the publication for wedding planners, professionals & designers

January/February 2016 Volume 5, Issue 6
Real Wedding Colorado

Real Wedding Colorado

Name/credentials: JoAnn Moore, MWP™, CWC, CGWP, Mountains and Meadows, www.mmweddingscolorado.com, joann@mmweddingscolorado.com Photography: Jesse Starr The couple: Laura, an attorney, and Andy, a med-student, are from Boston. They knew each other for many years before falling in love. Since they have Colorado connections, they wanted to share the Colorado mountain experience,...
How Will You Shake Things Up in 2016?

How Will You Shake Things Up in 2016?

“My best practice is to plan on going above and beyond what I do, no matter what the situation brings. As a high-end destination wedding planner, you have to get in your client’s head and be ready to surprise them with things they didn’t even know they wanted—until you provided...
Real Wedding New York

Real Wedding New York

ABC Member Planner: Mary Homer, PWP™, Fairy Tale Weddings and Events, www.fairytaleweddingsandeventsbymary.com, mhomerwed@yahoo.com Photographer: Clark and Walker Studios ABC Non-Member Businesses involved: Hank Parker Tent Rentals, RAO’s Mattydale Flower Shop, Foremost Catering The couple: I was inspired by the pure love Max and Rebecca have for one another. You can actually...
Understated Elegance & Fine Food Are French Wedding Highlights

Understated Elegance & Fine Food Are French Wedding Highlights

By Nancy LaTart, Fête in France, Paris photo by KHulett Photography France’s beautiful regions offer unparalleled scenic beauty that is perfect for weddings. And, whether the weddings held here are locals tying the knot or international couples seeking a destination event, there are distinct differences to be noted in everything,...
Surviving the Mother-of-the-Bride in 15 Steps

Surviving the Mother-of-the-Bride in 15 Steps

By Stephanie White, Amorous Weddings & Events, Mesa, Ariz. During a recent visit with your bride, you discover her mother is more than just concerned about her daughter’s wedding—she’s concerned about everything, and her hands are in everything! She’s insisted on being part of the planning process, and maybe she’s...
Wedding Planner Magazine Advisory Board Tackles Your Toughest Questions

Wedding Planner Magazine Advisory Board Tackles Your Toughest Questions

By Tonia Adleta, PWP™, Aribella Events – Frank J. Andonoplas, MWP™, Frank Event Design – Alan Berg, www.AlanBerg.com – Donnie Brown, CWP™, Donnie Brown Weddings and Events – Merryl Brown, CWP™, Merryl Brown Events – Mark Kingsdorf, MBC™, Mission Inn Resorts – Carmen Mesa, MBC™, Carmen Mesa Weddings and Events,...
Master Wedding Planner™ Shay Freeman, MWP™

Master Wedding Planner™ Shay Freeman, MWP™

Bells & Bows, Little Rock, Ark. ABC Member Since: 1997— Employees: 2-5 independent contractors Revenue Breakdown: 90% bridal planning, consulting, and related services; 10% rentals and miscellaneous
Understanding your brand

Understanding your brand

By Alan Berg, CSP, www.AlanBerg.com, Kendall Park, N.J. What is your brand? Can you describe it to someone who’s never done business with you? I’m not talking about what you do (wedding planning), or even why you do it (passion, money, etc.). It’s not your proficiency at a craft, either....
Words of Wisdom:  Wedding Planning and Design Business Tips for Novices

Words of Wisdom: Wedding Planning and Design Business Tips for Novices

By Bonnie Fedchock, CAE, National Association for Catering and Events, Columbia, MD. Owning a wedding planning business encompasses far more than the glamorous and elegant lifestyle that many people automatically associate with the job title. That’s why it’s important for aspiring wedding industry entrepreneurs to gain insight from successful business...
The Rise of Instagram— Three Tips to Getting Started

The Rise of Instagram— Three Tips to Getting Started

By Nicole Zenner, LK Events, Chicago A picture is worth a thousand words. That adage is absolutely why Instagram, although only 5-years-old, now has 300 million monthly active users. Instagram initially launched on the iOS platform (for iPhones only) but, in 2012, was also released on the Android platform. Later...
Making Time—A Quick Guide for Mapping Out an Event

Making Time—A Quick Guide for Mapping Out an Event

By Jon’ll Boyd, Completely Yours Events, Alexandria, Va. Every event is different—whether it is a wedding, conference, dinner, baby shower, or birthday. Each is unique, and each has its own moving parts. That’s why it’s essential that each part is given a designated assignment, each assignment is given a designated...
No Surprises—Create a Plan for Helping Guests with Autism

