Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Almost Here!

My first wedding that I will be doing without my intern label is two weeks away! As it gets closer things are getting a little more tense but everything is coming together and Laura (my bride) and I are ready! She may tell you otherwise, but she is such a rockstar. I'm blessed she let me practice on her and learn this process with me. She has taught me so much, and after all is said and done, I will force her to sit down and tell me the things that could have been better and where I could use major improvements. I was one of those students who got mad when a teacher didn't ink up my papers because I felt they didn't read them. I'm not perfect, and I am always seeking for ways to improve.

Lately I have been working on the business side of things and am trying to work out the nitty gritty details. I've got a business license application pending and have been doing a lot of research on other companies and scanning Yuma's market. One of the biggest challenges for me is deciding how much I am worth. During a potential bride meeting, she told me that she wasn't out there to find the best deal and "nickel and dime" the vendors. She realizes that these services are people's livelihoods and just want what's fair. I wanted to give her a hug because it was so refreshing to hear that. You pay people to work for you, and if you want a job well done, then you should pay for a job well done. I would love if I could just say, pay me what's fair, and it was as simple as that but it's not!

No two weddings will ever be the same and some will require more work than others. This job is fun for me, but I have to realize that my work is worth something and that it has to pay the bills too. I am a TJ Maxx deal shopper so I like to find the best deals for people, and I realize that a wedding is an astronomical expense so it's going to be a challenge for me. Unfortunately, there's not really a cookie-cutter equation for finding my worth like there are in other industries. I will get the hang of it and learn to be strong and realize that it is a business!

Along with deciding my service package prices, I've been trying to figure out what my contract should entail. I have found a few that I need to read with a fine-toothed comb. I hate that we live in a world where we have to protect ourselves like this in any industry. I just pray that my naivety about things won't get the best of me!

I'm here to love my career, meet new people, and create a cohesion between clients and vendors, and just have fun. I don't want to make any enemies. This is a small town, and we've got a great little community and I can't wait to dive in because everyone has been so welcoming and encouraging. I can't wait to learn new things and see what opportunities present themselves!

On another note, Laura's wedding has kept both of us busy in the crafting department, which is so much more fun than creating a contract! She's a very DIY bride and the both of us have been scanning discount stores and antique stores to find goodies to decorate with. We have both been creating things, and I am so psyched to see it come together. I don't want to divulge too much, but I will say that her theme is a green, gold, brown, and burlap eco-chic, recycled bottle look.

The pictures of one of my projects were accidentally deleted, but luckily I snapped a phone photo of one of my proudest creations thus far:

Here is the mirror mid-project as I was gluing on the shims. It turned out really beautiful, and I can't wait to display it. I made it following this tutorial. My only suggestion is that the wood be primed before painted because I ended up having to re-do the painting because the wood soaked up the paint.

You may recognize this mirror here when Blair and I painted one for one of her projects. Have you guessed that Laura's wedding  is going to include mirrors yet? ;)

Laura and Lance's wedding is going to be perfect and so much fun! I haven't decided yet if I am more or less nervous about the fact that I will know the majority of the guests! The pressure is most definitely on!

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Job Does More Than Pay Bills

One  good aspect about my job is that I learn skills that are very applicable to different things such as maid of honor duties and bridal showers. My parents helped me throw a bridal shower for Emily whose wedding is in November. I have been ZERO, ZIP, NADA help to her with her wedding mostly because we don’t even live in the same state but also because I have failed as a maid of honor and WEDDING PLANNER! I keep asking her to let me help her but she’s being polite and won’t let me know what I can do. She’s extremely low key, but she knows exactly what she wants. She is the dream bride for any planner, and she’s not even using one!

We hosted the shower in our back yard in Orange. It was very small and intimate and turned out to be a beautiful day. I chose pastel orange, yellow, and pink as the color palette because those are the colors I think of when Emily comes to mind. She’s so kind-spirited and sunshiney! <--Yes, I make up my own words. :)

Sunshiney Tea Party! 

