Wednesday, February 29, 2012

'Friendor or Foe'...?

(Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

This is something we hear all the time...'I'm going to have my friend be my wedding planner', or 'My friend is going to be my DJ'...etc...etc...etc.  Sound familiar?  Well, if this is something you're considering, here are a few things to consider before you have a 'friendor' work the biggest day of your life.

There is no official definition for the word, 'friendor'...not even in 'Urban Dictionary'...but those of us in the industry consider a 'friendor' to be a friend who you ask, or hire, as a vendor for your wedding.  In theory this doesn't sound bad, right?  But, here are a few questions to ask yourself...

 (Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

First of all...this is THE biggest day of you life, so do you want to trust someone who is NOT a professional to handle any part of it.

Second, how are you going to feel if your 'freindor' doesn't live up to your expectations and do the job you want them to do?

And third, how will you deal with the friendship if you're disappointed in your 'friendors' performance?

Not easy questions to answer, I know...but things you need to think about before you ask your friends for help.

In addition, here are some 'Pros' and 'Cons' for you to consider...and, yes, there are 'Pros'...LOL!

  • Hiring a 'friendor' would allow you to include friends in your wedding that you might not include on your guest list
  • Might help you save money
  • Might help you feel more comfortable than having a stranger work your wedding

  • Hiring a 'friendor' may end up killing your friendship
  • May put a tremendous amount of responsibility on an untrained professional that they are not prepared for
  • May end up costing you more in the long run when something doesn't get done to your satisfaction
  • May add tremendously to your stress
(Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

Now, I don't want to squelch your ideas about asking your friends to help you with your wedding...but I do want you to think long and hard before you venture into this arena.  Too often, Marjorie and I have seen this go sour very quickly.  

For instance, we've had situations where the people who agreed to do certain things, either backed out at the last minute, or just didn't bother to show up.  We've had times where the tasks assigned were not completed to the couples liking.  And we've had occasions where the 'friendor' had taken it upon themselves to do whatever they wanted regardless of what the couple requested.

(Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

On the flip side...we had one bride who's friends were so together and so organized...and so thrilled to help...that they actually went above and beyond what was expected of them.  But, that my friends, is usually the exception to the rule.

So, here's a good 'rule of thumb'...
  • If you don't trust them...don't ask them to help you
  • If your 'gut' tells you 'no'...then don't
  • If they begin questioning your wants and desires...walk away
  • Be prepared to negotiate  
  • And make sure each of your 'friendors' understand they are there to work and not take part in the festivities.
So, there you have it.  Tell us how you feel about having 'friendors' help with your wedding.  The good, the bad and the ugly...we want to hear about it!

Happy Planning!

Until next time....

Making your wedding InnCredible
InnCredible Events

(Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

Friday, February 24, 2012

'A Few of My Favorite Things'...Jill & Nigel Get Married

(Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

Oh my goodness, there were so many DIY ideas at Jill and Nigel's wedding that it was hard for me to choose just a few to highlight...but, here are a few that really 'knocked my socks off'...

The Airstream trailer...need I say more?  It was a show stopper!

Beer Cover-Up...
Jill and Nigel's good friend, Chad, owns 'Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing', and was bringing several pony kegs of his amazing brews to the festivities as his wedding gift to the happy couple.  The issue chatting with this charming fellow, I found out that the 'jockey box' he would be using was an old, beat-up blue and white ice chest.  Yikes.  This would never do!  Not with all the effort we all had put into designing this wedding.  So, I turned to our creative genius, also known as Marjorie, for help with this design dilemma.  After about thirty seconds she announced she had an InnCredible idea!  She took one of the old vintage trunks we had just hanging around, cut holes in it for the taps and used it to disguise the 'nasty' jockey box.  

Genius, right!

When we found the old 'Shefford' stand at our favorite vintage store, 'The Barn' in El Dorado, the look was complete.  Oh, and just FYI...because this was a last minute addition, and it was really last minute,  Marjorie didn't have time to add any vintage pieces to cover the holes she cut in the trunk.  But, have no fear, the search is on for the perfect ones.  

And, yes, you can rent this beauty through our 'Vintage Elegance' collection.

Lawn Games...
Jill wanted her guests to have something to do at all times, so we gathered together a number of lawn games and set them out for all to use.  And everyone did...even the kids got into the action.