No Surprises—Create a Plan for Helping Guests with Autism

By Irene Tanzman, Newton, Mass. It’s your clients’ wedding day, and everything has to be perfect.  Most couples don’t want their day ruined by someone who might scream through the entire ceremony or have a temper tantrum. So what would you advise your client to do about a relative diagnosed with...
16 Top Software & Apps in 2016

16 Top Software & Apps in 2016

By Beth Erickson, Wedding Planner Magazine editor, La Crosse, Wis. Whether you’re looking to transform your business, make things easier, or find creative social media resources for weddings, look no further. Below is a list of some of today’s hottest apps and software.
California Dreamin' 2015 ABC Business of Brides Annual Conference

California Dreamin’ 2015 ABC Business of Brides Annual Conference

  By John Goolsby, State Manager – California, Nevada, and Hawaii/Godfather films, riverside, calif. photos happy photos Nearly 300 wedding professionals from around the world came together Nov. 8 – 10, 2015, at the Hilton Orange County in California to participate in the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) annual conference,...
Letter

Letter

When we began this issue of Wedding Planner Magazine, we asked Nancy LaTart of Fête in France to tell readers about the sophisticated wedding traditions of historic France. Of course, we had no way of knowing that a short time later Paris would be the site of a heartbreaking act...
Industry Best Practices How do you use Instagram to build your business?

Industry Best Practices How do you use Instagram to build your business?

“I love using Instagram to connect with editors and freelance writers. I tend to find more press opportunities on Twitter and Facebook, but Instagram is where I go to focus on cultivating media relationships. I find that Instagram shows more of a human side to our respective companies, so the...
Weddings Out of Africa—South Africa that Is!

Weddings Out of Africa—South Africa that Is!

By Milena Santoro, CMM, CMP, PIDP, MS Productions, Canada and Europe, and Christina Holt, Wedding Concepts, Cape Town, South Africa photo by Jean-Pierre Uys Looking for a wedding or honeymoon setting that combines beautiful scenery, world-class wineries, and opportunities for a bush or safari experience? Consider South Africa. South Africa...
Some Things Are Here to Stay How to Marry DIY and Professional Wedding Services

Some Things Are Here to Stay How to Marry DIY and Professional Wedding Services

By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting, Richmond, Va. photos by sera petras photography As the economy has shown signs of recovery from its most recent recession, many believed that the DIY trend would fade. The reality, though, is that it’s here to stay, albeit in an evolving form. Indeed, a whole...
The Road to Self-Publishing

The Road to Self-Publishing

By Lynda Barness, MWP™, I DO Wedding Consulting, Philadelphia Writing a book is an act of love. It takes time and effort, concentration and perseverance. Here are a few tips I learned on my road to self-publishing I Do: A Wedding Planner Tells Tales. 1. Journal and take notes. Writing...
Two ARE better than one: the Benefits of Shared Space

Two ARE better than one: the Benefits of Shared Space

By Lisa Marie Blinn, PWP™, L. Marie Events, Locust Valley, N.Y. Timing is everything. This was just the case when John Goolsby of Godfather Films and I decided on sharing an office in New York. Here are a few things we learned along the way. Find the right partner
A Recipe for Successfully Working  With Other Event Professionals

A Recipe for Successfully Working With Other Event Professionals

By Heather Flemke, National Association for Catering and Events, Columbia, Md. When it comes to wedding planning, the tendency to have “too many cooks in the kitchen” happens all too often. So here’s a recipe for successful event relations for event planners and professionals. Ingredient #1: Plan for the future...
Wedding Planner Magazine Advisory Board  Tackles Your Toughest Questions

Wedding Planner Magazine Advisory Board Tackles Your Toughest Questions

By Tonia Adleta, PWP™, Aribella Events – Frank J. Andonoplas, MWP™, Frank Event Design – Alan Berg, www.AlanBerg.com – Donnie Brown, CWP™, Donnie Brown Weddings and Events – Merryl Brown, CWP™, Merryl Brown Events – Mark Kingsdorf, MBC™, Mission Inn Resorts – Carmen Mesa, MBC™, Carmen Mesa Weddings and Events,...
Master Wedding Planner™

Master Wedding Planner™

Frank J. Andonoplas, MWP™ Frank Event Design, Chicago ABC Member Since: 1993 Employees: 1 full-time, 6 part-time Revenue Breakdown: 70% full-service consulting, 10% commissions, 20% rentals Contact: 773-275-6804, www.FrankEventDesign.com, frank@FrankEventDesign.com Social Media: Facebook/Frank Event Design, Twitter @frankandonoplas
You Win Some, You Lose Some 5 Ways to Handle  Losing a Sale

