Saturday, August 19, 2017
Each season I work with interns as they go through a pretty intense internship that I developed in 2010 to give them a hands on experience of being a wedding planner. At the end of their program I always give them a exit interview so I can hear what they thought about their experience including likes and dislikes which helps me determine if there is anything I can do to improve things for the next interns. Here are Christy's thoughts as she finishes her 6 month internship.
1. What things did you enjoy about the internship?
I enjoyed being treated like an equal and being trusted with a variety of tasks. I found the knotties to be a helpful tool in getting me to think like a wedding planner. I enjoyed going to four weddings and feeling like a useful asset to the team.
2. Do you think it was a valuable experience if so why?
I did find this experience to be valuable. I feel confident in how I communicate with others over the phone.
3. What did you learn about wedding/event planning?
I learned that it's not always easy working with different vendors at every wedding. You may have to ignore rude behavior and remind yourself that you are there to help the bride and groom.
4. What was your favorite part of the experience while interning at You’re The Bride?
Seeing everything come together at the end of the night and watching all the guests and our clients enjoying their wedding was my favorite part. One of the best feelings is laying in bed at the end of the night with an aching body but knowing that your event was a success.
5. What did you dislike about the internship?
Sometimes it was hard to keep track of all the email chains and what assignments needed to be completed. I tried my hardest to write them down in my planner but occasionally forgot. I might suggest having a google sheets folder shared between you and next interns. The intern can be in charge of keeping it up to date and putting a check mark next to assignments that are completed. Then you can check it once a week to make sure nothing is missing.
6. Do you have any suggestions on how to change or make the internship better?
Since google documents are so important I suggest having a shared folder where all of the documents are placed. This would make it easier to find documents in one location rather than mixed in google drive with everything else.
7. Do you still have plans to either become a wedding or event planner while working for someone else or starting your own wedding business? Please note per the non-compete agreement that you signed you are not allowed to work for another wedding/event planning company for a period of 1 year within a 50 mile radius of You’re The Bride in Farmington, MI except with the prior written consent of the company/Tracie Morris.
I would like to spend my last year in school researching different event coordinating options. I'm thinking of working for a city, hotel, large company, really anything that would allow me to plan events.
8. Are you interested in working any weddings with YTB as an Event Assistant in the future to gain more experience for a day rate?
I don't know where I'll be living after graduation so I may not be close enough to help work weddings.
9. Are you interested in assignments as needed for a flat rate per assignment? This could be preparing wedding blogs, working bridal shows, similar tasks that you did during the internship, etc.*Of course this is on an as needed basis depending on how busy I am in the future and how soon I am able to start the next interns*
As much as I enjoyed all my work this summer I can't commit to doing assignments once it's over. I will have a heavy work load this next school year and spending a lot of time trying to find a job.
10. List any other comments/feedback you wish to share about your experience.
Thanks again for giving me this experience. I truly loved working with you and Samm and definitely plan on staying in touch.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Christy, Tracie, Samm
What was it like to be a wedding planner for a summer? It was exciting, nerve racking, stressful, and rewarding. My knowledge of being a wedding planner before my practicum was based solely on what I had seen in movies and read online. Jennifer Lopez may have glamorized the life of a wedding planner a bit. We never see Jennifer constantly reminding her client to send the vendor contracts, so the bride doesn’t get ripped off on her big day. We don’t see her spending an hour fixing the submerged floral centerpieces, because the bride didn’t think of the correct materials to make the long stemmed orchids stay under water. We do not see her getting hassled for standing around when sometimes that is part of her job.
But regardless of the fact that I did not have an experience like Jennifer Lopez told me I would, I learned an immense amount of knowledge in the many areas of wedding planning. I worked for Tracie Morris at You’re The Bride (YTB) from February until August. I learned how weddings could be extremely different from the clients you hire, to traditions they have, venue locations, and decoration ideas. I knew that planning a wedding required keeping track of little details but I didn’t realize how many details there were, until Tracie gave me a copy of her four page single spaced list.
A few tasks I completed were designing a welcome box that would be sent out to new clients with a variety of thank you gifts. Designing and organizing a welcome package that consisted of numerous documents that told brides how to properly address invitations, how to change your name depending on your state and county, a ceremony and reception checklist, and much more. Another task was to update day-of timelines with the vendor information and what time events occurred throughout the day. Once a timeline was completed I would call vendors a day or two before the wedding to confirm set up and tear down times, and make sure the payments had been completed. I also helped with the planning of a styled shoot that will take place in September. A styled shoot is a group effort between a variety of vendors that come together to create a beautiful mock wedding.
Every week, I would find two wedding related issues on theknot.com and send them to Tracie, along with my solution to the problem. This exercise helped me think like a wedding planner and gave me an insight as to what issues brides were having during their planning process. I wrote weekly blogs on topics such as: Beauty Tips, Plan For Your Marriage, and How To Plan A Styled Shoot. As well as a “Couple Of The Month” blog.
