceremony and what will be happening. If you make a 'mistake' during the rehearsal, it can be corrected - not so much during the ceremony itself.

Cons: Takes time. True, the rehearsal can take ages if people are late or the officiant is long winded or the bridal party is huge. Its a wedding ceremony, almost every single person you've ever met has been to one, so they get it, right? We're easy going people, we don't care what happens during the ceremony - its natural.

For all the cons, here's what a wedding planner will tell you: if you think you won't get upset that your bridesmaids all sat down when they were supposed to stand or that the groomsmen were in the wrong order - um, yes, you will. Those mistakes will be a facet of your wedding day that will stay with you. And for every wedding that your bridal party or ceremony participants have attended or been in - this is YOUR wedding ceremony. It may be .0000001% different to what everyone else has been to and that minute difference can mean the difference between a smooth ceremony and a not so smooth one. So please, build a rehearsal into your wedding weekend.

Are you planning or not planning on doing a rehearsal? What are your thoughts?

Monday, August 2, 2010