You Win Some, You Lose Some 5 Ways to Handle Losing a Sale

By Alan Berg, CSP, www.alanberg.com, Kendall Park, N.J. In a perfect world, we’d get every sale we want, for the dollars we want. But we don’t live in a perfect world, do we? There are no trophies for second place when it comes to winning a sale. You either get the sale,...
The Accidental Planner— Wedding & Branding Guru David Tutera

The Accidental Planner— Wedding & Branding Guru David Tutera

By Beth Erickson, Wedding Planner Magazine editor, La Crosse, Wis. In the wedding industry, David Tutera is a legend, a creative genius, a master of marketing and branding, a social media wiz, an author, speaker, reality TV star, and celebrity planner. And though his career was built on hard work...
2015 Best Real Weddings

2015 Best Real Weddings

Ohio Planner: Priscah Musinde, Joie de Vivre Events, Columbus Photography: Mike & Kim Photography The couple: This couple worked collaboratively with their visions for the wedding. The bride knew exactly what she wanted, and the groom followed suit, making accommodations to ensure she had the wedding of her dreams. Despite...
Inspiration Is Everywhere! Top Trends from International Wedding Pros

Inspiration Is Everywhere! Top Trends from International Wedding Pros

By Beth Erickson, Wedding Planner Magazine Editor, La Crosse, Wis.; Edna Dratch-Parker, PWP™, EFD Creative – Event Planning & Design, Boston; Diana Da Ros, Diana Da Ros Event Planner, Monza, Italy; Barbara Diez, MWP™, Barbara Diez Events, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Shereé Bochenek, Après Party and Tent Rental, Edina, Minn. photo...
Letter

Letter

Filmmaker Frank Capra once said, “Don’t follow trends, start trends.” Ask most top trendsetters in any industry about how to find the latest trends and that’s likely the answer you’ll receive. Our approach to this issue of Wedding Planner Magazine, the design trends issue, was to explore the idea behind...
Modern Hmong Weddings Blend Culture, Heritage, Trends

Modern Hmong Weddings Blend Culture, Heritage, Trends

By Anna Senrick, Sunrise Styling, LLC, St. Paul, Minn. photos by merina burda photography As with many weddings in Asian cultures, traditional Hmong weddings are handled by the family and are intricately pre-planned or determined by ancestry, last name lineage, the value of the female/bride, and gifts to the bride’s...
What’s Right for You? Readers Review Wedding Industry Software

What’s Right for You? Readers Review Wedding Industry Software

By Beth Erickson, Wedding Planner Magazine Editor, La Crosse, Wis. Many wedding industry business owners will tell you that managing all of the event details, inventory, and financials of the company is like juggling too many balls in the air. It makes you drip with worry, waiting and wondering when...
Real Wedding Florida

Real Wedding Florida

ABC Member Planner: Lynn D’Ascanio, D’Asigner Events, www.DAsignerEvents.com, Lynn@DAsignerEvents.com. Photography: Bob Care Photography. Non-member businesses involved: Hawks Cay Resort, Marathon Florist, Sweet Savannah’s Bakery.
Make it a Point to Commit to Lifelong Learning

Make it a Point to Commit to Lifelong Learning

By Gloria Boyden, MWP™, Association of Bridal Consultants, Carmel, Ind. From the time people are born until they leave this earth, learning is a part of their lives. The same holds true for wedding professionals. The Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) was created to provide the best education for current...
Wedding Planner Magazine Advisory Board Tackles Your Toughest Questions

Wedding Planner Magazine Advisory Board Tackles Your Toughest Questions

By Tonia Adleta, PWP™, Aribella Events – Frank J. Andonoplas, MWP™, Frank Event Design – Alan Berg, www.AlanBerg.com – Donnie Brown, CWP™, Donnie Brown Weddings and Events – Merryl Brown, CWP™, Merryl Brown Events – Mark Kingsdorf, MBC™, Mission Inn Resorts – Carmen Mesa, MBC™, Carmen Mesa Weddings and Events,...
Master Bridal Consultant™

Master Bridal Consultant™

AnnaMarie Wintercorn, MBC™ Elegant Weddings and Events, Stuart, Fla. ABC Member Since: 1993 Employees: Owner-operated plus sub-contracted professionals Revenue Breakdown: 40% full-service planning, 50% officiating, 10% month-of services
Cover Your Assets— The Benefits of Business Insurance

Cover Your Assets— The Benefits of Business Insurance

By Esmeralda C. Geddes, CAPAX Marry Me Insurance Program, Modesto, Calif. Business today takes place in a challenging legal environment and is full of intense competitive pressures. Most business owners do not prepare fully for the unpredictable. Wedding industry entrepreneurs are no exception. Many do not have the correct insurance...
Marriage Equality: What It Means for You and Your Business

