Monday, January 31, 2011

Girl Talk!

View ImageI LOVE talking weddings. Not only do I get to hear the beautiful love stories but I also get to hear about the brides experience with their wedding vendors. Let's face it talk goes a long way. One thing that I have shared with you is your vendors play a very important role in your wedding day. When you are planning, you sometimes get overwhelmed, after all,  we want to save money so we try to choose the least expensive vendor. Please don't get me wrong, cost is important but don't choose a vendor strickly off of this factor.   
 "One thing I didn't like about my wedding is my photographer. When we met she had a great personality and her portfolio seemed great, plus she was less expensive then everyone else. But when I got my pictures I was so disappointed. The pictures were blurry and I didn't get that many. I also told her I didn't like posed pictures and all the candid shots were horrible."

Well  it seemed like she did all the right things. But when I pryed a little deeper, the photographer didn't have any candid shots in her portfolio. One way to avoid this is to ask to see more then one photo book. If this is a legitimate photographer they should have plenty. Ask for past brides references, this gives you a better understanding of how the photographer did the day of the wedding. Did they listen? Were they pushy? Did they occupy all of the couples time.
One of the things I love about one of my favorite photographers is that she is a ninja. You wonder how she even got that shot because you certainly didn't see her.

"I asked my friend to take photos because he takes such nice pictures at our other events. The pictures were blurry and out of focus. He took alot of pictures of his girlfriend. He missed the cake cutting because he was eating. I can't get upset with him because it was free gift. But I really wish I hired a professional. I can't get that back."

Your photographer is very important to your overall wedding day. They are capturing the memories you can never replace. A good part of your budget should go to photography. Why spend all that time planning to execute every detail perfectly then skimp out on the photographer.

"I don't remember anything about my wedding. Everything was a blur. I dont' remember our vows, I don't remember our toast. The only thing I remember is my husband leaning over while we were at the alter and whispering...a bead of sweat just rolled down my back."

 While pictures say a thousand words, a videographer can capture those moments you can never retrieve. Your vows, you and your fathers dance. the heartfelt toast from your people of honor. The best advice a preacher gave me one day is ~whenu have one of your marital moments and they will come. Read over your vows or pop in that video, it will remind you of why you got married. If neither of you can bring yourselves to say sorry. Leave a rose on the mantel or kitchen counter and that will be your way of saying I am sorry.

"I wished I hired a planner, at least a day of planner. My family and I were running around with our heads cut off. We didn't know when things were suppose to begin. We were trying to decorate prior to the wedding and couldn't find certain things. Everything started late and we ended up paying late fees on the photographer and the DJ."

While everyone doesn't need a planner for the entire length of wedding planning. Have a Day of Coordinator helps. They will coordinate a schedule and execute it to make sure everything is on time. If you have hired a vendor for only a certain amount of hours, the coordinator will schedule important things to be captured so the vendors won't run into overtime. If they see something may be running behind, they can make important changes on the spot without interrupting the flow of your event. They also take care of problems as they arrive so you can relax and enjoy your day. You should feel like the guest of honor not an employee.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vendor Spotlight: Calligraphy by Cami

Vendor Spotlight: Calligraphy By Cami

Your name? Cami Franklin

Company Name: Calligraphy by Cami



Years in Business 5 1/2

How did you get started? My mother took a Calligraphy class when I was young and she taught me how to do it when I was 12. I used it as a hobby for years. I addressed my own wedding invitations, did it as gifts, etc. During a time that our family was struggling financially, a friend asked me to address her son’s wedding invitations and she insisted on paying me for them. She told me to get online and research what other Calligraphers were charging. I did and quickly realized that I too, could start a business like that! I got some business cards, built a website – began talking to people around town and within a month I was up and running! I have not stopped writing since! I am constantly amazed at how it has turned into a successful business.

Best advice you can give to a bride: Think about Calligraphy in the beginning of your planning process. Work it into your invitation budget. You spend a great deal of time picking out that perfect invitation that reflects you and your style. It is the first impression that your guest receive about your wedding and you want to make sure that it’s a good one. You don’t want less than impressive envelopes. Book your Calligrapher early to guarantee that you will have it done in a timely manner. I can’t tell you how many brides make it an after thought. They decide they want it done after their invitations are back from the printer. Then, time is short, and I typically have to turn them away because it is not humanly possible to fit them into my already full calendar.

Invitations need to be mailed to your guests 6 – 8 weeks before the wedding. This means, your list should be done and your invitations ordered and to the Calligrapher 10 – 12 weeks before the wedding. This allows enough time for them to be addressed, for you to check them, have any errors corrected, get them stuffed, stamped and in the mail. The more time you give yourself and the Calligrapher, the less stressful it will be on all parties.

What has been your strangest request? To write on a leather bound Bible. I have written inside of bibles, but never on the outside. I leave that to the professional book binders.

