Friday, April 30, 2010

Week In Review: E-Shoot + News!

The amazingly talented Christopher Duggan of Threshold Visions is hosting another free engagement shoot on May 15th. Here are the details in Christopher's own words:

By popular demand, I will be hosting the 4th Annual FREE Engagement Day on Saturday May 15th right here in New York City’s Central Park.

Our Engagement Day is designed for the couple who is looking for the right photographer for their wedding.

Of course I provide my clients with timeless, emotion-filled photographs, caught-moments of shared love laughter and joy. I create for them inspiring images that tell their unique wedding-love story and a uniquely designed album showcasing their favorite images.

Equally important, they get from me a flawless wedding day experience in which I work with a sense of fun and efficiency. I am sensitive to the fact that they want to spend most of their time with their guests, their family and each other. I always blend in to the party, put their guests and family at ease and capture everyone looking their natural best.

Two essential things happen in the Engagement Day, you get to know me and I get to know you. Participating in our Engagement Day is the perfect way to both get to know how I work so you can choose the right photographer for your wedding and make great portraits of the two of you during one of the sweetest times of your relationship together.

“Two words come to mind when seeing our pictures…Exuberant Bliss! Christopher made us the center of the Universe that day.” – Kristine & Steve

Our Engagement Day begins with cocktails and a meet and greet with Christopher on Friday evening. Manhattan location to be announced soon.

Here’s what 10 couples will get on Saturday May 15th on location in Central Park:

– A 30 minute experience with me creating natural, lifestyle portraits of the two of you. It’s the perfect sampling of my signature style.

– Professional hair & make-up artist on site to help keep you looking fresh and camera ready.

– A chance to win a custom design Lovebook made of images from our Engagement Day

– Digital Negatives of images to use on Facebook, their wedding website or other on-line social media

“Christopher made the shoot completely enjoyable, relaxed and a good time. Our engagement pics capture the fun and warmth of our relationship.” – Mistina & Tony

Because of such limited space we can only accept couples who:
– are engaged
– are looking for the right wedding photographer
– are getting married in the Tri-State area or are planning on taking their photographer to their destination wedding

In order to be considered, please email me at including the following:
– wedding date
– wedding location & venue
– a current fun photo of the two of you
– a few brief words about your story or your wedding plans

Submissions must be received by Friday May 7th in order to be considered.

The day will fill very quickly. Have your friends and family send their submission right away.

Other news: The Wed Boutique launches TOMORROW! Be sure to check it out here ~ it'll be chock full of amazing goodness that you don't want to miss!

And lastly, its moving weekend! Finally, this wedding planner and her family are changing spaces, so our offices will be closed until May 5th. We can respond on a limited basis to emails and all phone calls will be returned on May 5th!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do You Pay For What You Get In Wedding Planning?

At Eventology last week, there was lots of discussion surrounding getting paid what you are worth and how the price cutters who charge sub $1,000 for their services {yes, full planning included} are de-valueing the wedding industry as a whole. Saundra Hadley, a planner and marketing / sales guru wrote two posts earlier this week regarding pricing {see here & here} and its sparked a big debate in the social media world {just check out her comments}. This got me thinking - all the professionals have been talking about their value and their services but what does the bride truly value? What are you, as the bride, willing to spend more on? Are you paying for quality or are you looking for a deal? Where does value / quality experience come into play when you see a wedding planner who charges you $1,000 vs. another wedding planner who charges you $10,000? Forget the "gucci taste on a target budget" mentality for a second. Everyone loves a deal, loves to save money but when it comes to your wedding, what do you value more? Someone who is professional, experienced and charges accordingly for what they offer or someone who gives you a great deal on the package but then minimally plans your wedding.

As a bride, what do YOU value? What are you willing to spend YOUR money on?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wediquette: So, When Are You Having Babies?