Marriage Equality: What It Means for You and Your Business

By Beth Erickson, Editor, Wedding Planner Magazine, La Crosse, Wis. photo by authentic eye photography Unless you’ve been living off the grid, you know that on June 26 the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark ruling that was a victory for gay rights advocates. With a 5-4 decision, the court...
What’s Your 1%?  Create your company culture bit by bit

What’s Your 1%? Create your company culture bit by bit

By Beth Erickson, Wedding Planner Magazine Editor, La Crosse, Wis. It’s true that companies with a strong work culture enjoy greater success, profitability, and even general happiness. There is less burnout, lower turnover, and increased productivity. People who work at companies where the owners and managers live the company values...
Bottoms Up on Beverage Creativity

Bottoms Up on Beverage Creativity

By Bonnie Fedchock, CAE, National Association for Catering and Events, Columbia, Md. Sharon Charny Woschitz, hotel headquarter director, and Jessica Bernosky, drink development specialist, both from Charmer Sunbelt Group, presented an overview of the exciting trends within the beverage industry at Experience! 2015 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Current trends include: You’ll...
In 2016 Catering and Event Trends,  the Devil is in the Details

In 2016 Catering and Event Trends, the Devil is in the Details

            By Heather Flemke, National Association for Catering and Events, Columbia, Md. photos by MinsonWeddings/Gibbons (unless noted) Few manage to create their own brand, let alone their own signature brand, but Colin Cowie, master designer and event planner extraordinaire, has done just that. At the July Experience! 2015 Conference...
Letter

Letter

Wedding Planner Magazine applauds the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality. While the ruling has been a long time coming and serves to clarify the issue across state lines, it also leaves many individuals with questions—particularly those in the wedding industry. What does this mean for your business? How...
Real Wedding Las Vegas

Real Wedding Las Vegas

ABC Member Planner: Janice Board, Spectacular Soirees Wedding & Event Planning, www.spectacularsoirees.com, spectacular.soirees@gmail.com. Photography: Adri & Fabio Photography.
What’s new in wedding paper?

What’s new in wedding paper?

Explore These Top Stationery Companies By Allison Kline, MWP™, sash&bow, Little Suamico, Wis. photos courtesy of carlson craft Working with paper is one of the many joys of wedding planners who have added this product to their service line. Seeing the couple’s faces when they open their box of invitations...
Real Wedding California

Real Wedding California

ABC Member Planner: Merryl Brown, MA, CWP™, Merryl Brown Events, www.merrylbrownevents.com, merryl@merrylbrownevents.com. Photography: Elizabeth Messina Photography. ABC Member Businesses Involved: Classic Party Rentals. Non-Member Businesses Involved: Flowerwild, Full of Life Flatbread, The Mobile Home Boys, Isaac Hernandez Videography, Tina Schlieske, The Stationery Collection, Janice Blair Calligraphy, DJ Mike Ober, Robin...
Should Wedding Planners List Pricing on Their Websites?

Should Wedding Planners List Pricing on Their Websites?

By Kristie McCauley, Action Marketing Copy, Fairfax, Va. If you take a look at wedding planners’ websites, you might notice a rising trend toward listing prices. Is this the way to go? The fact of the matter is, listing pricing on your website can benefit a wedding planner’s business.
Striking Gold with Sandals

Striking Gold with Sandals

By Laurie Beckmann, MWV™, The Appel Inn and A Gracious Event, Altamont, New York Photos Courtesy of Sandals Resorts “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
Wedding Planner Magazine Advisory Board Tackles Your Toughest Questions

Wedding Planner Magazine Advisory Board Tackles Your Toughest Questions

By Tonia Adleta, PBC™, Aribella Events – Frank J. Andonoplas, MWP™, Frank Event Design – Alan Berg, www.AlanBerg.com – Donnie Brown, Donnie Brown Weddings and Events – Merryl Brown, CWP™, Merryl Brown Events – Mark Kingsdorf, MBC™, Mission Inn Resorts – Carmen Mesa, MBC™, Carmen Mesa Weddings and Events, Inc....
Master Bridal Consultant™

Master Bridal Consultant™

Gail Johnson, MBC™ Gail Johnson Weddings & Events www.gailjohnsonweddings.com, Decatur, Ga. ABC Member Since: 2005
Four Reasons Businesses Fail—and How to Avoid Them

Four Reasons Businesses Fail—and How to Avoid Them

By Alan Berg, CSP, www.alanberg.com, Kendall Park, N.J. The things that make you great at planning weddings don’t necessarily make you great at business. That’s a harsh reality, but one you have to address if you want to have a successful wedding planning business. The skills and tools you need...
Barefoot Elegance:  A Grand Cayman Destination Wedding

