Posts tagged article on wedding
Secrets Behind- Travel
I've enjoyed this series, probably more than some of my readers have.  I've gotten to know so much "Behind the Scenes" information from vendors that I normally wouldn't know as much about.  I think all in all the series has helped me to become a better and more thorough planner!

I don't spend much time with my clients arranging their honeymoon schedules but I know how much and money they DO spend on it, so I would be missing a big part of planning if I didn't include some details on working with Travel Agents.
I'm very excited to present 
Linda Murfin, CTC
Above The Crowds Travel & Meeting Planning
Telling people where to go for over 37 years!
I have had the honor of knowing Linda throughout a majority of my career so I can certainly vouch for her abilities and knowledge.  She is not only a wonderful business person but also an amazing woman.   Will all of that being said here are

Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: The biggest misconception is that a fee is paid for my expertise. In most cases, I receive a commission from my suppliers so you pay the same whether you book your trip yourself or allow me to book it.
In rare cases where I am not able to book a commissionable package, I will advise of my fees upfront.

Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when making their travel arrangements?
They often listen to other people about where they have gone for their honeymoons and decide to go to a destination because someone else liked it there. When I work with the bride and/or groom, I base recommendations on what THEY like to do, their passions and preferences.

Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when booking their honeymoon?
A: Personalization of services. Not getting "cookie cutter" packages.

Q: What is the one thing a bride should save on when booking with you?
A: She will definitely save on time. And with my 38 years of experience, she can count on getting the most for her dollar, no matter what the budget

Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?
A: Probably the accommodations. So many people say, "we won't be in the room that much" and book an inside cabin or a generic run-of-the-house room then don't have much of a special memory about their trip.

Q: What is the worst story you have heard about a mistake someone in your industry has made, anyone, ever. 
A: There are many potential scenarios for this - booking on the wrong date, misspelling of names, booking to the wrong destination (San Jose, California instead of San Jose, Costa Rica, for example), not letting clients know what documentation is necessary (passport, visas, letter of consent to take a minor out of the country, etc.). Travel is a tricky business with ALL the rules favoring the airlines, hotels, cruise lines and resorts. Accuracy is essential. With 38 years of experience, I know what to look for.

Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?
A: I would offer private charter flights to get them to their destination as quickly as possible and at any time they wish. I would also offer private butler service to pack and unpack their bags, a chauffeur to take them wherever they want and a private chef to prepare whatever they want to eat whenever they want it.

Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in travel contracts?
A: Cancellation penalties and travel insurance. Even though you say "This is our honeymoon, we're not going to cancel.", there may be circumstances beyond your control. You don't want to lose money on top of it all.

Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?
A: Probably the biggest thing is having a budgeted amount or at least a range. People seem to be afraid to commit to an amount sometimes. If you tell me you have $3000 to spend and the resort which best suits your needs and preferences is $2000, I'm not going to charge you $3000 just because you told me you could spend that much! I'll recommend what is the best fit on all levels - price, location, amenities, activities, ambiance, etc.

Well, there is some information that I certainly didn't know enough about.  I can't thank Linda enough for giving me some "Behind the Scenes" details on travel.  If you are interested in learning more about Above the Crowds, please visit their site at  

I'd love to know what you think as well, so feel free to email me or comment on the blog!

Happy Planning,

Who Really Needs a Wedding Planner- 2
The response from the last interview with a bridal client was HUGE and I am SO glad because I think this might be my favorite series.  I'm really interested in hearing from brides that used other planners, so if you did use a planner (not me) send me your answers so I can post it on the blog in the next edition of "Who Really Needs a Planner." 
To follow up with the series I have an interview with a bride that was referred to me through At Last Event Planning.  Here are a few photos from her wedding.

Photos are all courtesy of the great and wonderful people at Z Media.  

Q: What made you decide to hire a wedding planner? 
A: I hired a planner within the last month of the wedding planning because the details of the day became overwhelming. It was reassuring to know that she would be there to oversee everything that needed to be done on my day so I didnt have to worry about it.

Q: What types of things attracted you to each planner that you interviewed?
A: I didnt interview planners, only Brandi, and she seemed very organized and professional.


Q: What was the best thing your wedding planner did for you? 
A: EVERYTHING!!! Basically, handling the little details that I couldn't do on my actual wedding day and coordinating with each of the vendors to make sure they were where they were suppose to be that day!!

Q: What was something your planner did that you would never have thought of doing?
A: At dinner, she came to the head table, asked the bridal party if we needed anything, and offered to get us drinks!

Q: Did you feel that your wedding planner was worth the cost?
A: Definitely!!

Q: Was there anything you would have changed about your experience with your wedding planner?
A: No.

Q: What was something you wish you would have known before hiring your planner?
A: I only wish that I would of hired Brandi sooner! It would of alleviated a lot of stress on my part.

Q: Is there any situation where you could see why a bride would NOT want a wedding planner?
A: Only if she could not afford it.