 (Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

Hobo Sacs...
To say, 'Welcome to Our Wedding', Jill and Nigel gave each of their guests a 'Hobo Sac' Welcome Kit complete with all the necessities for the camping weekend...firewood, kindling, specialty matches, S'mores sticks all bundled together with a bandana and a lovely 'Thank You' note.

 (Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

Kids Table....
A number of the guests coming for the weekend celebration were bringing their children, so Jill decided to have a special 'kids table' just for them.  We covered a picnic table with butcher paper and put out loads of crayons, markers and stickers for the kids to use.  It was magical.  Watching the kids create was one of the highlights of the evening.

(Kids table before...)

(Kids table during the magic...)
And since there were going to be so many little ones, we suggested they hire a 'sitter' to entertain the kids so their parents could enjoy themselves. Marjorie's youngest daughter, Meagan, is a RN, and within seconds she had all the kids gathered around her having the times of their lives.  Child care is invaluable when you have children at your wedding...and it's well worth the cost!

(Fun times with Auntie Meagan)

And finally...
The Photographers...
I know...that sounds funny right?  But, here's why.  Jill and Nigel hired 'Jagger Photography' to fly down from the Seattle area to shoot their InnCredible camping weekend...but, what we didn't know until they arrived, was that Heather was about 7 months pregnant.  Can you believe it, 7 months pregnant!  I have to give Heather a heck of a lot of was pretty hot the day of the reception and Heather was out in full force, shooting away with her camera.  Kudos to you Miss Heather...and congratulations on your new little bundle of joy...Myles!
(A very preggers Heather shooting the party crowd)

So, there you have it...a few of my favorite things from Jill and Nigel's InnCredible camping wedding reception weekend. 

So, don't be shy...Tell me about your InnCredible DIY ideas...

Until Next time...

Making your wedding InnCredible!
'InnCredible Events'

 (Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

'Keep Calm & Marry On'...Jill & Nigel Get Married

(Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

Jill and Nigel met years ago and the poor man fell head over heels for this lovely lady but was forced to wait 15 months until she'd agree to a second date.  Talk about patience.  Yikes!  Once that second date happened, well, the rest, as they say, is history.

Polar opposites, Jill is a lovely, ethereal free spirit who spoke her mind and Nigel is a charming, detail-oriented Brit who raised his hand when he had something to say.   Both were delightful beyond words.

(Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

Our lovely couple actually got married in Fiji and then hosted a 'camping reception' weekend for 65 of their closest friends and family at the 'Coloma Resort'.  They lived in Santa Cruz.

Jill called us frantically one day when she was sitting in an airport waiting to board a flight to who-knows-where.  She went on and on about what her vision for this weekend was, and what she wanted the campground to look like.  The one issue standing in our way was that she wanted this InnCredible camping reception to be catered, naturally, but on the busiest wedding day of the year...September 10, 2011.  Yikes!  I immediately got on the phone, and low and behold, found that one of our favorite caterers, 'Beth Sogaard Catering' was actually available, so we were in business!

(Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

Our challenge...
Take the campground and turn it into the rustic, yet lovely, romantic vision that Jill wanted...and somehow block off the area from view.  And also find the perfect location for the Airstream trailer that they would be staying in for the weekend.  Wow!  Not ones to back down from a challenge, Marjorie and I were off and running!

 (Photo Courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')
(Airstream provided by 'Airstream Wedding')

This is what we started with...minus the tents.

And this is what we did...

Per Jill and Nigel's instructions, we placed all the picnic tables randomly around the grounds and paired them with picnic benches and our 'Vintage Elegance' brown and white mix and match chairs.  We then draped the tables with white linens and added burlap runners that Jill provided. 

(Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

When we were finished dressing the tables with all of Jill's decor pieces, we moved on to the 'Guest Book' area.  Jill and Nigel were traveling the world after this big shebang, so she incorporated maps into their theme.  

She brought a vintage typewriter for guests to write them 'love notes' and then drop them into an old bottle.  And, how fun is this...she used a deck of cards for her table numbers.  Guests chose a card, and found their tables...genius, right!!!

Now the really fun part....the 'Dessert Table'.  Ok, so Jill liked pie, and Nigel liked cake, so as a compromise, they did a combination of both for their dessert table...along with some French macaroons just for good measure.  Jill and her gals made the ribbon backdrop from strips of fabric and we hung it between the two trees and added our 'Vintage Elegance' cake stands...and viola!...A InnCredible dessert table!  Oh Yum!!!

When all was 'said and done', we hung what seemed like millions and millions of sheer drapes to blur the view so there was a definition between the reception area and the cocktail area.  