There were three weddings in June and one in July that I assisted with. The first one was at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The second was at a Bed and Breakfast in Ohio. The third was at The Garden Theater in Detroit, Michigan; and the fourth was at Hawthorne Gardens in Marshall, Michigan. Every wedding day took about 12 hours. The You’re The Bride team would arrive at the venue around noon to help with set up, make sure all the vendors arrived on time, and put up little decorations. I was nick named “the flower girl” at the first wedding after setting up the floral centerpieces. Which continued because something needed to be fixed or done with flowers at all the other weddings. Once everything was set up we would head to the ceremony and make sure everything ran smoothly. Once we got the bride and her father down the aisle, we would return to the reception venue and wait for guests to arrive. We stayed busy all day, running around from one emergency to the next. Seating chart issues, missing silverware, and directing guests to the restrooms.
My biggest project this summer was to plan a mock wedding. I was given a $30,000 budget to plan a fake wedding for 150 guests. I needed to come up with a timeline, find local vendors, get quotes for pricing, and create a budget and TRY and stay within it. I then presented my completed Tuscan themed wedding to Tracie.
This job brought excitement every time a wedding weekend approached. I looked forward to relieving stress from the couple on their big day. All they needed to do was focus on getting ready and getting to the ceremony on time, and let our intuitive, reliable team do the rest. There were some stressful moments where I needed to be quick on my feet to resolve the issues. For instance, one of my tasks was to figure out how to keep the table assignments chart from blowing away. I found some tape and string in our YTB emergency kit and tied it to an easel, and tied that to a pole from the tent.
Overall, this experience was very rewarding. I learned the importance of being a good listener, problem solver, and different ways to go above and beyond to show appreciation for your clients. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to seeing how I can use this gained knowledge in my career someday.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Grace and Andy met online and went on their first date on October 18, 2015. The connection they shared during this first three-hour date only grew from there.
On Christmas Eve in Michigan, 2016, Grace, Andy, and their families participated in an "Escape The Room" game, in which clues must be solved to uncover the final hidden key that will open the door to the locked room. Grace was not aware that Andy had hidden the engagement ring in the vault housing this key. Grace opened the vault, picked up the ring box, and did what anybody would do: she quickly discarded it, tossing it to the ground! Her laser focus directed her to the key resting below the ring box, and she snatched the key up and tried to exit the room before being redirected back to the vault by the game's overseer. It was then that Grace took the ring box in her hand and opened it, slowly realizing what was happening. Andy, along with everyone else in the room who had been in on the plan from the start, could not contain his smile. He got down on one knee and asked Grace to marry him, but she did not say "Yes." She said, "Of course!"
This weekend isn't just about the joining together of the bride and the groom, or binding two families in love, it is also a weekend of marrying two rich and storied cultural traditions: Nigerian and Jewish.
Friday's Celebration will commemorate the centuries old tradition of the community welcoming and supporting the new couple. This includes the formal request for the bride's hand by the groom's family, acceptance by the bride's family, the festive introduction of the groom, and the bride's selection of her prince! For those not familiar... it is conducted in English... and unique to this engagement, a narrator will guide the multicultural audience through the glorious chapters of this meaningful tradition! And guests will also get to enjoy food, dance and fun to celebrate the newlyweds.
On Saturday, the couple will be married in a traditional and moving Jewish ceremony, which will be conducted under a chuppah and followed by a delicious and fun reception.
You're The Bride is so excited to serve this wonderful couple on their special day in October at Greenfield Manor!
Monday, August 14, 2017
|Image from Pexels|
Being a wedding planner and an assistant wedding planner, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could dislike weddings. However, we understand that they may not appeal to everyone, and to gain more knowledge on the subject Tracie asked her Instagram followers why they don’t like attending weddings. The feedback we received included things like “I don’t like dancing or loud music.” “I don’t like dressing up.” “There are too many people.” “Weddings are all the same,” “There are photographers everywhere,”, "I have to buy an expensive gift", "I don't want to see a certain relative", or "I would rather be doing something else!"
Even if you don’t like dressing up or spending money on nicer clothes it’s not that hard to pull out those slacks you have at the bottom of your drawer or dress from the back of your closet and put it on for a couple hours. No one expects you to run to Bergdorf’s or Macy’s for every wedding you attend. Just like no one is forcing you to dance. If you attend a wedding and don’t want to dance then by all means enjoy that comfortable chair right next to the endless supply of breadbaskets. That’s where I prefer to be too. In regards to the “too many people” remark, I tend to agree with this the most. However, most of the time there are quiet places at the venue to escape the noise. Try a bathroom, outdoors area, hallway, closet, or in your car if you’re really that desperate. And allow yourself some peace and quiet; it’s never a bad thing.
If you think all weddings are the same it may be because you only notice the predictable parts. You expect the bride to walk down with her father, there's a sermon, sometimes singing, then everyone continues to cocktail hour while they wait for the bride and groom to finish taking pictures. There’s the grand entrance, cutting of the cake, speeches, and finally you can eat. Then the dancing starts, and after a long night of telling Uncle Bill that you will not dance with him you go home. But there is so much you’re missing! There are many different cultures that have special traditions during wedding ceremonies and receptions. Although many of them may have certain similarities it is almost impossible for all weddings to be the same. Every bride is unique and has her own style of flowers, colors, decorations, and clothing. And if you look closely, you can see that all of the little details were chosen with a purpose to make this one day extremely special.