The best part of Christine's last answer is that most planners can work with a bride on any budget.  You cut back the areas you don't need more service and you only use a planner during the most important aspects of your wedding planning.  That way anyone, on any budget can still enjoy the expertise and knowledge of a very skilled planner.  I don't ever suggest hiring a less experienced planner because they are "cheaper" unless you are prepared to work with someone, with, well, less experience.  

Bride's send me your interviews, I want to hear about other planners as well!  
How to be a Planner by Successful Wedding Planners
This post is for all of you up and coming Wedding Professionals.  I know that I get at least one email a day, asking me how to become a Wedding Planner and I'd like to have a post to direct everyone to, so here it is.  I sent out an email to some of the top Wedding Planners in the Northeast Ohio and while I was disappointed at the lack of response I received, I can say that the quality of the responses was quite good.  Quality over quantity, right?  See for yourselves. 

"I always share the following advice-
"If you want to be successful at owing an event planning business, I recommend starting out working for an event facility - Hotel, Country Clubs, Catering Companies, Party Centers can teach such valuable lessons on Food and Beverage, Event coordination, contracts, great vendors, and so much more.  Starting out at a facility allows one to build up a relationship with vendors and to learn from the bottom up many valuable tools!"

Valarie Kirkbride-Falvey from Kirkbrides 
"I got started by being an intern/training for free with a wedding planner in LA.  After I trained for about 6-8 months she started giving me weddings of my own.  I've learned that creativity comes naturally and helps immensely with the job (through not only design ideas but creative problem solving as well).  I also recommend to people still in college to take advantage of any business courses they can.  My marketing, economics, accounting and management classes help me the most with my job now.  I also think that my past sales experience helps me run my own business as well.  As a planner you always have to be selling yourself and networking, maintaining relationships with vendors and location managers."

"Kirkbrides will be offering an internship program soon.  We are ironing out the details now and I already have people waiting for me to send to them.  If people are interested they can check my site or e-mail for more information."

Amy Nixon from Amy Nixon Events

"My advice to aspiring planners/coordinators would be to participate in an internship where you are actually able to assist in the process. It’s how I got started myself, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to break into the wedding planning business. Over the past few years I have had the pleasure of working with several interns at my weddings and other events. They have been a range of ages (from 18 to 44), some pursuing event planning in college, others looking to make a major mid-life career change. They have been quite a diverse group of ladies, and yet at the end of their internships they all had the exact same thing to say…..the hands-on experience was absolutely invaluable. Some decided they loved wedding planning and have continued on the path, and some others decided it’s not what they really had in mind. While formal education and classes are always a great thing, all the classroom hours in the world can’t prepare you for coordinating a 400 guest wedding, wrangling an excited bridal party of 22 people, directing 12 vendors going in all different directions, and preparing for a 45 minute room-flip between ceremony and reception all at the same time. It’s always fast-paced and sometimes high-stress, and the best way to ease yourself into that atmosphere without being overwhelmed is by observing and assisting a seasoned wedding professional"

Here is what I tell my assistants/interns.  I also did an article on "Why you need a Planner" for a local paper/column.  (That article can be viewed here.)

  1. Take the time to be trained via an Association/Certification Program. Shadow a seasoned planner with an actual events.
  2. Learn the business inside and out ( how to charge your customer, how to handle vendors, programs, your money, advertising...etc). Read the books, magazines and research, research research.  
  3. Do not assume anything. ALWAYS get signed contract for your services and the vendors that the client chooses. 
  4. Obtain legal advice as well as a tax person.
  5. Spend time shadowing or observing  vendors (i.e. florist, bakers, photographer). See the perspective of an event from through their eyes. Understanding your vendors need/goals and over all expectations for a successful event. This is SO valuable to the success of a planner/event.  
  6. Always have an assistant. You can never be in 2 places at the same time. Make sure the assistant is capable and knowledgeable. This is a great opp for a up & coming planner. You are more professional when you are prepared and pro active. Visit the sites for the ceremony/reception why a head of time.
  7. Always be proActive not reActive.
  8. Control what you can. By keeping ahead of the tact( i.e. people will be late so plan for it).  
  9. Remember to always keep it classy and professional (i.e. your attire, attitude). Have fun but continue to do your job. Be accountable, reliable, dependable and integritity.
  10. Most important...remember this a relationship building profession. Keep in mind that this relationship can lead to other working relationships/events.
  11. Work as if the world is watching because one never knows.

    So, that was definitely quality in responses.  I will do a post to follow up on my tips & secrets on how to become a successful wedding planner next.  Although,
    I think these ladies just about covered it!

    If you have any other advice or would like more information, feel free to email me or give me a call,
    I'm always happy to help!  I
    wish all of you the best of luck in becoming an
    amazing & successful Wedding Planner.

Get Married is making BIG moves!

Get Married's Founder and CEO To Host New TV Season On New Network

“This year is full of bold moves for Get Married, and the fresh approach we are taking with the show is consistent with our bride-centric focus,” said Francombe. “Brides are at the epicenter of everything we do, and I am incredibly honored to be immersed in their wedding planning as we share captivating moments and inspirations with a national audience.”

Check out the rest of the exciting news here!

And be on the lookout for All Events Planned in one of their future editions!