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Touchy Subject.

POSTED BY Amanda

Recently, one of my clients asked me the best way to address a few tricky-to-word subjects that can commonly come up during the wedding planning process. Today, I figured it’d be beneficial to give my readers a few pointers on the best way to tell your guests what you want for your day, without hurting feelings and making enemies! The best way to do this is to accommodate your guests accordingly. Here’s a few ideas for you:

Subject #1: You don’t want kids invited to the wedding reception, but they are welcome to the ceremony
Action: If you are in a hotel, get a room and provide a baby sitter for the children. It will only cost you a few hundred dollars at most and most parents will be grateful!
Wording Solution: “We lovingly encourage children to attend the wedding ceremony, and a baby sitter will be provided at the hotel for the reception portion of the evening, should you choose to bring your children along. However, due to the length of the evening, we ask that the reception be kept as an adult-only event”.
Here is actually what I wrote last night to my client:
“We would like all of our guests to take advantage of the beautiful Winery that we have chosen for our special day. To honor that appropriately, we ask that infant babies and small children be excluded from the evening.”

Subject #2: You would like to receive cash gifts rather than registry items
Action: Register at a travel agency that will allow people to gift you with cash [either from their credit card or bank account], to be put towards your honeymoon. If you register for items, register at ONE place, with a good return policy for minimal items.
Wording Solution: “Since we have already established a home together and are not in need of many household items, we have chosen to register with a travel agent, to enhance our honeymoon vacation. Should you choose to give us a tangible gift, we are registered at _________.”
Here is actually what I wrote last night to my client:
“We are happy to accept your presence on our day as a gift in itself, and since we are not in need of many household accessories, our greatest desire is for gifts to enhance our honeymoon vacation and help us start our life together.”

Subject #3: You have a dessert or appetizer only reception
Action: Create a wedding website that allows your guests to be fully informed. Also, plan your reception time accordingly [in between meals]- this will play a key role!
Wording Solution: “We look forward to sharing desserts and drinks with you at our reception!”. Keep it simple, keep it sweet. They’ll know you aren’t made of money!

Subject #4: You are having a small, family and close friends only, ceremony with a larger reception the same day
Action: Word the invitation appropriately! Also, allow yourself enough time during the cocktail hour to accommodate those arriving directly from the ceremony [depending on the distance of the two sites] and those arriving just for the reception.
Wording Solution: Your invitation should read something like “you are invited to celebrate the marriage of _____ and _____ with dinner, drinks and dancing at their reception!”

Subject #5: You are planning a black tie or other style of dress affair
Action: Choose your venue accordingly, and definitely start a website that will answer any attire questions your guests may have.
Wording Solution: “Black Tie Requested”; “White Tie Suggested”; or “We request black and white attire from our wedding guests”. Then, on your website, be prepared to have a section dedicated to answering some FAQ you will get about it, such as “what does black tie mean?”, “what do the ladies wear?”, “do I have to wear what you are suggesting?”, etc.

The key to keeping your guests happy and STILL getting what you want is all in the way you are spinning the subject. Don’t be pushy and forceful- if you are, you may get what you’re intending to but you also may ruin some people’s opinions of you just because of a decision you made for your wedding day. My best advice is to constantly tell people what they are GETTING and not what they are GIVING up. Trying to have no kids at your day? Tell the parents about the break they get to have to enjoy the wine and relaxation of your wedding. Keeping the ceremony small? Emphasize that your guests get to come to the PARTY in the evening. You get the idea. Remember- if you’re thinking of requests that seem like you’ll be labeled the “Bridezilla” of the family, empower your guests, friends and family by focusing on the positive and not the negative. If you aren’t negative about it, they shouldn’t be either!

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[Just for kicks!]

Numbers Game.

POSTED BY Amanda

So, today I went through my client spreadsheet [which keeps track of all of my inquiries and my client’s status], and I noticed something funny. I have been on and off [trying to be more on than off] tracking my double-date inquires. I have, at this exact moment, 4 contracts pending and 19 weddings locked in for 2008. It feels great.The amazing thing?I have had double-date inquiries 18 times. That means I’ve had to turn down almost the amount of weddings I have booked. It’s crazy. I’ve turned down 3 people for memorial day weekend- and that’s AFTER I’ve been booked already! I’ve turned down 2 for 10/18/08! It blew my mind when I went through and added it up. And, as incredibly excited as I am to be doing what I’m doing… I officially know that it is time to grow and expand in ways that I have been longing to- and apparently, it’s needed!The next season of In The Now will, hopefully, involve new faces to join forces with me and become a team of tightly-knit “i-dotters” and “t-crossers”. I can’t wait to see what’s in store. And I can’t wait to fill you in the moment I see it! Stay tuned!

This week in my floral class, we worked with floral tape. Floral tape is tough, tough substance. It makes me respect the floral industry even more than I already do! Since we were focusing on the taping process, we were supposed to make head wreaths. I got as much done as I could in the hour and a half provided [which, wasn’t much] and scored a 3 out of 5! Needless to say, I’m not quitting my day job any time soon! But, as I promised, here are some images!