"We are engaged and getting married in a few months. We aren't even legally tied to each other yet and people are starting to ask us when we are going to have a baby. First things first people - how do we handle this new form of harassment?"

It never fails, right? You get engaged and everyone wants to know when and where the wedding is happening. Once you get all the wedding details ironed out, people start asking when a baby is coming. I personally find it beyond inappropriate, but, that doesn't stop people from asking you. So, how does one handle this line of questioning. Firstly, choosing to have a baby is entirely up to you and your fiance and when to have a baby is again, up to you both. This decision is a seriously important one and its no one else's business. Period, end of story. Just smile sweetly and say "you'll be the first to know when it happens". People will want to know why you are waiting, why you want to be a certain age, why, why, why. The why is between you two. The why is personal and doesn't matter to anyone else.

On a personal note: being asked when you are having a baby to me is akin to asking how much money is in your bank account. These are things that people don't need to know. I've come up with some very risque and shocking answers that I won't share here but they certainly get people to shut their mouths and stop asking. Being asked repeatedly {especially as I get older} is bothersome and I think its a massive social faux pas. Just my two cents.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Your Wedding Vendor Is Not a Scapegoat

It's always so much easier to lay blame on someone else when you feel you've been wronged. And, every wedding publication will tell you that every wedding vendor is out to empty your bank account simply because you are getting married and therefore they have a right to charge you every penny you've ever collected. Well, the fact of the matter is that its simply not the case. No vendor I've ever come across has said to me "oh, I don't care what their budget is" - in fact, every vendor I work with or send a client to for a proposal has worked within their budget. So please, stop using your vendors as scapegoats when your budget gets stretched to the point of being unrecognizable.

Your vendor isn't out to rake your budget over the coals. Your vendors are working towards creating the most incredible wedding day for you. They want you to enjoy every aspect of the big day, not look at the flowers and cry because you spent six times what you wanted to. What good does a vendor get from doing that? Some vendors are fixed at what they must charge in order to survive - I know its hard to forget sometimes but vendors are people to. Vendors have to make a profit in business {just like any other retail store} or they won't exist anymore. Even a small business owner who works from home isn't taking your money and running out and buying Manolo's and going to St. Barth's - there are costs associated with running a business that need to paid in order to have a business.

I promise to get off my soapbox, but just keep in mind that you as the engaged couple need to manage your budget, not blame your vendors for when the spending gets out of control.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Musings: Frenchie Love

Just because they are so cute:

PS: Don't forget to check out our newly revamped website!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Weekly Review: Eventology & New Website Launch!

I spent the earlier part of this week out in Indianapolis at Eventology, an educational and fun conference for wedding professionals. I think it is extremely important that as a wedding planner, I take the time to grow my expertise and learn from the creme de la creme in this industry. To say the very least, I was blown away by the intelligence of everyone I met.

We were fortunate enough to have some fabulous speakers: Linnyette Hall, Ali Phillips, Harmony Walton, Saundra Hadley, NaShara Mitchell, Sasha Souza, Terrica Skaggs and Lara Casey. The take aways I got from each were simply invaluable.

The hilarious crew from Epic Motion filmed the entire conference and created two recaps which can be found here and here. Let's just say that karaoke can get dangerous! The talented JenLynne from Jen Lynne Photography was the official photographer and she got some great shots as well.

And, after months of decisions - my new website has launched! Please check it out and let me know what you think!

Have a wonderful weekend - we've got a beautiful wedding tomorrow!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Today is the day to celebrate our earth - so please make sure you step outside, enjoy the fresh air, appreciate the spring blossoms and most importantly: take a moment to think about how you will make a difference on our earth. Recycle, Reuse, Cut down on paper usage, using a glass instead of a bottle of water - even the simplest of steps will help make your carbon footprint smaller.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wediquette: To Speak Or Not To Speak?

