Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bad Vendors :(

I have to do an honest blog today because we really know there is an issue among wedding planners and vendors that brides need to be aware of. I'm about to break the here goes!

A lot of brides get a wedding planner after booking vendors which can be a huge mistake. Here's a typical conversation between a planner and bride/MOB:
The Bride/MOB- "I've booked this person and this person, what do you think?"
The Planner-usually two options-
"Oh I LOVE them. It's who I'd recommend anyways" OR...
"Have you paid deposits and confirmed everything?"

The first response is the good answer, but the latter usually means you probably shouldn't have booked them. We are in a tough position because we know the budget cannot stand to loose deposits, or even hurt a relationship with a vendor. Let me elaborate on the relationship again- we just know that by the time the bride has interviewed vendors, selected someone, paid deposits, confirmed things...they are very set that they made the right decision. To break that bond can be difficult. What we've learned is, the brides are just wanting us to confirm their choice and not really question it at all.

As planners, we know the ins-and-outs of all vendors, but are sometimes bound by relationships and already paid to break those bonds- book a planner first.

Sometimes a bride will book a "day of" or "month of" package, but know there are a lot of risks with this package. Our hands are tied even more in those packages unfortunately. First because the bride is not using the expertise of the planners experience with vendor selections, but also because they have been cultivating this relationship with vendors for usually over a year. When it comes time to have planners take over the communications that last month, it can be very tricky for both the vendors and MOB's to let go. We've even had vendors continue to pester the MOB even after being told by both parties to only speak to the planner...sad but true.

So- here's the truth: book a planner first and do it early! Happy wedding!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Ribbon, Ribbon, and More Ribbon

I love the look of ribbon right now! It's so versatile... it can be a backdrop for a cake, tied behind chairs, hanging from the trees...anywhere really. It also works for any celebration from a baby shower, to engagement party, to a wedding reception! Be careful though...because you'll need a lot! Whenever you think you have enough, triple that and then you may have barely enough. Keep that in mind when thinking that this is a budget saving decor option. Ribbon can get pricey and the labor to hang can be exhausting or expensive, so keep that in mind.

Here it is on the backs of chairs...perfect for a wedding shower luncheon!

Also makes a great photo op!!

Hanging from the light strands, so looks great during daylight and even as great at night!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ahoy Matey!!

I know when you hear Signature Occasions, you think weddings...but we do so many events too. From both adult and children's birthday parties to anniversary and fundraising events. We actually have a children's party that will be featured in VIP magazine excited!! It can be so tough to plan an adorable boy birthday though, but even a pirate birthday can be exceptional. Below are some tips:

To start the party with a bang: have goody bags lined up at the door to dress each guest as a pirate! This could include items like an eye patch, bandanna, sword, and or course a loot bag.

Need activities:
1. Have the kids "walk the plank" by setting up a wooden board on blocks and having them walk across the shark-infested waters!
2. Serve oranges to help fight scurvy! I always try and incorporate fruit and this is a fun way.
3. Do an obstacle course that can include swabbing the deck (push a ball with a mop into a bucket), then hopping on a pegleg (hopping on one foot), to the last station where they have to dig for treasure (put sand in a large bucket and they have to find a treasure or golden coin).
4. or for older kids: break into groups and have a treasure hunt (you can use a picture treasure map to make it easier for younger children too)
5. Pin the eye patch on the pirate
6. Have boat races by taking a rain gutter, closing the ends, adding water and have them blow their boats to the end while being timed...the fastest boat wins!

Decorations? Use a lot of black, red, and burlap. For example a red cloth with a black and white stripe topper...and of course decorate with traditional pirate ships, gold coins and all the kids favorites!

I just had to show these posts from thecelebrationshoppe, erinandaaron, bystephanielynn, and dazzledesign.blogspot.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What are Pomettes?

My new favorite thing??? Paper Pomettes

I love pom poms...but I also love Pomettes! They are the perfect accessory to any anthropologie/bohemian wedding. I also love them for bridal and baby showers, children's parties...everything!