Barefoot Elegance: A Grand Cayman Destination Wedding

By Tracey Schultz, Travel Writer/Blogger, Hartland, Wis. photo Courtesy of The Wyndham Reef Resort
Grooming the Groom— How to Get Him Actively Involved in His Big Day

Grooming the Groom— How to Get Him Actively Involved in His Big Day

By Kim Trehan, Soirée Planners/Soirée Lounge, Vancouver, BC, Canada Photos by Jelger & Tanja Photographer Between Canada and the United States, weddings are a multi-billion dollar industry. And despite the cultural tide, the industry remains completely bride-focused. But did you know that although it is usually the bride who takes...
3 Haute Trends to Transform Your Outdoor Events

3 Haute Trends to Transform Your Outdoor Events

By Andrew Zill and Petra Compel, Feats Inc., Baltimore, Md. photos courtesy of feats Having an outdoor event doesn’t have to feel like Uncle Joe’s annual backyard barbeque. Here’s a look at three trends in décor and catering that will transform your outside venue into a fabulous space for your...
Claim Your Place Among the Stars— How to Shine in the Growing Destination Wedding Market

Claim Your Place Among the Stars— How to Shine in the Growing Destination Wedding Market

By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting, Richmond, Va. photos by rochelle cheever photography
“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” - William Shakespeare

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” – William Shakespeare

Whatever our dreams and goals, it’s important to remember that we hold the key to our destinies. While it’s true that the unexpected has a way of interfering once-in-a-while, it’s also true that it’s up to us to get ourselves back on track. In this issue, we invite you to...
Real Wedding Michigan

Real Wedding Michigan

ABC Member Planner: Kate McClellan, PBC™, Purple Clover Events, www.PurpleCloverEvents.com, Kate@PurpleCloverEvents.com. Photographer: A Girl in Love Photography.
Stay Fresh on the  Latest Food Trends

Stay Fresh on the Latest Food Trends

By Beth Erickson, Wedding Planner Magazine editor, La Crosse, Wis. Photos contributed What are the flavors, products, and trends on the rise in 2015? Consumers want bolder flavors and more variety on their plates. The editors of Specialty Food News, a publication from the Specialty Food Association (SFA) listed their...
Real Wedding Florida

Real Wedding Florida

ABC Member planner: Cindy Morley, ABC™, Eventful Moments, LLC, www.eventfulmomentsbycindy.webs.com, eventfull1@aol.com. Photography: Michael & Josephine Photography. ABC member businesses involved: Tentlogix.
What is your company’s mission statement?

What is your company’s mission statement?

“Our mission is to become the essential wedding consultant for vineyard weddings in North Carolina by providing exemplary customer service, implementing with extreme organization for a smooth flowing event, and fostering vineyard relationships.” – Kimberly Williams, PWP™, Weddings by the Vine, Cary, N.C.
The Ins and Outs of Hotel Room Blocks

The Ins and Outs of Hotel Room Blocks

By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting, Richmond, Va. Accommodations. Practically every couple needs them for their wedding, whether they are throwing a huge local fete with inbound guests or an intimate destination affair. While a place to sleep, regroup, and prepare is vital, putting together room block reservations can be overwhelming....
The ABCs of Reviews

The ABCs of Reviews

By Alan Katz, Great Officiants, Long Beach, Calif. If you don’t have reviews, you don’t exist in the minds of wedding couples. Now, more than ever, couples want to see reviews on vendors before they decide who will handle their wedding. Among engaged couples, 95 percent use reviews to guide...
Master bridal consultant™

Master bridal consultant™

Allison Kline, MBC™ sash&bow www.sashandbow.com, Green Bay, Wis. ABC Member since: 2007 Employees: 1 full-time, 8 part-time Revenue breakdown: 50% consulting, 40% rentals, 10% stationery Contact: 920.347.9000, alliey@sashandbow.com Social media: www.sashandbow.com/blog, www.facebook.com/sashandbow, www.twitter.com/sashandbowllc, www.pinterest.com/sashandbow, www.instagram.com/allieyk
Internships—A Wedding Business Owner’s Best Path To Good Social Media

Internships—A Wedding Business Owner’s Best Path To Good Social Media

By Brian Lawrence, www.BrianLawrence.com, River Edge, N.J. Who in the wedding industry has 25 years of experience in social media? Nobody. Who are the most experienced and qualified people to help you with social media? Probably college students and young adults. They have grown up with the Internet and social...
Turning wedding traditions upside down

Turning wedding traditions upside down

By Angela Hall, ABC™, Vestar, Fort Worth, Texas Photos by Amy Karp Photography, Dallas After planning hundreds of weddings and events of all shapes and sizes, I’ve witnessed a variety of traditions carried out within America’s multicultural population. Even so, weddings tend to fit in a certain mold (you know...
Lake Como – Lago di Como