"Neither our Best Man nor our Maid of Honor are the speech-giving types, so we've told them they're off the hook for it, and they seem really relieved. None of our parents have asked about giving speeches (they're not really the type either) so they won't be speaking either. My fiance and I are planning to give a little "thank you all for being here and supporting us" speech, but that's it. I didn't think anyone would miss a million speeches, but now I'm wondering, though, if the occasion needs a little something like this. There's plenty of good speakers who aren't in any of the traditional roles, but I don't know how one really goes about asking someone to give a speech or a toast for them. Anyone else skipping most of the speeches? Do you think people will miss them?"

Since most of your guests have been to several weddings in their time, they are expecting some entertainment in the form of speeches - and if you have no one speak, it'll certainly be noticed by all in attendance.

A speech doesn't need to be lengthy, flowery, poetic or very deep. It should be genuine, from the heart and can be a simple "thank you, we love you" type of thing. If none of your bridal party or parents feel comfortable making a speech, I would advise finding someone close to both of you who is comfortable with public speaking. You don't need to make a big to do about who they are and why they are speaking, but having someone let your guests know their attendance is appreciated will be appreciated by your guests.

Personally, as for parents: they need to get over themselves and say something. It can be 30 seconds long, but it should happen. Otherwise, as the bride and the groom, you definitely need to speak especially if no one else is, or in lieu of the parents. Otherwise, it'll just be silence ... {obviously except for your music}.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Don't Judge A Book By Its Covor

How many times have we all heard this: Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover? And how hard is it sometimes to look past the exterior to see how truly amazing that person is? I want you apply this 'rule' when it comes to meeting your vendors or seeing a venue. At first glance, you probably aren't getting the whole story, so don't judge a vendor's capability and expertise based on how they dress. How someone chooses to cloth themselves really has no baring on what their knowledge base is. Or, perhaps they chose to spend less on clothing and more on their business, their hobbies or their apartment. You have no idea what matters to them, so even if you think they are the worst dresser on the planet - don't chose to not work with them simply because you've deemed them incapable of putting together an outfit. Some of the most talented people I've come across in life aren't wearing haute couture daily.

{While this seems like a post out of left field - if you think about it, it has some merit. We all check each other out and make assumptions. Don't let someones exterior cloud your ability to see how incredibly gifted they are.}

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Musings

I am super excited to let you all know that we found a new apartment after our very long search. Come May 3rd, we'll be back on the island of Manhattan!

{photo via Art}

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Features: The Wedding Boutique

It's Friday! I hope that everyone has some lovely plans for the weekend ~ can you believe that April is half over already?

On May 1st, two friends of mine, Amanda and Meghan are launching a brand spanking new blog that is going to be simply fabulous. Mark your calendars for the 1st because its going to be a resource you don't want to miss. Its called The Wedding Boutique and its a collaborative blog:

The Wedding Boutique is a luxury blog that offers wedding industry professionals in major cities across the country an opportunity to inspire and educate brides about wedding planning in their city. Each blog is composed of 10 different wedding professionals within that city (with no more than two of each type of professional), who create and write their own content within in a community place. It gives brides and grooms the chance to learn from an array of vendors all in one place.

It'll be chalk full of great information from different vendors ~ what more could you want from a blog?

Make sure you check it out on May 1st!

PS: For those following along, the apartment drama continues, hoping to have some finality today!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sticking With Your Wedding Decisions

I have a theory that I would like to share with you all: Weddings can make even the most confident decision maker wishy washy. Why? Because there is too much inspiration and too many ideas floating around the internet and as soon as you've made a decision about one thing, you see that same idea done better somewhere else and it makes you waver on your decision.

I am here to break the cycle of madness because really, I know its driving you crazy. Every bride I speak with says they read 100's of wedding blogs per day. Every wedding vendor I know says they try to keep up with the 1000's of blogs in their google reader, but let's face it, we all have lives to attend to as well. While I certainly LOVE that there is so much out there for brides to be inspired by, it can make a gal have doubts. And just like 'there's no crying in baseball' there's no doubts in wedding planning.