You can use them in combination with paper lanterns, pennants, bulb lights...anything really. They come in any color and can really make a "wow" for a very small amount.
Be watching...we have them coming up in some weddings :)


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tips on planning a Bridal Shower

Kitchen Shower-
Fiesta Shower

Traditional Bridal Shower Brunch

I know it can be a struggle planning a bridal here's some tips:

1. Decide a budget- get a guest list from the bride, number of hosts and amount you'd like to spend per person. This is crucial! Having 11 hosts and each giving $100 really makes a great party budget, but if there are only 4 hosts: you'll either need to keep the guest list small or pay a lot per host. This will determine whether it is catered or everybody brings a dish; or if it is at a pricey restaurant or at a hostess' home...etc.

2. Get a distinct style first- A theme really helps the planning process. It lets all the hosts know what to expect, the kind of menu needed, attire...everything. You can come up with a style that represents the couple, or use a similar style to the wedding to coordinate..need some help? Here are some examples:
traditional springtime brunch
couples BBQ
intimate luncheon at a favorite restaurant

Want out-of-the-box? You could do:
a mexican fiesta- margaritas and a taco bar really say fun and relaxing. This would be a great couple's shower or a fun girls night too
spa day -mimosas and manicures for example or even massages if you are feeling luxury! This can be done at a personal home or at a favorite salon
a cooking class with a chef- he'll provide the food and cooking tips and you can shower the bride-to-be with kitchen essentials
a wine tasting- you could have a local wine connoisseur explain different wines- you could provide dips and shower the couple with all their bar needs
a recipe shower- have all the hosts make a favorite item and have all the guests bring kitchen necessities and attach their favorite recipe the end of the night: collect them all to make a keepsake recipe book

3. Make an impact with paper- You can coordinate all the paper products (including invitations, buffet labels, water bottle labels...everything). To keep cost down: check out and search "printable party packages" and you'll come up with plenty of options and well within any budget

4. Provide a favor...if you can- For a kitchen shower, for example, you could give all the guests a group of measuring cups with a tag attaching thanking them for celebrating with the bride. You could buy them at the dollar store and make an amazing impression with under $20!

Happy Planning!

Pics from:
Signature Occasions

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rustic vs. Vintage Game

Instead of the traditional blog today...we are going to make a game out of it :)

We have so many brides wanting "vintage" and "rustic", but there are so many different versions. We thought we'd take this Friday to describe the different versions on vintage. A wedding can be a combination, but take a look at the pictures and see if you can see the differences in the styles:

Rustic- old wooden furniture, chalkboards, antique coke crates, rusted lanterns, wooden signs, burlap, twine, not as feminine as the others

Southern- means touches of cotton, mason jars, folding fans (can be in additional to the other styles)

Vintage-antique china, old scales, and vignettes, can be in combination with shabby chic

Shabby Chic- distressed white wooden furniture pieces, "garden"-like, faded floral prints, usually whites or pale colors

Anthropologie- Bohemian, mix of funky/modern and vintage, floral prints, and some "modern" aspects like a modern white frame of a vintage floral print fabric or a very traditional scroll mirrored that was painted a bright white

Game Time!! Here's some pics....can you tell the specific style?

Answers: anthropologie, rustic, rustic, vintage, traditional southern, shabby chic, southern rustic, anthropologie
I hope that helps!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A typical planners timeline....

We love helping our brides and know some people struggle with understanding “what does a wedding planner do?” So….we took notes at one of recent weddings to show the list of tasks a planner does in a day.


Pack the car with any last minute items: extra vases, emergency kit, tool kit, etc.


