Category Archives: Wedding Design & Planning

Make It a Good One!

This is the 1000th post on Eventful Ramblings.  Crazy to think I had 1000 relevant (or not so relevant) things to say.

The event industry has been changing at rapid speed…in fact, it looks nothing like it did when I started eight years ago.  In so many ways, it is more challenging than it has ever been.

I continue to receive resumes from people who “just know that they would be the best planner ever” because they planned their own wedding or their senior prom.  I don’t knock those people, but I do say that it is an unrealistic statement.

So I am going to make this 1000th post a good one (and probably the longest I’ve ever written).

For those of who want to know more about being in the event planning industry, I have some advice.

Inquiring About Job Openings

Do not send a mass cover letter / resume.  If you are too lazy to try to make a custom first impression on me, I am going to assume that you are  too lazy to help me with event strike at 2:00 in the morning.

Making the comment that you want to explore event planning as a career path is the same thing as telling me that you want me to pay you to act as your career counselor.

Review your cover letter and resume with a fine tooth comb more than once.  I cringe when I see spelling and obvious grammatical errors as event planning clients do not accept sloppiness.

Getting Started

In the long run, taking a non-paying or low-paying internship may be the best money invested.  Top event planning companies, for the most part, do not hire staff without experience.  It is too expensive to experiment with someone who may or may not have unrealistic expectations.  An internship will allow you the be able to see all the pros and cons of this industry.

I have found that the people who make it in this industry are the ones who work incredibly hard knowing that the pay-off may be in the future and not immediately.

Take the time to shut your mouth and listen.  I’m always incredibly surprised as people new in the industry want to feel like they have something important to say and their inexperience ends up being showcased.  I learned the most when my mouth was shut and my ears open to soak in every morsel of information that those with much more experience than me could offer.

Not Having an Ego

I think one of the most important traits of being a successful event designer / planner is to not have an ego.  Let me explain.

As an event planner, you will find yourself in lots of unexpected situations and you have to learn to roll with it.  The words “that is not my job” just doesn’t have a place in the event industry.

I have done the duties of:

*  a janitor

*  a dishwasher

*  a garbage collector

*  a food delivery person

*  a housekeeper

*  a nanny

*  a banquet server

*  a property manager

You just have to do what needs to be done.  And I have the philosophy that I never ask someone to do something I have not done myself.

Getting to Know You

One of the things I have always loved about my event planning competitors is that, for the most part, we’ve been friendly competitors.  We ask each other for advice and sometimes end up helping each other out.  The only way to feel comfortable doing that is to get to know your competitors.

I always try to help my competitors who ask for advice or help, because I’ve always said that the stronger the industry is, the better it is for all of us in it.

The best way to go about that is attending industry events.  Often times, event planners are too busy to schedule one-on-one informational interviews, but if they are attending an industry event, they expect to “talk shop”.

This industry can be incredibly rewarding.  It can also be backbreaking.  I say if you are going to make an attempt of making a career of it, go into it with realistic expectations.

Congratulations!

Congratulations to all the winners of awards at the Minnesota Bride Best Of 2011.

But especially to the vendors we work with on a regular basis.

Best DJ:  Instant Request

Best Party Rental:  Linen Effects

Best Luxury Bridal Gowns:  Bridal Accents Couture

Best Caterer for a Large Wedding:  D’Amico Catering

Best Planner:  Mi Mi Design

Top of the Tiara – Best All Around:  Mother of the Bride Weddings

For a complete list of winners, go here.

Taking Time to Socialize

Often times wedding season becomes so engrossing that the planners forget to take time to relax.  I said this a few years ago that wedding planners in this town get along.  They call each other for advice.  They give a helping hand whenever they can (like Amy Rubins from Fete Perfection helped me with set up recently).  They share recommendations for vendors they like working with.  I’ve always said that sharing with your competitors shows a lot of confidence.

Although I don’t do weddings anymore, I love the grace and style of the planners in the Twin Cities and wanted to have some time to socialize with them without it seeming like an “industry event.”

When I saw Chef Stephen Trojahn (from the Graves 601 Hotel pedigree) of Gastrotruck, he mentioned that they were getting more and more catering gigs and he wanted to get in front of some planners.  Well, okay, this sounds like a great premise for party!

The intimate and beautiful event space, The 110 North Loop Loft, was a perfect location.   We could serve alcoholic beverages AND have the food truck pull up and cater the event.

A small event, but oh so fun.  We made Meghan (recently named editor of Minnesota Meetings & Events) an honorary wedding planner and allowed her to attend the event.  In fact, one of the games we played was “Stump the Editor”, but she got almost all the answers right (perhaps because of the sister publication of Minnesota Bride).

Noah Wolf Photography was kind of enough to swing by on his way to a photo shoot to snap a few photos.

As the pictures show, Gastrotruck can do both sophisticated, more formal cuisine, as well as sophisticated street food.

Thank you to Mi Mi Design, Magical Moments, Fete Perfection, Urbane Montage, b. Inspired Events, Oh Happy Day Events for mixing and mingling.  And thank you to The 110 North Loop Loft for hosting the event and Gastrotruck for catering the event. And thank you to the Radisson Plaza Hotel and W Minneapolis – The Foshay for putting items in the swag bags!  So much fun and we have to do it again very, very soon!

With This Ring I Thee Wed

I love floral ring pillows, as I think they add a personalized alternative to the typical satin pillow.  I find that pompons work so well as they are small enough and flat enough to serve well in covering a square.

Here are a couple of my favorites from weddings I did in the past.

Summer Harsh Botanical Artistry.  Photo credit Scott Streble

Summer Harsh Botanical Artistry.  Photo credit A Picture Wedding

Pazzobello Flowers.  Photo credit Kelly Brown Weddings