If you are indecisive in your wedding planning, chances are you'll miss the opportunity to work with the vendor of your choice {how many people has that happened to? you meet, you take forever to decide, you pick one and then they are already booked - in wedding planning, the early bird does get the worm}. While I get that budget is always a factor in wedding planning - stick to your guns when making decisions. Be confident that your decision is the right one for your wedding.

Too many times I have seen brides make a choice and then get deflated when they see something they deem cooler / swankier / better on a blog. Keep in mind that your decision is the right one for you and not everything out there fits every wedding. Or, if you're like me, as soon as your wedding has happened, you'll start planning on your vow renewal so you can use all the cool ideas you saw and didn't use!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wediquette: Inner and Outer Envelopes

It makes sense to list everyone's name specifically on the inner envelope, but we don't have one. Could I list names on the RSVP envelope? Or should I list everyone's names on the outer mailing envelope? That would mean several lines on the outer envelope?? What do we do as we don't want guests to think that their entire household is invited!

It used to be the norm that wedding invitations came in two envelopes, and outer and an inner. The outer one held the head of the household names "Mr & Mrs" and the address, while the inner envelope listed the individual names of the invited {so basically, the kids}. These days, its very common to forgo the inner envelope to save costs, save paper, save on calligraphy - which means where do all the names go?

On the outer envelope. If you want to be casual about it - and you are inviting all the children in that household, you can always do "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family" as your first line. Or, if you'd like something more formal, name each child, which I know can clutter up the envelope but it would look like "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Miss. Chloe Smith". If you are hiring a calligrapher for your envelopes, find someone who prices per envelope, not per line ~ they will be able to advise you on the best protocol and layout for including all the additional names so the envelope doesn't look too full.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: You Can't Fake Fit

I talk alot about fit on my blog and with my clients. I've write about fit here and here - basically, for me, choosing your wedding vendors is all about fit. And fit doesn't mean a budgetary fit. Look, we are all working within a budget - so obviously you want to hire wedding vendors who fit into your budget, but more importantly - hire wedding vendors who FIT. Fit can mean several things: a personality fit, a vision fit, a likability fit, a talent fit etc. Fit comes in all shapes and sizes and to be honest, having fit with a vendor is much like having fit with a potential friend: you two either have it, or you don't. You can't fake fit.

Choose vendors who fit you and your budget, but just don't force the fit because you won't be happy with your choice.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Musings: Anderson Green Events Gets An Upgrade

This post is like a Pre-Press Release on exciting news for my company. For the past few months, I've been going through a re-vamping process and its all culminating this week! Our new website will be launched this week - its a total face lift and something that I am very proud of and could never have accomplished without my fantastic graphic artist, Carolynn of Two Brunettes and my talented calligrapher, Amanda at Swoonoverit: Ladies, I am forever indebted to you for your creativity and for dealing with my ever-changing ideas. {Both are incredible and working on fabulous and exciting things themselves, so follow them along to be in the know}.

Stay tuned for the news when my new website is launched and live ... cannot wait to share it with all of you!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Weekly Finds: Still Haven't Moved ...

Our mini break a week ago was so relaxing and refreshing. Mr. G turned a year older, I read more Chelsea Handler books than I should have in one sitting and came back to NYC after Easter refreshed and excited for the summer weather ... this weekend continues the search for a new apartment. We've got a jam packed schedule of hunting and we are now wondering if we should negotiate on a place we saw a few weeks ago ... the apartment itself is fantastic, but I am not so excited about the location - its 14 blocks exactly from where I grew up and my parents sometimes still live! May be a bit too close to home.

Anyways, there are some great reads for wedding advice this week:

Retailers getting into the bridal market - would you buy their dresses?

Brooklyn Bride is 3 years old today!

