Monday, December 12, 2011

Planning The Wedding of Your Dreams & then Disaster Hits!! What is a Bride to Do??

PICTURE THIS; You've met the Man of your dreams, He has asked you to marry him, you moved to another state, you get a new job, you begin planning your wedding, you have the vendors you want picked out and then BOOM, you lose your job!!!!


This type of situation has happen time and time again. And when this happens, Brides have to alter their wedding plans and make some big decisions about what to keep and what to let go!!

Take my Bride, who we will call Joy; She went through a similar situation last your for her June 2011 wedding. 

After meeting in College and continuing their state to state relationship after College, Joy and Andre, were finally ready to take that Walk down the aisle.  Because of  much stricker Job obligations, Joy and Andre thought it was better that Joy move to Tampa Florida, than to have Andre quite his job and move to the DC Metropolitan Area. 

Joy went ahead with the plan and left her job in Maryland and traveled the distance to Tampa Florida to be with her Fiance.  Thankfully Joy was able to find a job in the Tampa Florida area, prior to moving there.  Now Bride & Groom are ready to move forward with their wedding plans!!!

The Bride & Groom had decided to have their Wedding Event back in the DC Metropolitian Area.  An area in which the Bride was familiar with. A few weeks after locating to the Tampa Florida Area, Joy unexpectly lost her job.  This devastating event, SHOOK both Joy & Andre's Wedding Plans.

At this point in the Wedding Process Joy was faced with some BIG choices to make about her wedding vendors, etc.  This is a very hard decision for anyone who has mapped out how they would like their wedding to go! FLOWERS, CHAIR COVERS, DJ, etc!!!

As the Planner for my Client's wedding it was my job to make sure that Bride & Groom were still able to have the best wedding possible!!!

Joy stated that at the time when she lost her job, she had signed contracts already with the Florist, the Wedding planner, the  Wedding venue, the caterer and the photographer.

Joy also stated that she had to let go of a few extra items that she wanted to be included in her BIG DAY!!  Like for example, lounge funiture, which would be used to create a lounge scene for her & Andre's guest during their Cocktail Hour.

At this point Joy knew that it was important for her to look for alternative ways to execute the plans for her wedding.  Joy's Creative side had to kick in, immediately!!!  I then asked Joy what were some of the items and projects had she looked into doing on her own? Joy began the process of working on her....

  • -Save the dates
  • - Wedding Invitations
  • -Place cards for the Reception
  • -Centerpieces for the Reception
  • -Programs and favors for the guest
  • -bar, Menu, and bathroom signage for the event
  • -Card box
  • -& a personalized Aisle runner

And might I add, each item that Joy worked on, was done with such a beauty, that you would have thought that they were done professionally by an outside vendor.

I asked Joy the question; What were some of the places you used to pull off these projects?  

Joy mentioned that Michael's , Jo-Ann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby were amoungst some of the places that Joy found helpful to get the items she needed. The amount of time that Joy spent on the projects alone, was anywhere from days to weeks.  I should add that all of the preping and crafting was done in their Tampa Florida home.

Doing these projects at home, not only helped Joy tap into her creative side, but also helped her and Andre saved a ton of money!!

In times like these, We are thankful for Great Family and Friends. Joy and Andre's family pitched in and helped to make their Wedding day wonderful!!! Their family members stepped in and helped pull the event together, along with the Wedding Planner's help of course!! : )

When it was all said and done, I first asked Joy, "Would she had done anything differently?"  Joy's reply was "I definitely would not!!" "I learned so much about myself through the process, which has been a huge benefit to my career path". The last question I asked Joy was "What advice would you give to someone in your same situation? And Joy said "I would tell them to remain positive throughout each stage of planning and utilize all of your resources."  Ask family and friends about their special talents or skills or if they know anyone who does, ie, photography, flowers, etc. " Utilize the DIY wedding blogs such as Weddingbee or Project Wedding for great ideas and tutorials."  "And lastly, regardless of the situation you may be faced with, DO NOT LOSE sight of the most important factor.....YOUR NEW UNION!!!"