8am- leave for the site

Arrive at site to review and make any final adjustments to floorplan before delivery

Give rental company directions to venue

2nd pick-up of rentals before actual delivery

Rental company arrives for setup

Oversee whole rental setup (make sure tent is set in right spot, ceremony chairs are in correct area, tables are in proper locations, custom lights are hung in proper spots)

6:30pm- arrive back at the hotel to get dinner and early to bed :)


8am- Finalize welcome bags, add name tags to each bag, deliver to the front desk

Get flower delivery for rehearsal dinner and view florals for Saturday

Assemble flowers for rehearsal dinner

Deliver flowers and table assignments to rehearsal dinner; setup- to help the bride and groom's families

Drive back to hotel, get ready and head to the rehearsal

Do the rehearsal (greet and instruct musicians, review with minister, and organize wedding party)

Drive back to hotel

Assemble programs: fold, cut ribbon, make holes in each one, tie ribbons on each program

End at 9:30pm


9:30am- Leave the hotel for the reception site

Meet helpers to organize their to-do list – start them on setting up ceremony chairs

Start setting up alter/chuppah area (add draping, flowers)

Start putting out furniture to certain areas (also get other décor items)

Eat a quick lunch!

Organize helpers to start hanging lanterns, and finalize flowers

Finalize vignette areas, setup cocktail tables, cake tables, cakes arrive

Call catering company and give directions and get ETA for catering/bar

Put out beer, help fluff food tables, put out table arrangements, put on tablecloths

Photographer arrives, give him instructions and start putting on bouts

Bring the bride her bouquet and check on her status of being ready

Couple's first look- assist in handing off gifts for each other and getting them set

Caterers arrive – get beverages from bar on ice first thing

Assist photographer in some pics

help organize family and wedding party for pictures

Move cakes from inside to out and finalize cake tables

Finalize every last décor item, light candles, etc.

Make sure guest book and pens are out

Give ushers/groomsmen last minute explanation of duties (remind to hand out programs)

Start seating guests; instruct guests to take their seats

Get grandmother/mothers organized

Start seating grandmothers, followed by mothers, wedding party (cue the musicians the whole time)

Bride walks down the aisle

Take additional décor shots myself during ceremony to get all the shots before guests get to reception

Alert caterer that ceremony has begun

Direct wedding party away from reception area

Assist guests in reception area

Help photographer organize additional shots

Assist in signing the marriage license

Get the bride’s dress bustled

Cue the back they are about to be introduced

Lead the couple back to the reception for introductions

Open the buffet, insure all guests are being cared for, buffet is full

Get a plate for the couple to have a bite

Put the bouquets on the cake table

Get photographers, family and couple ready to cut the cake; cue the caterer to be ready to cut the cakes

Cut the cakes

Cue the band about to do dances (remind them songs, names, etc.)

Get the couple, family and photographers ready

First dances (wanted them at sunset)

Start gathering cake toppers, flutes, etc. to get safely back to the couple

Get photographers to take certain shots the couple requested

Hand out all checks to vendors

Make sure all the votives are lit

Assemble leave items (take wrappers off and assemble candles, sparklers have to be removed from boxes and individual wrapping)

Make sure the caterer has to-go food for the couple

Make sure their suitcases are in the leave vehicle

Make sure all food is out and full, guests are happy, cake is being replenished

Get additional shots of the couple and assist photographer in getting décor shots at night

Tell the bride and groom about to do garter/bouquet

Cue the band, get a chair for the garter

Do the garter and bouquet

Start gathering the “leave” items and lighter, tell the photographers

Make sure the leave vehicle is working, there and ready

Tell the band last song and then leave announcement

Announce Last song

Line up guests to leave, instruct them light their candles (leave item)

Pick up the remaining candles

Assist in caterers cleanup

Have leftover plates for the band (they decided not to break during the reception as planned)

Make sure rented items get returned

Put bride’s bouquet in water

Get all bouquet vases and vases that need to be returned to florist

Load up all items to be returned to the office

Give final instructions to the bride’s family where every item is

11:30pm- Get back in the car and head home….arrive home the next day J

Think it’s exhausting seeing it…it is as exhausting doing it. We do love it, but it sure is a lot of work. We do it because it is a passion and a gift…that makes our job less of a job and more joy!