A colleague, Aletha at Pearls Events linked to a wedding day emergency kit - a must have for any bride and their bridal party!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What Draws You To A Particular Wedding Brand?

Anyone who has crossed my path in last few months knows that I have become really passionate about branding. As I continue to refine the Anderson Green Events Brand {with new website launching soon!}, I wanted to ask this question: as a bride, how does brand / branding affect the choices you make for your wedding? What is it that prompts you to choose a particular vendor over another {I know price / personality / value / quality all play a factor} but all of those elements are integral to the vendor's brand, so at the crux of it, what is it about the vendors brand that appeals to you?

As consumers, we are all drawn to different brands because they are either visually appealing, follow the same values that we have, invoke certain feelings and emotions - for example, I am drawn to the Gap brand because I am a quintessential jeans and t-shirt gal and they build great basics at affordable prices. But, I also appreciate and love the haute couture brands as well for the quality and artistry that goes into each item of clothing. Do I wear Prada every day? No! But for special occasions when I want to feel simply stunning, I do. There is something about the Prada brand that evokes confidence, class and good style that I find appealing.

So, how does different branding affect your purchasing power? Have you 'branded' your wedding with yours and your fiances style?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wediquette: The Importance of Assigned Seating

My sister has decided against having escort cards or place cards at her wedding. They are having over 200 people attending and she doesn't want the hassle of creating a seating chart. I've tried to get her to understand that this may not be the best course of action, but she won't see the light - what can I say to her to convince her otherwise?

I will preface my advice with this: personally, I think that giving your guests guidance on where to sit during a wedding reception is hugely important and when I attend weddings I always am flabbergasted when couples haven't taken the time to assign a table to their guests.

That said, some couples think that creating a seating chart or assigning tables to guests is a massive chore. What if you put two enemies together? What if no one talks to each other? What if, what if, what if. Firstly, people will always talk to each other and if they don't, its not like they are sitting at this table for the rest of time. Its a few hours at most. Secondly, if two adults can't get over themselves for a couple hours at a wedding and sit together and be civil, they have bigger problems in life that just aren't your problem.

The real reason to have assigned tables at a wedding is this: if you don't, most tables won't get filled to capacity and your wait staff will have a heck of a time running between two barely filled tables rather than waiting on one full table. To me, it also looks ridiculous when half the tables aren't filled - your photographer will get those images and it just looks sloppy.

It's also a bit of an insult {again, in my opinion} to your guests to not provide guidance with a table assignment - your guests have spent time and money to be at the wedding, why can't you spend some time giving them a table to call home during your reception? As an example, at a family member's wedding several years ago, there were no table assignments and the tables were split into three rooms - it was complete chaos trying to find a seat let alone keep that seat for the rest of the night. I asked the bride why they didn't do table assignments and she just said that she didn't feel like it. To me, that's no excuse because the wedding just looked unorganized and felt like musical chairs.

So please, spend an afternoon assigning your guests a table during your wedding, everyone will thank you later.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Letting Go Of Wedding Planning Anxiety

On our mini-vacay last week, I was able to read a ton of books that have been in my Kindle queue. In Getting Things Done, the following quote was included and I thought it was beyond appropriate for wedding planning:

"Anxiety is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation and action" by David Kekich

Oh how this quote rings true for any wedding planning process. In my experience, brides, grooms and parents traditionally feel the anxiety and the weight of the wedding when they are unorganized and unprepared. Not everyone is a list maker, but when it comes to wedding planning, get yourself a dedicated notebook and invest in a generic wedding planning timeline {I love the Russell + Hazel templates}. Being organized throughout this process and being able to check off items will bring a sense of preparedness and will calm the nerves.

Wedding Planning is emotional and time consuming enough, why add anxiety to the mix? Especially when anxiety can easily be avoided if you work through your wedding planning in a consistent and organized way.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Musings: Spring is Sprung

Here's to hoping that we're light on the April showers this year ...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

{via Martha Stewart}