Joy and Andre, are now enjoying life together as husband and wife.  During this process, not only did Joy learn more about herself, but she also helped set the stage for future brides & grooms in a smiliar situation!!!

Look for More by Events...By Stephanie coming soon!!!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Great Holiday Gatherings Done For Less!!!

After Hosting Several Holiday Gatherings at my home over the years there are 3 Main Elements that I incorporate in each party that I Host.

-Food & Drinks
- & Party Favors!!!

If there was a #4 on my list, some people would say decorations.  For the most part the only holiday decorations that I incorporate in the parties I host, are just the regular Holiday Tree Decorations and other Home Holiday Decor.

With Party location already out of the way, the next big item is the Food & Drinks!!!!

When looking to Host a holiday party with Friends & Family it is always very cost effective to have a "Pot Luck" style type of party.  This allows your guest to bring their favorite dish and this also allows you to Cut-the-Cost of spending way too much money on food for the party. One way to keep track of what the menu items would include, would be to make a list of the Basic Food Groups:

  • Meats
  • Vegetables
  • Starch
  • Bread
  • Desserts
  • Drinks

After which, find out what people are bringing and compare that to what is needed.  Sometimes you will find that others will ask what you need.  I would then proceed with compelling the menu.  If you need to purchase anything extra, after you get the final menu of what every one is bringing, you would have spent far less money than had you purchased the whole menu.

Sometimes all that is left to purchase are the drinks and maybe this could be what the Host/Hostess provides!! When looking to purchase drinks for a Holiday Gathering, depending on the number of guest you may want to buy in bulk.  I would look to purchase drinks in bulk from your local Costco's, Sam's club or BJ's.  When looking to purchase Wine for your event, ask your guest what they like to drink and maybe suggest that they bring a bottle to share with others. I would also check out your local Wine store.

Now that Food & Drinks are out of the way, lets move on to ENTERTAINMENT!!!

A party is NOT A PARTY without ENTERTAINMENT!!! After everything that you have already purchased for Your Holiday Gathering, no one wants to then spend money on ENTERTAINMENT!! No sense in spending $$ on any dancers, or singers, or even musicians, when at the end of the day, your guest may not even pay them any attention anyway!! Why Not look for something more pleasurable and something that will allow your guest to take part in as well. You said it right!! LETS PLAY SOME GAMES!!!!

 When hosting an event with any size group of people, you will find that not everyone knows each other.  I think that a GREAT "ICE Breaker" game would be suitable for this type of situation. This type of game should include everyone introducing themselves and offering 1 or 2 facts about themselves.  One Great game that I have played before at one of my parties and have played at other parties is "Two Truths & A Lie".  This game is a great way to interact with each other while learning about each other as well.

I always like to have games lined up for my guest to play when I host parties.  Some games that are great to play with big groups of people are Gestures, Pictionary and TABOO, just to name a few. You could also play a Movie that would be entertaining to your guest.  The Movie could also act as backdrop noise for the many conversations that may take place in the room.  You can't have a Holiday party without Holiday music!!! There is nothing like the sound of "Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire and Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose".  Music is a great way to encourage "sing alongs" as well.

Now enough about the Entertainment, now off to the FAVORS we go!!!! As an Event Planner, every party that I plan is a Production for Me!!! Everything has to be just right!!! Presentation is Everything!!! What better way to thank your guest for all that they have done and brought to your Holiday Party, than to send them away with a Nice Holiday Gift!! For if it wasn't for your guest and the food that they prepared, would you even have a Holiday Party???

Some great Ideas for Holiday Favors to give to your guest are:
-A Christmas Ornament
-Gift bag with multiple goodies

When purchasing Holiday favors for your Guest, THINK BULK!!! Also think of anything that you can purchase individually that would not break the bank.  At a party I once hosted I went to my Local Party store and purchased small boxes of chocolates and I attached a present bow on the top of each box.  The boxes of chocolate ran me about .99 cent each. They made great party favors!!! One year I actually purchased some gift bags and filled them with candies and Christmas Ornaments.  I then attached a present bow on each bag!! When planning your party favors, look for what works best for you!!