Lake Como – Lago di Como

By Milena Santoro, CMM, CMP, PIDP, MS Productions, Edmonton, AB, Canada Photos by Riccardo Bestetti, Studio Fotografico Bestetti, Lecco LC, Italy “When you write the story of two happy lovers, let the story be set on the banks of Lake Como.” – Franz Liszt
Creating a Venue from the Ground Up

Creating a Venue from the Ground Up

3 Tent Rental Companies Share Behind-the-Scenes Peeks at a Top Tented Wedding
Sustainable. Green. Rustic. No matter what you call it, nature and the outdoors are clearly en vogue.

Sustainable. Green. Rustic. No matter what you call it, nature and the outdoors are clearly en vogue.

Enter the tented wedding. What better way to incorporate nature into the big day than to put the venue smack dab in the middle of it. The world of tenting offers such a wide range of options that there is literally something for everyone. Whether your clients want tents with...
Real Wedding New Mexico

Real Wedding New Mexico

ABC Member Planner: Davina Griñe-Panas, ABC™, Gold Rose Petal Wedding & Events, www.grpweddings.com, goldrosepetal39@gmail.com. Photographer: Kevin’s Photography. ABC member businesses involved: Miranda Event Rentals.
Real Wedding New York

Real Wedding New York

ABC Member Planner: Lisa Marie Blinn, PBC™, L. Marie Events, www.LMarieEvents.org, LisaMarie@LMarieEvents.org. ABC Member Photographer: Denise Chastain, Modern Wedding Photography.
How do you nurture and manage your professional, industry relationships throughout the year?

How do you nurture and manage your professional, industry relationships throughout the year?

“I stay in touch with professionals via email and arranging fun, informal meet ups. Sharing enthusiasm for an industry partner’s current projects and successes spreads excitement and also prompts collaboration…Attending networking events, such as those by the ABC, to stay in touch with industry partners has made for a better...
3 Tips for Designing on a Dime!

3 Tips for Designing on a Dime!

By Tonya J. Shadoan, MBC™, T Productions, Fishers, Ind. Let’s face it. Not every wedding has a large budget. So what can you do to meet your couples’ budget, create the wedding of their dreams, and get paid? The answer? Design on a dime with these hot tips.
Master bridal consultant™ - Catherine Katz, MBC™

Master bridal consultant™ – Catherine Katz, MBC™

Cherished Celebrations www.CherishedCelebrations.com, Cary, N.C. Employees: Subcontracted event assistants Revenue breakdown: 50% special project consulting, 35% day-of coordination, 15% full-service coordination Contact:
Human Resources 101: Expanding The One (Wo)Man Show

Human Resources 101: Expanding The One (Wo)Man Show

By Renée Grannis, MBC™, ABC Director of Ethics & Compliance, Oklahoma City, Okla. When most small business entrepreneurs begin, they perform all of the office and field tasks themselves to save money—becoming the accountant, the lawyer, the delivery person, the IT person, and the janitor, on top of their main...
Turn heads and transform your events with 2015 lighting trends

Turn heads and transform your events with 2015 lighting trends

By Regina Rivera, Bliss Lights, Escondido, Calif. Photos courtesy of Bliss Lights When throwing an unforgettable event, lighting is key to making the most of your outdoor or indoor space. The right light can transform a wedding from ordinary to extraordinary, set the mood for unforgettable memories, and even cut...
Turning the Wedding Day Into the Wedding Weekend

Turning the Wedding Day Into the Wedding Weekend

By Mark Kingsdorf, MBC™, Mission Inn Resort, Orlando, Fla. Photos Courtesy of Mission Inn Resort For planners and wedding professionals, a wedding can seem to go on forever—starting well before hair and makeup and ending after strike. However, for engaged couples, the wedding day flies by. Their interaction with family...
2015 Color Trends - Coloring Outside of the Lines

2015 Color Trends – Coloring Outside of the Lines

By Beth Erickson, Wedding Planner Magazine Editor, La Crosse, Wis. Each year, the powers that be provide the world with insight and inspiration about the latest color trends. Inspired by modern culture, events, politics, and economics, the emerging trends are more evolution than dramatic shift. The “it” colors each year...
Letter – Volume 5, Issue 2

Letter – Volume 5, Issue 2

“You have to color outside of the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece.” – Albert Einstein
Signature Sasha: An Interview with Sasha Souza, MBC™

Signature Sasha: An Interview with Sasha Souza, MBC™

By Beth Erickson, Wedding Planner Magazine Editor, La Crosse, Wis. Photos © Damien Hamilton Photography Internationally recognized event designer Sasha Souza, MBC™, of Sasha Souza Events in Napa, Calif., has released her second book, Signature Sasha: Weddings and Celebrations to Inspire. Featuring images from many of Souza’s events, the book...
Real Wedding New York

Real Wedding New York

ABC Member Planner: Melisa Imberman, The Event Of A Lifetime, Inc., www.theeventofalifetime.com, melisa@theeventofalifetime.com. Photographer: Tory Williams.
What is your strategy for getting the most out of conferences or trade shows?

