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FAQ: Manager vs. Planner


Photo via Martha Stewart Weddings

I have been wanting to start a blog column that addresses a lot of the questions I get from potential and current clients. This Lovestru.ck “FAQ” column would cover pricing methods, planning processes, client interactions, vendors, etc.

As you can tell from my long blogging absence, my time has been booked up with planning and designing weddings as well as remodeling our home. When I came across Kathy Remero’s post about the differences between a manager and a planner – I knew I had to share this valuable information with all of my readers. I highlighted some of Kathy’s key points below, but please read her entire post here.

The Differences Between a Manager and a Planner (excerpts from Kathy Remero)

One of the things I love most about working in the wedding industry is that it is filled with unbelievable talent and people with remarkable dedication. That said, experience has shown me that most of our talents are not interchangeable. Personally, I find it interesting

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Wedding Woes: Writing my vows + Tips to complete them

Omaha, Nebraska Wedding Planner

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One of the first decisions Rich and I made as a newly engaged couple was to write our own vows, but since I have always loved the tradition and deep meaning of reciting the same promise, we decided to include traditional vows in our ceremony as well. We effortlessly picked out traditional vows that we felt spoke true to our relationship, but the personalized vows didn’t come as easy for me…

I started writing my vows early because I knew I would need a lot of time to perfect them. Writing your wedding vows is incredibly difficult. Give me a thesis topic, and I’ll organize my research and present a conclusion in a cohesive manner, but writing based on complex and life-changing emotions is not my strength. Rich, on the other hand, is a gifted writer. He makes the best holiday and birthday cards (they’re usually handmade with sharpie drawings and accompanied by a thoughtful and well-written letter).

Over the past few weeks, I got so worked up about writing my vows for fear that I wasn’t going to adequately express my gratitude and love for Rich. Every time I think of Rich, I instantly smile and I begin to wiggle and squirm with joy (picture a spaz-tastic puppy), but when I’d try to put that feeling into words, writers block would immediately set in. When it comes to love, words can be extremely limiting.

After many rough drafts, I finally feel like I’m on the right track. I compiled a list of tips that helped me, and I hope they can help you too!

  • Discuss expectations with your fiance – Will you write them together? Will you share your vows before the ceremony?
  • If you are not writing them together, decide on a structure and a maximum word count (150 words is a good place to start).
  • Get inspired by your past love letters, a meaningful song, old pictures and date souvenirs or go online and look for inspiring poetry and prose. Rich and I each have boxes filled with mementos from our relationship. I love opening them up and reliving those memories.
  • Remember to speak in your language. Don’t pick a poem or passage to recite because it sounds eloquent.
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Wedding Woes: Playing to your Families' Strengths

As I’ve explained before, I was drawn to event planning at a young age. I was reading interior decorating and event planning blogs before I got engaged, and I knew that once Rich popped the question, I was going to work hard to create an event that truly expressed our relationship from the ceremony wording to the decorations. I also knew this wedding was going to take a lot of work.

I immediately called my mom when Rich proposed on March 7, 2010. She was incredibly happy for me. After she asked about the proposal details (you can read about them here), I could sense a little hesitation in her voice as she asked “Well what do we do next?”. Her concern didn’t surprise me. My mom has never been type to enjoy party planning, but after I hung up the phone with her, I began to worry that I was completely alone in planning our wedding.

Omaha, Nebraska Wedding Planner

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Now don’t get me wrong. I love my mom so incredibly much. She is one of the hardest working women I know, and she has instilled in me a strong sense of self-motivation and dedication that I pride myself on. I could have never taken the leap to start my own business or have the motivation to work long hours without those personality traits. It is also those traits that helped to reassure me I could plan this wedding by myself…

I spent over a year gathering visual inspiration, writing the ceremony, designing and developing our website, and crafting up a storm. My parents were very helpful attending vendor meetings when I asked, but I could still sense that my mom was uncomfortable when I talked about the visual aspects of the wedding. And to be completely honest, that bothered me a little. Aren’t all mothers suppose to be waving their hands back and forth in celebration as they help pick out table linens and color schemes? I’m only getting married once you know!

Omaha, Nebraska Wedding Planner

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It wasn’t until my family trip to Two Harbors, MN a couple of weeks ago that my perspective changed. I had begun to dig into the wedding day logistics (read about that here) when my mom started requesting that I set aside time to run through the timeline to tie up the loose ends with her. I could sense her genuine desire to help, and she was a great sounding board. She helped me think of things I hadn’t thought about before. When we got back from vacation, she sent me the following email:

I have to admit, I am now getting more into the planning. I wish I had just a day to spend with you to go over the details and talk them through with you. Actually, anything I can do to ease your mind and allow you to enjoy the day more, I am interested in.

It was then that I realized my mom had wanted to help me all along, but as a women focused on her career rather than home decorating and party planning, she probably felt out of her element when I talked about my plans to decorate the venue. Once I started working on the scheduling and logistics, tasks she does on a daily basis at her job, she was eager to provide her expertise. I wasted a lot of time resenting the fact that my mom isn’t a “traditional” mother enthusiastic about picking out flowers and attire.

Omaha, Nebraska Wedding Planner

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It’s important to assess your families’ strengths when planning your wedding. Theses strengths might not meet your initial expectations, but by delegating tasks based on your family members skills, you will help them feel included and increase their desire to help.

Explain your wedding vision to your family, and be upfront with the things you’d like help with. (Be honest! You cannot do everything yourself!) You might find that your family members have hidden talents that can save you time and money.

Once I gave them the chance, both my family and Rich’s family have been incredibly helpful with our wedding. I cannot wait to show you the outcome!

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Wedding Woes

As a business owner and blogger, I want to inspire my clients and readers to create unique and memorable events. Most people know that planning weddings isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Not only are you coordinating the biggest event of your life, you’re bringing together two families with different expectations and financial situations.

I decided to write a blog series called Wedding Woes to highlight some of the uncomfortable and stressful parts of event planning in hopes to better prepare you to deal with or even avoid these unpleasant situations. If you find yourself in a wedding pickle, email me with your questions, and I’d be happy to help you using my knowledge of conflict resolution and etiquette.

I’m going to start with a topic that hits close to home, so (WARNING!) we’re about to get all personal up in here.

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Are you "Maid" of Money?

So your good friend just asked you to be one of her bridesmaids. Congratulations! Do you have $1,695 to spare? According to WeddingChannel.com, that is the estimated amount of money it costs to be a bridesmaid. My future hubby shared this article with me, and I was beyond shocked when I read it.

The infographic on the right breaks down the estimated costs. Attire, makeup, pre-wedding festivities and gifts all contribute to the total, but in my opinion, there are a lot of ways to cut expenses and save yourself some moolah (or scratch as my dad would say).

As a bride, it’s important to think about how your decisions will affect your wedding party’s pocketbooks. Here is a list of a few things I did to lighten the financial burden on my friends.

  • I purchased the bridesmaid shoes and jewelry for the girls as presents
  • We are having a combined bridal shower and bachelorette party per my request
  • I created a “no-gift” policy for the combined party
  • My sister is hosting the party in Omaha. It’s the guests that make the party, not the location
  • I let the girls’ opinions guide the bridesmaid dress selection, so that they are more likely to wear them again (I know most people think this is impossible, but the dresses are pretty amazing)

Refer to the article for more ideas on how to save!

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