After you have made all the final decisions on the Menu, the Entertainment and the Favors, you are now ready to throw the most Memorable Holiday Gathering You could throw!!!!!!!!

Look for More from Stephanie White Events Coming Soon!!!
Stephanie White 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"What Are the Big Ticket Items to Plan For, When Planning Your Wedding"?

When You think about  Your "Big Day" what do you Invision? Flowers, Cake, Horse & Carriage, Limos, Etc....The Sky is the Limits!!

After planning several weddings and events and attending them as well, I have learned that when planning Your Wedding, it is better to work on the "BIG TICKET" items first. I think that it is Important to have a BUDGET and also know the Budget and how much you want to spend on each area of your Wedding.

I believe that the BULK of Your Budget will be spent on Flowers/Centerpieces, possibly Photography and Videography and the Food for the Reception. Most of the time the Reception is where people spend the most of their budget;  Food, Wine & Liquors, the Cake, Favors etc.

Before you begin planning your "Big Day" remember to first sit down and think about how much you want to spend in each area of your Wedding......

Stephanie White
Events...By Stephanie

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Importance of Having the Right People on Your Team....

It is a known fact that "Birds of a Feather Flock Together." 

With that being said it is very important to have the right people on your team and in your life.  This statement can be used and enforced in your personal life as well as in your professional life. As far as my personal life is concerned, I am pleased to say that as my life continues to move and I continue to grow  I will continue to surround myself with positive people and like minded people.

The advice was once given to me by an Event Planner and business owner, who is also a Mentor to me, that when you choose your team you want to make sure that they are interested in your line of work, just as you are.  There is nothing like having the wrong people work with you who don't hold the same standards about your craft as you do.  Keeping this advice in mind, I ventured out on the search to find the right people to be on the Events....By Stephanie Team.

In my search to find the right people there are a few attributes these people need to have.
  • Posses some knowledge of the Event Planning Industry
  • Posses organizational and administration skills
  • Know the importance of deadlines
  • Know the importance of being on-time
  • Have a passion for helping people plan their events
When finding the right people to be on your team it is important to have a face-to-face meeting with this person.  It is important to get a feel for the person that you may bring on board.  You will also want to know what other work they have done.  In making this decision you not only have to think about your self but also about the life of your business.

Consequences of Having the Wrong People on Your Team
  • Business deals fall through
  • Business does not get carried out as planned
  • Conflict of interest between yourself and your team member
  • Ruined repore with clients
  • No future business deals
  • Company name shamed
  • Company will lose money

I can't stress the importance of keeping positive people in your life and making sure that the right people are on your team.  Have you evaluated your life lately? Maybe there are some people you need to remove from your life. Have you evaluted your business?  Maybe there are some people on your team who are just not the right fit!!!!

Stephanie White

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Importance of Utilizing all Marketing Tools to advertise Your Business.....

When I first began my Event Planning Company, I had no idea how I was going to get started.  All I knew was that I had a passion for planning events and that planning events was something I wanted to do. Without a Company name in mind nor any business cards to hand out, I was given the opportunity to go to a Wine Festival Event and push the business of my unidentified company. With that I had to think fast about what I wanted my company to be called and think fast on where to purchase advertisement material. With that being said, I ended up calling my company Events...By Stephanie and ordering my first business cards, which only included my name, number and email address from

Today as my business continues to grow, I continue to use more and more marketing tools to advertise my business. I think that it is important to use as many marketing tools as one can use. Though you may be thinking "Who would I ever attract on this website?" you just never know. I also recommend utilizing the Social Medias out there as well. You can do a lot for you business, by setting up information about your company on varies sites. This element alone will help your business grow.  The more people that see your business the better the chances are that you will get more business.

Some of the FREE Sites to take advantage of are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. Some other marketing tools to take advantage of are blogs, associations, newspaper listings, networking events, flyers, brochures, etc. If you are looking to grow your business, you have to THINK BIG and utilize every marketing tool possible.

Today my company not only has business cards, but I also have and use a company website, brochures, blogs, social medias, word of mouth and an occasional networking event.

