Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Seven Years as a Wedding Planner & then some....

My last seven years, that just amazes me. Knowing that I have been privileged to do something I love for that long. 
I sometimes wonder if I carried a camera with me at all times snapping every moment of each one of my couples events.....what kind of books they would make. If I could of snapped their planning process leading to the day they said "I Will", what those stories would say. 

Through these years I have been just like everyone else....happy, excited, sad and angry. 
So many beautiful brides and handsome grooms who no matter what was going on in their personal lives, still managed to smile as they walked down the aisle to each other. I knew it was part of my job as not just their Wedding Planner, but their friend to keep them lifted. 

Without names, without dates and without photos I still feel the need to write about some of these couples who showed so much courage while planning what should be such a happy time in their lives.  
I have had brides who during their planning lost the one person they looked up to with childish eyes...their Mom. This has and still continues to be one of the hardest times my brides and grooms go through. Often times they hope and pray that Mom will make it to see them get married, but it doesn't always happen that way and my heart breaks for them. When dads can't be their for them to walk them down the aisle or have that little talk the couples so often know is going to happen and worry it will ruin their makeup. These little moments that can never be replaced....

To the couples that get the devasting news that they may want to move their wedding date up or push it back....these couples pull on my heart strings in ways I never knew they could. A closeness that gets built during planning a wedding is far more important than what else may be going on in the planning. Making sure every wish they want is somehow accomplished no matter if it's with 250 guest looking on or when they make the choice for just close family and friends....or just the two of them while I pronounce them husband and wife.....these couples never invited the stranger to their weddings. 

In short CANCER crashed their wedding! I can't tell it to leave we do not have a seat for it. I can't call the police and have it escorted out. I can't make it go away, but I can hope to plan with them a Day...just one Day that they might be able to put it away for a few moments like a stranger standing at the open bar that just keeps drinking...unaware that everyone knows who it stays. Keeping a distance that may just allow a little fun for the couple. 

Again, I wouldn't change these last seven years and look forward to another seven years with beautiful amazing couples. Cancer is still crashing some of my upcoming weddings, but I hope to make each wedding as stress-free and to always be here for my couples....I'm their Wedding Planner 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Really Disappointed in GMA

                I'm so disappointed in GMA ( Good Morning America) that my head hurts.
Why....GMA has been running a series of "Brides On a Budget" and it is so far from the truth that is makes me sad to think about all the couples that may follow their advice and then call or email me later...after their wedding and say "Nora, you were so right!" I have received calls two weeks, one week even a few days before a wedding from couples desperate for a Day Of Coordinator because all of a sudden all of their family and friends who they have asked "Can you do this for me" has either backed out, forgot, fell off the face of the earth, forgot to send in the proper paperwork to even make their marriage legal....and trust me...this list could go on and on. There is nothing worse than a couple finding out that the 200 guest they have coming just may be blogging or posting on Facebook what a horrible time they had. Seriously think about that for a moment....then read on.

I teach a Bride's Seminar every year ( 2014 Bride's Seminar was just this last February) to help teach and guide Brides/Couples in the right direction so that their wedding goes off with very little stress. They get the chance to listen to a Professional guide them through the process of what can be done and how to save money within their profession. Giving great tips and tricks to cut down on the wedding budget is always priceless to a Bride/Couple and even Parents when it comes to saving money, but GMA is for some reason wanting to cause more stress than what any one person should have to handle on their wedding day. 

Here are just a few points I would like to answer to some of their "Brides on a Budget" suggestions:

Officiant: This is one of the most important days of your life, why risk it on asking a family member who has never performed a wedding ceremony..... "To Save Money?" 
I really respect that you might feel more comfortable with Uncle Fred being up there with you, but has Uncle Fred have all of his paperwork in order? Does he care if he messes up the biggest day of your life.....sure he does, so why make him live with it the rest of his? This is one area that should never be skimped on....there are legal steps to a marriage. Let Uncle Fred do a reading for you, I'm sure he would feel more comfortable. An Officiant is one of the areas of your entire wedding planning that can be customized to what you want and need. 

DJ/Band: sometimes I think if I hear one more time to use your IPOD I'm going to scream! your IPOD going to Emcee your entire reception? GMA says and I am just repeating what they said...."Can save you $5000.00" who in the hell are you hiring for $5K anyway. A DJ can average anywhere from $450 on up for a Professional DJ/Emcee. Bands can range a little more. This is so important if you are planning your reception (even if it's in your backyard) to have. They bring structure to your event as well as keep the party going. Little Timmy who might be in charge of your IPOD....just might stray away and then what are you left with...asking friends, family and yes YOU going over to keep it me I have seen it done before. 

Photographer/Videographer: Why in the world would they suggest having a high school or college student capture the memories that you will hold so someone that might dabble in photography and video.... "To Save Money" I call Bullshit on this one ( excuse language, but it fits) may be left without any photos or video of your wedding day. A Professional knows what they need to do to make your day everything you dreamed, seen on Pinterest, bragged about having on your FB and Twitter pages. They can take that simple centerpiece and make it look fabulous in a photo...they are well trained in the shots you need, how you want them and for a Wedding Planner, they know how to stay on that Timeline. How do you tell your guest " Sorry, the photographer took longer than we thought" as your guest are now sitting there bored out of their minds and starving. Please...Please....Please hire someone who knows what they are doing and has done several weddings if not more so that they know the basics of wedding photography.

Invitations: If I have said it once I have said it a million times ( ok maybe not a million) "Please do not invite your guest to your wedding via any email, website or any other way, but through the mail. I had a couple that tried this and it was a disaster for them. Talk to an invitation person directly in your area that can communicate one on one with you. Together you will put together a one of a kind invitation as well as save money and stress in the long run. Trying to do them your self can be a disaster and that's a whole other blog in itself ( stay tune for that one one day).

Wedding Planner/Day of Coordinator: I thought I would let some of my couples tell you.

  • Words cannot express how thankful I am that I had Nora on our wedding day! We hired her as a day of coordinator, but she was so much more than that! We emailed frequently for months before the wedding, she did the day of timeline a month out and took it from there to work with all of the vendors to coordinate arrival, set up, etc. I had no problems the day of the wedding, of course things tweaked as needed, but she held everything together. I got so many compliments from guests on her. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Nora!

  • I can not put into words how wonderful Nora is. I hired Nora for 3 months prior to my wedding and she went beyond that to make sure I was at ease while planning my wedding. As a mother of 3 boys with a busy school and sports schedule, Nora was a blessing. She turned my dream wedding into a reality. Everything was perfect.

  • All I can say is wonderful! My daughter's (Samantha) wedding was flawless thanks to you! I would love to do what you do, I think it would be very fulfilling!

  • I hired Nora for full coordination services for my wedding about 18 months in advance. She help us from start to finish and helped make my vision a reality, navy feathers and all : ) I defintely recommend for those that want a memorable stress free wedding planning experience!

  • They did a fabulous job on my cousins wedding it was beautiful