Sunday, May 18, 2008


(Some of the crew at our May 3rd wedding event)

People always comment to me at weddings about the size of my staff - I suppose that they are used to seeing just "the wedding planner" running hither and yon around the event...literally. When I started out in business all those years ago - it was just "moi". I was the one who was all over the map, attending to the rehearsal, the ceremony, doing the setup at the reception - you name it, it was me. But one day, the proverbial "lightbulb" came on and I realized that if I kept that pace up - I'd be done and burnt out in no time (just so you know - the "lightbulb moment" happened at the second year of my business), so I had to find a way to manage things differently.

I started out by getting a couple of my friends as well as my ex-husband to help out. ALL of them made the same comment at the end of the day - "Are you freakin' kidding me? There is no way I can do this with you every weekend? I'm exhausted!" See - that's why you don't hire people you know..especially spouses! I readily admit that the pace is not for the timid, it's the kind of thing that will have you babbling as you drive home..and your feet and legs will be calling you all kinds of names over the next few days. But - it's a part of the game, so I am used to it. It took me a minute to find some folks who actually wanted to do this - but when I did, it was like manna sent from heaven!! One of my first "helpers" was someone I knew from high school and like me, she loved weddings and did other small events on her own. We became like the Lone Ranger and Tonto - actually those are our nicknames for each other - to this day. I'd hit one end of the spectrum and she'd take the other. Did it work? You bet!!! But as my business expanded, I knew that I needed more hands.

When I started teaching workshops and doing conferences, they became a source for me to find people who were willing to "intern" under me for the experience - and some of those folks are now a part of my senior staff...helping me to bring all of those many wedding visions to life. There are times when I am already booked for a wedding, but I take great pride in offering one of my seasoned associates to help clients with the planning process. We all work well together because our thought patterns are similar - not exact, but similar. At this point in my career, I am proud of the internship program I offer each wedding season - it's has been a wonderful thing, watching people who are new to the industry come in, eyes open wide and expectations high. Oh, don't get it twisted - we WORK all of the time. But I am a firm believer in real-world experience, so this gives them the opportunity to really see what a wedding planner does - from the beginning of concept to the end of execution.

So, when I show up at a wedding - it's me and Team DIVA. Pretty much you will see no less than 8 people - average is 12, and we cover everything from making sure that the wedding party is dressed and in the limo on time to ensuring that the ceremony site is ready to accept guests AND that the reception will blow you away when you walk in the door. Simply put, I cannot be in 5 places at once and by managing personnel in this fashion, I make sure that all i's are dotted and each t is crossed. I realize that not all wedding planners may have this concept going - but I believe in doing what works for me and the overall success of the events I am tasked to produce.

Oh, by the way - it's about 30 of us total. Do all 30 show up at an event? In some cases, the answer is a resounding YES! When the installation on an event will take upwards of 8 hours and you are managing multiple locations, a wedding party of 40, a guest list of 350+ - then yeah, I'm gonna say you'll see ALL of our faces in the place!! I believe in efficiency and logistics as well as making things we do what we have to in order to make this work. You'll know who we are - just look for the ladies (and gents) in the black suits, clipboards in hand (yes - we do carry them!) and smiles on our faces - ready to make this occasion wonderful!

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