Do you work with an assistant? No – Unless you include my husband who acts as a courier for me on a regular basis!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Vendor Spotlight: D'vine Cuisine

Vendor Spotlight: D'Vine Cuisine

Photo by Christy Whitehead

Your name: Hope Dempsey @ 904-742-7353

Company Name d’Vine cuisine, inc.

Blog with website

Years in Business: 5

How did you get started? Attended culinary school and a chef suggested that I work with a few caterers to see if I liked it. I worked for RSVP and Biscottis during that time and enjoyed the work.

Best advice you can give to a bride. Relax and enjoy your day. Hire a planner that will work with you to see that the details are completed the way you want them. Communicate to all your vendors of your expectations. Be sure all vendors are provided a floor plan of the day along with a time line.
Photo by Kathryn Brown

What has been your strangest request? A guest asked for all the left overs, including the items that had been out all night…it was an outdoor wedding.

Do you work with an assistant? I have a chef for that works in the back that keeps the kitchen and food in order. I assign the front of the house staff to certain stations.

What would you say is your style? Elegant but yet affordable.

Photo by Kathryn Brown

Who is the person you most admire? Julia Childs – she brought a European Flair to American cooking.

Who is the person that inspired you? Chef Bouman at FSCJ. He is French trained and speaks 4 languages, wine expert and wonderful instructor. He knows everything.

What is your proudest moment in your business? We recently catered for the Board of Directors for FSCJ. They loved it and I am with 4 other caters to be rotated in for events.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

{Quick Advice} Wedding DJ
 Your Wedding DJ is not your everyday DJ. It is imperative that you know the difference. Your DJ is your master of ceremonies and not just playing music. Your DJ is a very important vendor for your wedding. If they are providing the music for your ceremony make sure they have the proper equipment and know their cues. Is your ceremony and reception in the same venue but different areas? Can the DJ provide music and flow from ceremony, to cocktail hour to reception without missing a beat. They have to know how to transition from wedding to party. Can they fade the music to make announcements or are they shouting over the music. Make sure they follow the schedule and can pronounce every one's name in the bridal party. If the company has more then one DJ find out exactly who it will be on your day and make an appointment to meet him/her.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Meet Katrina!

Your name?  Katrina McCullum

Company Name: Made of Honor Weddings

Website: www,

Blog: Your reading

Years in Business: 7;  5 in Jacksonville

How did you get started? Well honestly, in exchange for babysitting.  I had two small kids and weird work hours. My neighbor made silk flowers for weddings, so in exchange for babysitting, I would help her with flowers and help her set up at weddings. I have always loved organizing parties and events. After assisting several  friends with their actual wedding plans and coordinating, it finally dawned on me that I could make a business out of it. I originally wanted to target "Theme" weddings. Medieval and Renaissance weddings to be precise. This is how I came up with my business name.

Best advice you can give to a bride- Hire professionals and enjoy your day. I am not saying break the bank, but find the best professional for your budget.  There aren't  any do overs for your wedding day and you don't want to look back and have regrets.

What has been your strangest request? I haven't had one. I try to make all my brides visions come true...with in reason. I haven't had anything outrageous...yet.

Do you work with an assistant? I always have one to two assistants for the ceremony and reception and I have 4 to 5 people for set up.

What would you say is your style? Modern, elegant, I am definitely not a traditional type of girl. I love to think outside of the box and go outside the norm. The one thing I don't like about trends is everyone is doing them. After the first two or three you are ready for something else but you have to wait until the next year. I encourage my brides to do it their way but sometimes...its the trend. LOL.

Who is the person you most admire? I don't admire just one. The women in my family are strong, driven and outstanding women. I learn from the good and the bad.

Who is the person that inspired you? I would have to say my sister. We inspire one another and push each other to reach our goals. She is my best friend.

What is your proudest moment in your business? I organized a major wedding contest. We gave away a $25,000 wedding. Although it didn't get the all the press I was seeking. I still made it happen., when people doubted me.  To see your vision grow into something very real is an exhilarating feeling. Each vendor donated their amazing services to bless a couple and every time that couple thinks of their wedding, or looks a photograph or their video they think back to all the vendors that made it possible.

My favorite ice cream is vanilla, you can enjoy it plain or mix it with anything to create something new. I love my family. My favorite color is sage (green). I love the beach, especially at night. I grew up in Southern California, so I am a west coast girl at heart. My children are my life and when I think of them moving out on their own... I cry. My favorite type of food is Italian. My favorite type of dog is the Siberian Husky...such a beautiful creature. I used to think I was tall until my children grew I feel really short. I love to play the SIMS game.  I am a sucker for chocolate. I love cartoons...the old ones anyway.My absolute favorite is Scooby Doo.  I am not afraid to go to dinner or a movie by myself. I hate shopping for myself. I want to visit Egypt on day. I love ancient Egypt and some of my decor in my house reflects that. I am honest, too honest at times. I have a guitar but I have yet to learn to play it. I love to laugh. I love to read, fantasy and sci-fi are my favorites. I talk to the movies like they can hear me. I cry on happy endings and love stories. I try to find the best in people. This is me in a nutshell.