We opened the sheers when Jill and Nigel made their 'Grand Entrance'...

 (Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

Here's the end result....

(Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

Jill and Nigel are traveling the world now and we wish them 'Happy Travels' and a safe return to Santa Cruz!

Our special thanks to all the InnCredible vendors who made Jill & Nigel's dream reception come true...

Photographer:  Jagger Photography
Wedding Planner:  InnCredible Events
Until next time...

(I'll be featuring 'A few of my favorite things' from Jill & Nigel's wedding...including Marjorie's super cool beverage stay tuned!)

Making your wedding InnCredible
'InnCredible Events'

(Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

Thursday, February 16, 2012

'Planner...Coordinator... What the heck????

(Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

There is a lot of confusion out there about the difference between a 'wedding planner', a 'wedding coordinator', a 'wedding consultant' and a 'wedding designer'.  And just so you don't feel completely 'out-of-it', the confusion lies within our own industry as well.  I too am a bit confused, at times, over what all these terms mean, and have been, 'called on the carpet', I will admit, by a bride for what she perceived was the wrong term.  So, none of us are exempt.  LOL!

To clear up the confusion, I've called on the experts at 'Brides Magazine' to help us all out.

According to 'Brides Magazine', there are three different distinctions between the services that wedding planners/coordinators offer...and here they are:

'Full-Service Planner'...
First, a sidebar...neither Marjorie nor I really like the term 'full-service'.  To us it gives the impression that unless you want this particular package, we are not giving you 100%....which is never the case.  Instead, we like to use the term 'complete coordination', because no matter what package you choose (and that's solely based on your needs), a professional planner is  usually going to give you their 'ALL'.

Ok, now that we have that out of the we go.

 (Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

'Brides Magazine' defines a 'Full-Service Planner' as a 'Wedding Planner', a 'Wedding Coordinator' or a 'Wedding Producer'.

They will...
  • Provide you with vendor referrals, and may negotiate vendor contracts.
  • Schedule and attend all vendor meetings and tastings with you...and act on your behalf during said meetings.
  • Create a detailed timeline and site-layout, or floor plan, of your ceremony and reception sites
  • Help you determine, manage and stay on track with your budget
  • Attend all site tours
  • Brainstorm theme and style ideas, and also coordinate design details to keep you from having a DIY-aster!  They may also secure these items for you to keep you from running around town to collect them all
  • Coordinate hotel rooms and transportation, if necessary
  • Coordinate and manage your rehearsal
  • Oversee everything on the day of your wedding so you can relax and enjoy your big day.  This means making sure everyone adheres to the timeline, handling anything that may arise, managing your vendors and their questions, and executing your vision.

'Wedding Designer'...
'Brides Magazine' defines these professionals as 'Wedding Stylists' or 'Wedding Architects'.

They will...
  • Create your wedding design concept
  • Provide you with color palette guidance
  • Oversee your decor budget and vendors
  • Locate and secure any special props or equipment you may need to create your vision
  • Attend site visits and design a layout
  • Create detailed floor plans
  • Ensure all your decor elements are in place the day of your wedding

'Day Of' Planner....
Ok, here I go again putting my 'two-cents' worth in.  Honestly, there is NO such thing as a 'Day Of' planner. Believe me, there is no way any professional planner, coordinator or consultant can, or would, show up the day of your wedding and be able to manage it.  In fact, if you're talking to a 'planner' who says they can do this, run for the hills...and fast!  

Many wedding professionals now use the term, 'Month Of', because it's much more descriptive of the type of service this package offers.

'Brides Magazine' defines a 'Day Of' Planner as a 'Wedding Consultant' or a 'Wedding Director'.

They will...
  • Put in at least 25 hours of pre-wedding day work...versus the 80--250 hours a 'full-service planner'
  • Meet with you four to eight weeks before your wedding to get an ideal on what you've planner thus far
  • Contact all your vendors, review all signed contracts and confirm the logistics
  • Create a detailed timeline and site layout or floor plan
  • Complete a final walk-thru of the ceremony and reception sites
  • Address any overlooked details
  • Manage your rehearsal
  • Oversee everything the day of your wedding

So, how do you choose which is right for you?  Well, it all depends on just how much or how little you want your planner, coordinator, consultant, designer...etc, to do for you.  Most wedding planners/coordinators have variations of each of these packages available for you to choose from, and most will be structured a bit differently based on their expertise.  

(Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

We suggest that you hire a planner/consultant/coordinator, to at least manage the day of your wedding to not only reduce your stress, but also so your family and friends will be able to share in the joy of your day, and not be responsible for working.

If however, you choose to have a 'friendor'* help with your 'Day Of' management, make sure they are well aware of what they are responsible for, and that they are not there to party with the rest of your guests...they are there to work.

(*'friendor'...a friend you hire as a vendor...more on the hazards of this later.)

Until next time...

Making your wedding InnCredible!
'InnCredible Events'

 (Photo courtesy of 'Sweetness and Light Photography')

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

'A Few of My Favorite Things...'

(Photo courtesy of 'Turning Leaf Studios')

Unlike some of our counterparts, Marjorie and I love DIY brides.  We love the creative, personal ideas that they each bride brings to their weddings...all the wonderful ideas that make their wedding uniquely their own.  But more importantly, we love sharing these ideas with you so you can gather bits of 'InnSpiration' as well.  So, here are a few of Addison's 'InnCredible' DIY ideas that caught my eye...

'Fire Flies'...yep, 'fire flies'!  When Addison first came to us, all she talked about were these 'fire flies' that she was 'bound and determined' to have scattered everywhere around the 'Shakespeare Club'.  For the life of us, Marjorie and I could not figure out what in the world these little things were...but we soon found out.  Addison's fire flies were actually little lights that blinked at different speeds.  Magical...simply magical!  And what a hit!  I think every guest at the wedding wanted to know where she got them...and to this day, I still get calls from folks asking where they can get their own.  So, here they are, Addison's little 'fire flies'.

(minus the blue plate...hee hee)

You can purchase them at:    Enjoy!

Another one of Addison's 'InnCredible' ideas was having a 'Wish Tree'.  Her mom, Lori, cut out leaves and brushed them with gold paint.

 (Photo courtesy of 'Turning Leaf Studios')

Then we set them at each guests place.  Addison and James asked everyone to write their 'wedding wishes' on the backside of the leaf and then hang them on their 'Wish Tree'.  Even though the picture below doesn't' show the end of the night, there was not a branch left to hang any more wishes on...

 (Photo courtesy of 'Turning Leaf Studios')

Addison put all the 'wishes' in their memory box and she and James will read each and every one on their anniversary as they toast with their celebratory bottle of 'cizer' which has also been tucked away in the memory box.  Such a lovely idea!  And, yes, you may borrow it..LOL!

 (Photo courtesy of 'Turning Leaf Studios')

They also decided they didn't want to have a cake.  I think Addison's exact words were, 'I don't want no stinkin' cake'...LOL.  Instead, Addison and James had a caramel apple bar complete with a myriad of tasty toppings.  Oh my goodness, this went over like 'gang busters'.  Everyone loved it and kept going back for seconds, and thirds...and, well, you get the idea. 

 (Photo courtesy of my iPhone...LOL)

Our newlyweds did the ceremonial 'cake cutting', only they served each other bites of apples.  Oh yum!  If you're not a cake fan, you might want to consider this!  It was loads of fun!

 (Photo courtesy of 'Turning Leaf Studios')

Ok, I've saved the best for last.  I love, love, love this idea. Since both Addison and James are members of the 'SCA', or 'Society for Creative Anachronisms', there was a lot of discussion about what the Groom and his Groomsmen and Gal would wear for boutonnieres.  Well, hello, LEGO knights, of course!!!!!  So Addison had her fabulous florist, Mo from 'Perfect Parties by Mo' take the LEGO knights that they had constructed and make them into bouts.  I loved it!!!  These were so cute and so perfect for this group. 

 (Photo courtesy of 'Turning Leaf Studios')

Each knight was different...and they all rocked!

 (Photo courtesy of 'Turning Leaf Studios')

Even the dad's got their own it!!!

(courtesy of my iPhone...yikes!)

(Courtesy of my iPhone again...note to self, hold still next time...hee hee!)

I know a lot of planners are opposed to DIY weddings, or even DIY touches in weddings...but Marjorie and I say, bring it on.  The more the merrier as far as we are concerned.  It's these little touches that make the biggest impact and make your wedding uniquely your own.  So if any planner, or wedding professional, tells you to nix your DIY ideas...just say, 'Thank you very much'...and walk away.  Find someone who will embrace your uniqueness and love every idea you have!!!!

Until next time...

Making your wedding InnCredible!
'InnCredible Events'

(James' amazing 'SCA' shield)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hazzah...Addison & James Got Married!...

