Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's A Bird...It's A Plane..It's - PROPOSAL MAN!!!

Okay - so I had to go back and reference one of my favorite lines in a cartoon :) But seriously folks...I am pleased to announce the "Proposal Man" contest sponsored by Comcast and Searchlight On Demand.

So - if you are ready to "pop the question" and have a creative way in mind to do so...enter this contest! The grand prize includes roundtrip airfare for two to anywhere AirTran Airways flies AND a gorgeous solitaire diamond engagement ring courtesy of SMYTH Jewelers.

I'm going to be one of the celebrity judges on the panel..taking a look at what's coming in and seeing who's got the most "game" when it comes to saying "Will You Marry Me?" So - impress me..and who knows? You just may walk away with it all!!!

The contest starts on June 20th - details can be found at the Proposal Man website.
I can't wait to see these entries!!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ah...To Be Young

And it's not that I'm old...age really isn't anything but a number. However, there are times when things come to my attention that make me appreciate the energy of being young.

I am always appreciative of the thousands of emails I get from my viewers and fans....and I read each of them. I have answered ALL of them :) But it's the following email from a young man in Raleigh, NC. which really got my attention:
This message is for Linnyette Richardson-Hall.

My name is Demetris Faison from Raleigh ,NC . Surprisingly, I am a graduating senior this year from high school. I have been designing Weddings and Special Events since my freshman year. I just wanted to touch base with you to let you know how much adore your designs and tastes on things. I would really love to meet you one day and maybe be hired as a floral designer for some one your events. Please view my website ( ) to get a preview on some of my work.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you and making a connection."

He's a graduating senior (many congratulations, Demetris!) which puts him at about 17 or 18 years old. So..I visited his website. This young man has his act together - seriously. I've been in business a minute, so I know stuff when I see it - he's got his company and it's goals on point. As I reviewed the different links in the site, it was obvious to me that he is wiser beyond his young years. And I love it. You don't have to be an adult to start and maintain a business - all you have to do is want it passionately and be willing to make things happen.

Those of you who know me or have taken one of my classes know that I am a contract/policy wonkette. This young man thrilled me to no end when I took a look at his policy statement - my immediate thought was that if he's doing this at 17...why can't folks who are twice his age do the same thing???? If he maintains this course - his business will remain successful and it should be.

So...when you have a chance, check out Demetris Faison and the Creative Touch Designs website. I'm sure you'll be as impressed as I was.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

For All Of You "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?" Fans..

I'm back at it!! I'll be filming all new episodes this summer as we enter into our EIGHTH season of this hit reality series!!!!

I can't believe it's been 8 seasons already - time sure does fly!! I remember quite vividly when I was cast for the show - back in Season 2! Truth be told - I'd never seen an episode, so I didn't really know much about the ebb and flow of the series. A very good friend and colleague of mine, Carmella Virdett of The Wedding Architect in Chicago, gave me the 411 about the show and said it sounded like something that would be "right up my alley". So I figured - no harm, no foul. If I only knew what I was getting myself into :)

It has been an AMAZING ride. I've loved every moment of filming, but more importantly - this is my way of showing the world what I do and why I love it so much. Wedding planners are becoming a dime a dozen..but "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?" allows me to show off..a little.

Judging from the thousands (yes...thousands) of emails I get from viewers, the way you stop me on the street, in parking lots, in the grocery stores, in the malls and even at traffic lights....I must be doing something right :)

So..stay tuned. The cameras start rolling for me and my staff next week as we prepare for Kyarna and James's nuptial shindig in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted on all the happenings....might even show a pic or two, but you'll have to watch the episode to see everything else!!

Damage Control

Is something that us pros have to do - a lot. And generally, it's not because of something we did - rather, it's about cleaning up the train wrecks of others. When I say "others", I'm referencing folks who call themselves "wedding planners".