By using every marketing tool possible, you are giving your business more explosure, which in turns only helps your business.

Stephanie White

Monday, January 10, 2011

Don't Stress; With the Cost of Weddings today, Everyone is not going to be invited to Your Wedding!!!!!

It's your "Big Day" and you have waited for this day to come "FOREVER". You have your Wedding Gown already picked out, you have the ceremony and reception site picked out, your flowers picked out, etc. In your mind, probably years before this day, you had your bridal party all picked out; your BFF is on your list along with family members and friends. If you are "Me" of course, you have your favors picked out along with the Limo you would like to have drive you and your Bridal party on your Wedding day.

But then you get to your "Guest List" and things begin to get REAL SERIOUS!!!! You begin to think about all the people who have helped guide you along in this life. You think about the people who have helped you physically, spiritually and mentally. You think about your Parents, who are a given, your Aunts, Uncles, Godparents, your Spiritual Advisor, your Pastor, your cousins, your cousin's husband's mother, etc. And the "Guest List" can go on, and on, and on and on......

In all reality unless you are Donald Trump or Oprah Winfrey, you will not be able to invite everyone that you want to your wedding; and PLEASE KNOW that it is OK.  If it makes you feel better, send a small gift from your Wedding Day to the people who you were not able to invite. In today's economy and with the cost of Weddings, many couples are finding less expensive ways to get married.  So when you start looking at your guest list and you begin to stress, remember that at the end of the day it is "All about" the person you are spending your life with and not about the guest list for the actual event!!!!

Stephanie White

Friday, January 7, 2011

Why Do People Hire Event Planners?

It wasn't until I was asked to coordinate my first event, that I understood why "People Hire Event Planners".

The definition of an "Event Planner" is Someone who plans social events as a profession; usually for government or corporate officials.

Today people hire event planners, for not only corporate events but for personal events as well.  People hire event planners for weddings, birthday parties, anniversary parties, house warming parties, bar mitzvah parties, holiday parties, dinner parties and more.

As an Event Planner I can say that in my experience of planning events I have executed events from start to finish. As a Planner it is my goal to get the client's vision for their event and coordinate their event in such a way that they receive exactly what they ask for. 

People hire Event Planners because they are too busy to plan the event themselves.  Sometimes all the details for the events are too overwhelming for people and they would much rather outsource the planning of their event. People hire event planners because they sometimes need a "Buffer" (a cushion-like device that reduces shock due to an impact) in place, that would help with any conflict between the client and their family, or the client and their vendor.

As an Event Planner it is my job to coordinate the parties involved, any vendors they may have, the timeline for the event, etc.  My job as the planner is done when my clients leave for the evening and all items are back in their correct place.

Each Event Planner does their job differently.  No two are the same!!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Importance of Having a Contract....

When I began planning events back in 2006, I did not use a contract with my clients right away. We pretty much went off of a verbal agreement.  As time went on and the more I learned about planning events and dealing with people who tried and in some cases succeeded in taking advantage of me I began to use contracts.  Now today, I don't begin the planning of any event, without first having a signed contract in hand.

The definition of a "Contract" is an agreement with specific terms between two or more persons, in which there is a promise to do something in return for a valuable benefit known as "Consideration".

I believe that contracts should be used in any situation where as two people want to benefit from what the other has.  Contracts should include specific information about what the job is of the two people.  Contracts should then include signatures from all parties.  If there is every a change to the original contract both parties should know about the change and apply their initials or signatures again.  Contracts are binding agreements and one can be taking to court if they don't follow through on their end.

Events...By Stephanie

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ideas on How to Pick Your Wedding Date....

Sugguestions on How to pick your Wedding Date.....

-Pick a date that has meaning to the both of you; the date of when you began dating, your birthday, etc.

-Pick a date that fits into your budget; like for example, having your wedding in the summer at the location you want may cost you a little more, because of the season. Or having your wedding on a Saturday will be a little bit more expensive than a Sunday, bacause Saturdays are a popular wedding day.

-Pick a date that lines up with both of your schedules.

-If it is important to you that everyone is present on the day of your wedding, pick a date and day to where you know everyone can be there.

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