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Author Archive
Real Wedding New Jersey

Real Wedding New Jersey

Planner: Lynda Barness, MWP™, I DO Wedding Consulting, www.idoplan.com, Lynda@idoplan.com Time in industry: 12 years Photographer: Janet Lanza Photography, www.janetlanzaphotography.com Businesses involved: Cord3 Films (videography), Eddie Bruce Music (band), Viburnum Designs (florals, table design), Grounds for Sculpture (venue), Starr Catering/Rat’s Restaurant, Tesi’s Bridal (gown), Sweet T’s Bakeshop, King Limousine, Princeton Marriott at Forrestal, WeddingPaperDivas.com (stationery),...
Real Wedding Florida

Real Wedding Florida

Planner: Staci Mandikas, UNIQUE Weddings + Events, www.designedbyunique.com, staci@designedbyunique.com Time in Industry: 10 years Photographer: Christina Maldonado Photography, www.christinamaldonado.com Businesses involved: Over the Top Rental, Corey’s Bakery, Puff ‘n Stuff Catering, Ten23 Designs (details), Garret Lauer Events (DJ), Sweets Treats Candy Bar, conceptBait (floral, décor, furniture, lighting), A Chair Affair (rentals), A+P Design Co (stationery),...
Imagine, Create Inspire: NACE Sets The Stage at Experience

Imagine, Create Inspire: NACE Sets The Stage at Experience

More than 600 wedding industry professionals attended this year’s conference in Texas. The theme of this year’s Experience conference, hosted by the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE), was “Imagine, Create, Inspire”—and it delivered on all fronts. Core to the educational experience are the meals, breaks, and parties. Wedding and corporate event planners, caterers,...
Closing the Generation Gap

Closing the Generation Gap

Leading an effective team means not only getting to know the personalities but also their generations and the impact that has on behaviors, attitudes, and expectations. Some time ago, I was approached to take an immediate and indefinite position as a replacement for a team leader who had suddenly gone on sick leave. Being parachuted...
Master Wedding Planner™ Sasha Souza, MWP™, Sasha Souza Events, Napa, Calif.

Master Wedding Planner™ Sasha Souza, MWP™, Sasha Souza Events, Napa, Calif.

Education: My educational background includes the study of live theater in college, but after college, I went to work for an internal audit department in the University of California system—auditing gave me the analytical skills I needed to marry to my inherent creative skills. Starting the business: Essentially, I had planned my own wedding and...
“To Charge or Not to Charge:  Tastings Yay or Nay?”

“To Charge or Not to Charge: Tastings Yay or Nay?”

Are tastings a great sales tool or a waste of time and money? Discover the latest ideas and tips on this often controversial but beneficial sales tool. Say the word “tasting” to some caterers, and they will visibly cringe. Mention the same to other caterers, and you see their faces light up with enthusiasm. Why...
What is a novice mistake you made early in your career that you see others make today, and how can it be avoided?

What is a novice mistake you made early in your career that you see others make today, and how can it be avoided?

“Procrastination—not contacting any and all vendors early on in the process to let them know I was working on the event. [Not procrastinating] allows for early communication and avoids pitfalls that might come up that require time to overcome. Asking each vendor for supplies or services that will be needed for them and to provide...
5 Tips for More Effective Leadership

5 Tips for More Effective Leadership

Most successful leaders know themselves well, learn to lead themselves first, and then choose to be the type of person others follow. It’s been said that a boss drives employees while a leader coaches them—that a boss depends on authority, inspires fear, uses people, commands, and blames, while a leader depends on goodwill, generates enthusiasm,...
The Art of Closing the Deal

The Art of Closing the Deal

How do you close a deal if sales doesn’t come naturally? Read on for 6 tips from a Master Wedding Planner™ Of all my skills as a wedding planner, closing the deal was the one I struggled with the most. At every conference I attended, I made a beeline for the breakout on sales skills....
Putting Pride In Perspective— Seeking Inside-the-Industry Answers to Marriage Equality Issues

Putting Pride In Perspective— Seeking Inside-the-Industry Answers to Marriage Equality Issues

Marriage equality in the United States exists, yet service equality for LGBTQ weddings doesn’t, as evidenced by cases headed to the Supreme Court that address religious freedom and the right to refuse service. Can we find an answer inside the industry or must it be left to the courts? These days, the emotional range of...
Breaking Down the Budget  on the Road to Business Success

Breaking Down the Budget on the Road to Business Success

Creating and sticking to a budget lays the foundation for prosperity and gives you the freedom to turn your attention to other aspects of your business and focus on those things you actually love. While most people would agree that it’s their least favorite part of owning and managing a business, this truth is universal:...
letter

letter

Be yourself. If we were to give advice to an industry newbie, just as we asked our readers to do, it would be this. Be yourself. Sometimes, when we begin our careers, we try hard to be just like those we admire, or like the competition, or we try hard to appease all potential clients....