I Got to Use My Great-Grandmother's China

I can’t even reiterate how helpful my parents were, along with a few other people.  We decided to do a Saturday morning brunch and tea party. My mom made some fabulous quiches and we served sandwich fixings, a veggie platter, a fruit platter, and Emily’s mom made some amazing cinnamon rolls.  For dessert, I ordered cake pops from a friend who is an up-and-coming baker! We also had coffee, iced tea, tea, and my dad made his famous mimosas.

Food Spread Pre-Quiche

We Had Enough Food To Feed These Handsome Guys...The girls were a little confused when they all appeared in their PJS!! :) 

I learned a lot that morning, namely that I need to take some culinary classes or go shadow a caterer. I don’t know how many times my dad came up behind me to fix the amateur mistakes I was making in displaying the food.
“When you lay out pre-cut, packaged cheese, you want to separate it and re-stack it because it is too stuck together for people to separate when holding a plate of food.”
“When you wash raspberries, you want them to completely dry before setting them out because they smoosh and run together.”
“This is how you make bunches of grapes look nice”
“Crowds are not going to appreciate your healthy food makeovers.”

Don’t even ask me to cut a watermelon nicely to serve. You are better off seeking the help of a two year old. 

I also realized, and feel like we planned really well, that when you have an event that starts at 10:00AM, you need to do as much prep work as possible the day before even if you are waking up a 5am to start working. We spent the whole Friday getting ready and doing as much as possible, and our morning was still pretty busy! 

I also realized that floral design courses are imperative for me. I cannot put an arrangement together for the life of me. Thank goodness my dad is so artsy. We bought flowers from Costco--seriously one of the best resources for flowers--and my dad arranged them into tea pots for me. That was my mom's idea!

Until I learn more about food and flowers, this event planner will be hiring caterers and florists! 

Thanks to both of my parents for thinking of the million things I never thought of! Both my mom and dad worked non-stop. My mom's a little camera-shy, but she's always there being the best mom in the world! 

I'm not  a completely crafter helpless because I made some vases I'm kind of proud of! I got the idea at Tip Junkie It doesn't take a college degree to make them, but one day I will be a master crafter!! 

If I did this again, I would collect more china and make it more mismatched.

As an aspiring business person, I know how hard it is to get your foot in the door, and I love to use people that are in the same boat as me…as long as they are qualified. I noticed Kari, a good friend's cake pop creations on Facebook, and she has made some adorable things! She doesn’t have an official business yet, but she is well on her way, and I was excited to be among her first few clients. It won’t be long before I can’t afford her because she is so talented!

Check out these adorable tea cups she made for the shower: 

I also stole pictures of past work from her Facebook: 

How Cute Are These?? 

School Colors For a Graduation Party
Please let me know if you ever need some fabulous cake pops, and I will put you in touch with Kari and her sister. They not only look cute, they taste fabulous too! I ordered funfetti because it was a neutral flavor, and it was a big hit! 

I also used Emily’s longtime friend for the invitations. She is not sure exactly what direction she wants to go exactly because she has a ton of skills and is going to FIDM this fall, but if you want someone who will put 110% into making beautiful paper goods you have to contact Amanda. I was shocked when I got the invitations from her and how much detail she added. She was also super helpful and offered to do so much for the shower. She brought a giant box of different tea sets to help my very small collection. 

Sorry Amanda, these sideways poor quality phone pictures do not do your work justice! 

Love How She Pulled the Ribbon Through! 

Blair is not going to be able to get away from me--first, in the endless questions I send her and secondly in her designing various aspects of my events. I used the chicken wire frames that she built to display recipe cards that we sent with Emily and she designed and made the adorable banner. She created it after a 5 minute phone call and a few questions. She nailed the whole design perfectly! If you need an event planner, paper goods and decor, event design, unique rentals, and a lot more contact Blair here

Chicken Wire Frame

"All You Need is Love" 

It was a lovely morning, and I think (hope) everyone had a great time! I am excited for the bachelorette festivities and most of all, the wedding!! 

All You Need Is Good Food and Friends! 

I Couldn't Get Over How Beautiful Everyone Made This Party Look! 

Beautiful Bride!