Shouts of HAZZAH! could be heard from all the guests at James and Addison's wedding as the happy couple were pronounced 'Husband and Wife', and their Officiant, 'Murphy' said, 'Mr. Brooks, you may now kiss Mrs. Brooks'.  Hazzah!!!!


'Hazzah', you say...what the heck?  Well, by definition, 'hazzah' is "an archaic English interjection of joy" (thank you Wikipedia), or the old world equivalent to 'Hurrah'.  You see, James and Addison met because both are members of the 'Society for Creative Anachronism'.  A fun-loving group of folks who love to dress up in 17th century costumes, fight with swords and drink Mead (honey wine).  So it was fitting that along with applause, exuberant 'Hazzah's' with fists raised were given to the newlyweds as they took their first walk, hand-in-hand, as husband and wife.


Addison called 'InnCredible Events' in the midst of her wedding planning.  She had all her vendors lined up, signed contracts in hand, and her 'MidSummer's Night Dream' theme in mind when she found us on 'WeddingWire'.  In the beginning, she was convinced she didn't 'need no stinkin' wedding planners' (her words, not mine...LOL)...until...!  We knew instantly, we had to make her dream come true!  Just look at her, she's a Princess! 

And...well, he's just as cute as a bug!

There were so many wonderful DIY elements to Addison and James wedding that it would take a manuscript to tell you about all of them.  Suffice it to say, we all worked very late into the evening Friday night before the wedding.

The day of the wedding, while the finishing touches were put on the Shakespeare Club, Addison was getting her hair and make-up done, and getting into her absolutely gorgeous dress.  

Oh my goodness, I have to tell you, Addison's dress was so big that it took up the entire back of my SUV with the seats down! The ladies at 'Renfro's Bridal' laughed at me as I tried to lovingly 'stuff' it into my car... (Note to time a bride tells me her dress is BIG, believe her...and bring a bigger car...LOL!)  

Once dressed, our happy couple chose to do a 'first sight'...and it was magical....

Then our 'Daddy's Little Girl' did the most amazing thing...she did a 'first sight' with her dad.  Warning...these photos may bring tears to your eyes.

Once the ceremony was complete, the 'I Do's' were spoken...and the Groomsmen and Gal had strutted their stuff...

And the Bride and Bridesmaids posed so pretty...

It was time to PARTY...and party they did.  This crowd was wild and crazy!!!!

Some wonderful, and embarrassing, toasts were given...hee hee.  Too cute!

And then our darling bride stood up to say a few words of her own.  Addison took the mic and proceeded to look lovingly into James eyes and say, 'In our family there is no such thing as divorce...only funerals'.  The guests went wild!!!!  James blushed...and Addison grinned impishly from ear to ear...hee hee!

Then James escorted his new bride to the dance floor!

After all the 'First Dances', and a 'Married Couples Dance' (most of the guests had been married forever, amazing!)...everyone else hit the floor...

And the best part...everyone, and I mean, everyone, danced like nobody was watching...LOL.  Too much fun!

And just when the guests were beginning to think that things were winding down, Marjorie and I opened the curtains...and SURPRISE!!!  'The Rocker's' began rockin' the house!!!. 

Then the glow sticks came out...You know it's time to call it a night when the 'glow sticks' come out...LOL!  This wedding was too much fun!

Marjorie and I have sooooo many wonderful memories from Addison and James wedding.  Without a doubt, this was one of the 'funnest' weddings we've ever worked.  We met some fabulously fun people, amazing vendors and made new friends.  Mama Lori, we love you and 'The William!  Thanks Addison for choosing us!  We had a blast!  Hazzah!!!!!  And lots of love!

These InnCredible photos were courtesy of 'Turning Leaf Studios' and guests.
To watch the InnCredible video 'Turning Leaf Studios' produced for Addison and James wedding, click this link...Addison and James

A very special 'Hazzah' to all the vendors who worked on this InnCredible wedding...

Caterer:  Coralee Barnes, 'A Taste To Dine For'
Florist:  Maureen Ward, 'Perfect Parties by Mo'
Photographer: Michele Coomler, 'Turning Leaf Studios'
Reception Venue:  'Placerville Shakespeare Club'
Videographer: Phillip Alan, 'Sheffield Multimedia'
Wedding Planning:  That's us, 'InnCredible Events'

Until Next Time...

Making Your Wedding InnCredible
'InnCredible Events'