Yes, photographers may get in your way but they are doing the bride and groom a service. They were hired and are being paid a lot to capture everything that happens throughout the day. It may be annoying for you but think of how awesome those pictures are going to turn out for the bride and groom. They’ll be able to look back on their day and even see things that they might have missed. You would want to remember everything if you were getting married… so why shouldn’t they.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Rachel enlisted You're The Bride for Rehearsal Coordination and Day of Wedding Management.
Samm and Tracie began their day at the church to get things ready before the bridal party arrived including the programs, kissing bells and unity candle. They pinned all the bouts on and distributed the bouquets to the ladies of the bridal party and organized the processional.
I love the lobby at the hotel always makes a great backdrop for photos.
Rachel hired a violinist to play "To Love You More" by Celine Dion as that was a favorite song of hers and it sure was a special moment when her proud father walked her down the aisle.
They did it ! Mr. and Mrs!
The decor that Rachel chose by Elan Event Design was modern and stunning!
Tracie and Samm set up all of the DIY centerpieces, placed wine glass favors a setting and table numbers. toasting flutes, family photos, cake topper, cake serving set, votives, and made sure the tables were perfect before guest arrival. The couple had to coolest Jenga during cocktail hour where the guests could write messages.
We loved the sleek look of the spandex chair covers
Rachel is definitely a kind soul and so beautiful. I love that she wore her mother's veil. What a great something borrowed!
The first dance is always a favorite and they chose "You Are The Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne.
The Father-Daughter dance started out very traditional but when you pick "Stairway To Heaven" by Led Zepplin you know your going to have to cut lose with Dad! This was also a very special song to Rachel and her Dad and we loved watching them jam out to it!
The photo booth provided by Selfies Captured is always a big hit!
Wedding Planner: You’re The Bride http://www.yourethebride.com/
Ceremony: Our Lady of Victory https://olvnorthville.org/
Venue and Cake: Baronette Hotel http://www.thebaronette.com/
Hair and makeup: Beauty Bar and Boutique www.BeautyBarAndBoutique.com
Flowers: Elan http://elan.events/
Photographer: Detroit Photo Company http://detroitphotocompany.com/
Photo booth: Selfie Captured http://www.lansing.org/listings/selfies-captured-photo-booth/4023/
DJ: 101 WRIF Jade Springart http://wrif.com/shows/jadespringart/
Transportation: Millennium Limousine https://www.limogiant.com/
Lighting: The Lighting Guy http://thelightingguy.net/
Visit our website at www.yourethebride.com and "LIKE" our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Monday, July 31, 2017
Working with others can be a challenge, especially if everyone has their own way of doing things. This can happen in any industry. In the wedding planning industry this can often happen when doing a styled shoot. Vendors you work with may have different ideas of how to organize a shoot. I hope this post will give you an inside scoop of how to collaborate well with others and tips to get your shoot published!
Your first step is to know where you want to submit your photographs. Do this before talking to others so you can explain what style and theme you want to create and who you want to publish it. If you are doing something chic and classy in Chicago don't expect to be published in Southern Weddings. When determining a style don't go with what is trendy. Show potential clients what you can do by being creative. And if you want to stick with tradition, try and think outside the box and add your own flare to certain details. Choose your style, do your research, ask vendors to be a part of your shoot.
Finding the right vendors should not be easy. It's important to hand pick the other vendors because they will be a significant part of your team. If you have a clear idea of what you want, make sure the vendor you choose can do what you're asking and that they can do that style. Take a look at previous work they've done to ensure that they can do what you want to accomplish. Also, don't be afraid to ask people to be a part of your shoot. If you're coordinating a shoot from Michigan and want a vintage oil lamps from New York then email the supplier! Let them know what it's for and that they will get credit for any work published. They may love the idea and want their name to be marketed in another state.
Treat your vendors like a client. This is a great opportunity to show people what it's like to work with you. Provide everyone with a detailed schedule and timeline so they know what to expect before they even show up. Remember to keep vendors in the loop with progress of any pictures being published. Remind them that it could take months maybe even years to get published but reassure them that as soon as you hear any news they will be contacted.
With that in mind, don't feel bad if you're a wedding planner and you don't receive any clients from shoots. Planners may not get a lot of credit from a styled shoot because not many brides or couples look at the pictures and think about the person who coordinated everything. However, planners do build vendor relationships and get publicity from the shoots. If the photographer or baker gets hired because of the shoot then they can recommend their client to hire you for planning.
Another tip is to include styled shoots into your budget. Even if vendors offer their services for free, some locations may need payments for table or chair rentals as well as labor fees. Shoots typically last a couple hours so I would also budget in snacks and water for all of the vendors.