What is your strategy for getting the most out of conferences or trade shows?

“Best practices for any trade show are simple. First, give your elevator pitch. Second, collect client contact information. Third, follow up. The ROI on a trade show is different for each service and is not necessarily seen the day of the event, so steps two and three are critical to...
The Best Weddings Make Room for Fun

The Best Weddings Make Room for Fun

By Staci Nichols, Revolution Weddings, San Diego Today’s couples and planners focus much of their efforts on the aesthetics of weddings but shouldn’t neglect the fun. “Wedding receptions are, by definition, entertainment functions,” says internationally known wedding DJ and MC trainer, Mark Ferrell. Weddings are not luncheons, photo shoots, or...
Standing Out from the Wedding Crowd

Standing Out from the Wedding Crowd

By Kylie Carlson, The Wedding and Event Institute, Lake Arrowhead, Calif. When you start thinking about launching a business, it is nothing more than a dream. That dream slowly becomes a reality, and before you know it, you’re staring down the barrel of your accounts wondering how on earth you’re...
Master Bridal Consultant™

Master Bridal Consultant™

Barbara Diez, MBC™ Barbara Diez Event Planners, www.BarbaraDiez.com, Buenos Aires, Argentina Employees: 18 full-time, 18-20 part-time/seasonal Revenue Breakdown: 100% event planning Contact:
Dollars & Sense: 3 Financial Tips for Your Wedding Business

Dollars & Sense: 3 Financial Tips for Your Wedding Business

By Michelle Loretta, Sage Wedding Pros, Miami Accounting, money, spreadsheets—do those words induce a pain in your gut? Finance doesn’t have to be agonizing or intimidating. Knowledge is power. And, knowing what your money is doing can give you incredible strength. The following tips will help you navigate your financial...
Office Space—Tips for Creatively Organizing Your Workplace

Office Space—Tips for Creatively Organizing Your Workplace

By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting, Richmond, Va. photos by motley mÉlange of Soiréebliss! Events, LLC When Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design, found herself overwhelmed by numerous notebooks, files, linen samples, and more one summer, she boldly put everything—including the production companies from three different reality television shows—on hold.
Costa Rica—Planning a Wedding in the land of la Pura Vida!

Costa Rica—Planning a Wedding in the land of la Pura Vida!

By Milena Santoro, CMM, CMP, PIDP, MS Productions, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Larissa Banting, PBC™, Weddings Costa Rica, Costa Rica
3 Tools for Marketing Success

3 Tools for Marketing Success

By Sonny Ganguly, WeddingWire CMO, Washington, D.C. Finding the right channels to grow your marketing footprint is often the biggest challenge in driving growth. However, there are three marketing tools that can help you book more couples and drive long-term success. They are: the megaphone, the magnet, and the measuring...
5 Ways to Get Strong Referrals—And Lots of ‘Em

5 Ways to Get Strong Referrals—And Lots of ‘Em

By Marc Wayshak, author/sales strategist, Boston Running a small business in today’s economy requires a departure from conventional business rules. In order to sell a product or service, you can no longer rely upon old-school sales tactics of bygone eras. Clients are overwhelmingly distrustful of the traditional sales pitch, they’re...
Letter - Volume 5, Issue 1

Letter – Volume 5, Issue 1

Does it ever seem like the days literally fly by—with speed and momentum that multiply exponentially with each passing second—almost as if each were traveling at the speed of light?
2014 ABC Business of Brides: Tropical Locale Inspires R&R – Rest and Revelation

2014 ABC Business of Brides: Tropical Locale Inspires R&R – Rest and Revelation

By Susan Reiris, Elegant Occasions, New York City photos courtesy of ABC and sandals
Latest entries
Real Wedding Colorado

Real Wedding Colorado

Name/credentials: JoAnn Moore, MWP™, CWC, CGWP, Mountains and Meadows, www.mmweddingscolorado.com, joann@mmweddingscolorado.com Photography: Jesse Starr The couple: Laura, an attorney, and Andy, a med-student, are from Boston. They knew each other for many years before falling in love. Since they have Colorado connections, they wanted to share the Colorado mountain experience, as they love and remember...
How Will You Shake Things Up in 2016?