Yes - I know I've talked about this before....but it keeps rearing it's ugly head. I am all for the wonderful, glorious facets of Americana called capitalism and entrepreneurship, however at some level, we need to keep it real.

This post from my good friend and fellow PROFESSIONAL wedding planning colleague, Isis Petrie of POSH Events, LLC in New Jersey, pretty much hits the nail on the head. And for anyone (i.e. "planners"/"coordinators"/take your pick) out there who may fit into this category - READ CAREFULLY. You have to understand that a wedding, for the most part, is a one-shot deal. No do-overs, no is what it is. And with that being the case, couples CANNOT get that day back. To couples out there who are scouting for a planner - you read this too. Don't expect a LOT for LESS......bottom line.

Sheesh..when will people learn?????

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I Got "Grilled"

(photo credit - Dave Colwell for Baltimore Magazine)

The Baltimore Grill, that is :) I was contacted recently by senior editor, Max Weiss, at Baltimore Magazine to give a lighthearted view into my life as a wedding planner. This monthly Q&A feature offers readers a different look at local celebrities, movers & shakers and all around cool people - with a touch of humor, sass and fun!!

To see the questions and read my answers...take a look here .

The Economics Of Getting Hitched

photo credit
(Erin Patrice O'Brien for Time/Origami Roses by Tony Cheng - Origami USA)

As a member of NACE (National Association Of Catering Executives), many times we are asked as a group, about the trends we see on a nationwide basis. One of our recent surveys on how the current economic downturn is affecting weddings is featured in this month's Time magazine. You can read the online version here.

Everything that they are saying in the article is true - I've seen it with my clients. Hey, even I'm squawking at the price of gas and a dozen eggs..are you freakin' kidding me??? Suffice to say, while couples are looking at ways to trim costs, they still want nice, elegant, memorable affairs.
My advice? Determine what's most important to you - and spend based on that discovery. I am a true believer in "life after the wedding", so don't go broke saying "I Do". Instead, have the wedding celebration that you want and that you can truly afford. This is where having a great wedding planner comes in mighty handy - we can definitely show you the in's and out's of throwing a great shindig..and still be able to pump gas the next day :)

Adrian & Keana

(the new Mr. & Mrs)

(my version of a "head table")

(GOBO's are a great way to add a bit of personal style)

(the cake - complete with a few gilded butterflies)

(guest table with the higher centerpiece)

(guest table with lower centerpieces)

(the fireplace - after)

(the fireplace - before)

I know this is a bit late - but I wanted to share some pics from a lovely wedding we had the pleasure of planning for Keana & Adrian Epps. It was actually the groom who contacted me and who was an integral part of the planning. As the bride put it - he was the one that loved all of the design, menu planning and overall "look" of the event...she was a bit more laid back, and as long as we had butterflies present in the design..she was cool :)

Their May 3rd ceremony was held at Mt. Jezreel Baptist Church in Silver Spring, where they are both active members and participants in the youth ministry. The groom is actually a professional musician, so he gathered his fellow compatriots and they really wove beautiful songs throughout the ceremony. Following a receiving reception at the church, we were off to the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center on the University of Maryland, College Park campus for an evening of dinner, dancing and a lot of fun!

I always say that I have a few "signature" touches when it comes to decor....for me, it's a communal "head table" where the wedding party can sit back and enjoy their dinner - and not be on "display" for everyone to see. I kinda think folks will know who they are :) My other "touch"? Candles - lots of em' far as the eye can see! It's a great way to make a room beautiful, romantic, sexy and warm...without breaking the bank!

I'm also into the lean, linear look....and that means using square tables to seat guests instead of rounds. They are cleaner looking, table linens drape beautifully from them AND they will seat up to 8 guests - just like a traditional 60" round. Judging from the response I've received from my clients, their guests and caterers - it's a keeper!!!

These photos are from my camera - and as you can tell I'm not a professional :) I thought I'd show you a little "before" and "after" - hope you enjoy them !!!!!!