How Will You Shake Things Up in 2016?

“My best practice is to plan on going above and beyond what I do, no matter what the situation brings. As a high-end destination wedding planner, you have to get in your client’s head and be ready to surprise them with things they didn’t even know they wanted—until you provided it. It’s important to have...
Real Wedding New York

Real Wedding New York

ABC Member Planner: Mary Homer, PWP™, Fairy Tale Weddings and Events, www.fairytaleweddingsandeventsbymary.com, mhomerwed@yahoo.com Photographer: Clark and Walker Studios ABC Non-Member Businesses involved: Hank Parker Tent Rentals, RAO’s Mattydale Flower Shop, Foremost Catering The couple: I was inspired by the pure love Max and Rebecca have for one another. You can actually see it. The couple wanted...
Understated Elegance & Fine Food Are French Wedding Highlights

Understated Elegance & Fine Food Are French Wedding Highlights

By Nancy LaTart, Fête in France, Paris photo by KHulett Photography France’s beautiful regions offer unparalleled scenic beauty that is perfect for weddings. And, whether the weddings held here are locals tying the knot or international couples seeking a destination event, there are distinct differences to be noted in everything, from formalities to traditions. Don’t...
Surviving the Mother-of-the-Bride in 15 Steps

Surviving the Mother-of-the-Bride in 15 Steps

By Stephanie White, Amorous Weddings & Events, Mesa, Ariz. During a recent visit with your bride, you discover her mother is more than just concerned about her daughter’s wedding—she’s concerned about everything, and her hands are in everything! She’s insisted on being part of the planning process, and maybe she’s taken some of the control...
Wedding Planner Magazine Advisory Board Tackles Your Toughest Questions

Wedding Planner Magazine Advisory Board Tackles Your Toughest Questions

By Tonia Adleta, PWP™, Aribella Events – Frank J. Andonoplas, MWP™, Frank Event Design – Alan Berg, www.AlanBerg.com – Donnie Brown, CWP™, Donnie Brown Weddings and Events – Merryl Brown, CWP™, Merryl Brown Events – Mark Kingsdorf, MBC™, Mission Inn Resorts – Carmen Mesa, MBC™, Carmen Mesa Weddings and Events, Inc. – Shelby Tuck-Horton, MBC™,...
Master Wedding Planner™ Shay Freeman, MWP™

Master Wedding Planner™ Shay Freeman, MWP™

Bells & Bows, Little Rock, Ark. ABC Member Since: 1997— Employees: 2-5 independent contractors Revenue Breakdown: 90% bridal planning, consulting, and related services; 10% rentals and miscellaneous
Understanding your brand

Understanding your brand

By Alan Berg, CSP, www.AlanBerg.com, Kendall Park, N.J. What is your brand? Can you describe it to someone who’s never done business with you? I’m not talking about what you do (wedding planning), or even why you do it (passion, money, etc.). It’s not your proficiency at a craft, either. As a matter of fact,...
Words of Wisdom:  Wedding Planning and Design Business Tips for Novices

Words of Wisdom: Wedding Planning and Design Business Tips for Novices

By Bonnie Fedchock, CAE, National Association for Catering and Events, Columbia, MD. Owning a wedding planning business encompasses far more than the glamorous and elegant lifestyle that many people automatically associate with the job title. That’s why it’s important for aspiring wedding industry entrepreneurs to gain insight from successful business owners like Danielle Couick, CPCE,...
The Rise of Instagram— Three Tips to Getting Started

The Rise of Instagram— Three Tips to Getting Started

By Nicole Zenner, LK Events, Chicago A picture is worth a thousand words. That adage is absolutely why Instagram, although only 5-years-old, now has 300 million monthly active users. Instagram initially launched on the iOS platform (for iPhones only) but, in 2012, was also released on the Android platform. Later that same year, Facebook purchased...
Making Time—A Quick Guide for Mapping Out an Event

Making Time—A Quick Guide for Mapping Out an Event

By Jon’ll Boyd, Completely Yours Events, Alexandria, Va. Every event is different—whether it is a wedding, conference, dinner, baby shower, or birthday. Each is unique, and each has its own moving parts. That’s why it’s essential that each part is given a designated assignment, each assignment is given a designated time, and each assignment is...
No Surprises—Create a Plan for Helping Guests with Autism

No Surprises—Create a Plan for Helping Guests with Autism

By Irene Tanzman, Newton, Mass. It’s your clients’ wedding day, and everything has to be perfect.  Most couples don’t want their day ruined by someone who might scream through the entire ceremony or have a temper tantrum. So what would you advise your client to do about a relative diagnosed with severe autism?  Many people don’t...