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And my floral friend, Steph, with her creation [which scored a 4 out of 5, by the way!]:

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So much to learn….

POSTED BY Amanda

So, my husband gave me my birthday gift today instead of tomorrow. He’s great. And guess what it is???

None other than the amazing Totally Rad Action Mix, compliments of Boutwell Studio.

It’s basically some photoshop presets for pictures. Now, I do dabble in graphic design and am familiar with the Adobe series of programs, but photoshop I am by far the least friendly with. Thanks to their helpful tutorial, I’ve learned how to actually work my birthday gift! I have a long, long way to go, but I thought I’d share my first attempt:

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I chose a photo that I knew was washed out and could use some serious editing. And for the after shot:

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Voila! Okay, so the underneath of my nose is still a bit pink from my cold that day, and the light is still pretty harsh, but hey! I’m working it out. Not so bad for learning this in about a half hour. Hopefully this means that 2008 will be full of pretty, pretty pictures!

And to anyone who is camera-friendly, I really suggest you looking into the Totally Rad Actions as well. They’re not too pricey, and they’ll save you a heap of time and make your world a beautiful place [even more than it already is!]

I’ve Been Quiet.

POSTED BY Amanda

But my blog hasn’t! Two days this week I had 100+ views. That, to me, is insane. Of course, the week where I feel like I have nothing to say! 

Right now, it’s truly a countdown until my next event, on March 15 [which I cannot wait for!]. That is, unless I get some sweet February action headed my way! Hint hint! So, to tide you over, I’m hoping to come up with some creative and fun things for us to chat about.
Until then, some random Amanda facts [in list form, as per fact #1]: 

1. I am list-y. As in, really list-y. I probably have lists about writing lists for myself. I just like things in their clear and precise space and form. I like to cross things off of my lists, and I like to, each day, know what I am getting myself into. If I don’t complete my list, I feel like a schlub. If I do, I get a great sense of accomplishment.

2. My favorite thing: Christopher Guestmovies. They’re like cult following mockumentary movies and I got into them a few years back. I’m sad that they’ve already made their last one [so they say- a girl can hope!], but I love to re-kindle that flame and watch them all endlessly.

3. I have one pair of shoes that I really love. I wear them to every single meeting I go to. They’re from Irregular Choice and they were about $120 a few years back. They’re a round toe simple black leather kitten heel. They’re perfect. I’ve had them re-heeled twice and re-souled once. Some day, I’ll have to let them go.

4. I’m crafty and tend to start projects I don’t finish. I’ve made 3 quilts [and started about 6!], I made the artwork in my bedroom, my silk comforter for my bed, endless amounts of baby clothes for friends, and tons of paper paraphernalia for random events and other needs. It’s a sickness. I’m totally driven by the idea of the “perfect cute _____”. I realize that when I have my own children, this may become an irreparable sickness.

5. My husband and I didn’t live together before we got married! I realize that in this day and age, it’s almost unheard of, but it was something we were committed to. Luckily, our first year of marriage was GREAT! I realize we truly are an exception to almost every rule, getting married young, not living together prior, and everything else we did. But, hey, I have no complaints- I truly love my life!

And of course #6. is how much I love my job. I can’t believe how lucky I am. It’s almost like an episode of The Twilight Zone, always thinking I’ll wake up and it won’t be real. But, every day I wake up and revel in how real this really is! I can’t thank all of my former clients enough for giving my the opportunity to work with them on their ever-so-important day, and I know that it’s all of YOU who make me who I am as a coordinator and friend to each of you. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my years have in store!
Here’s a weird picture I took the other day by myself on my camera [which doesn’t have a zoom lens, and the lens makes this just a little bit too close for me to ever get a normal picture of my face…]

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A few things.

POSTED BY Amanda

[And these are only “if anyone cares”]…

First off, my husband left this past Saturday morning on a flight up to Sacramento to join up with some friends of ours in a little band called   Number One Gun. He’s out on tour with them now, playing bass, singing background vocals, and being awesome. In case you haven’t heard of NOG [as they’re so affectionately coined] and haven’t seen them in the past day or two all over the music section of MYSPACE… they’re a really incredible rock/pop/alternative band.

SO, with that being said, my husband is gone for the rest of the month. That’s just two days shy of 3 full weeks without a hubby friend for me. I’m not “lonely” per say, but I’m not otherwise, either. Just, different without him.The day before Josh left [which was the same day as Darvie’s rehearsal- and yes, I drove him to the airport and dropped him off for 3 weeks before working a full day at an event- it was actually a nice distraction for me not to mope around all day about him leaving!], we went out and about to take pictures with one another to “remember” by. This one’s my favorite:

img_1245.jpg  Isn’t it so weird how much beauty can be seen in a person? I don’t expect my blog readers to see this and fall in love with my husband but when I look at his face and his smile I just cannot help it! I know it’s part of the reason that I love my job so much.

On that end, if you want to come hang out with me on January 24th and see him in action, make sure to swing by Chain Reaction, because he’ll be there playing the tour, and I’ll be there swooning for a quick visit with him before he leaves again! Oh, did I mention he’s missing my birthday? Haha, I say that so he feels bad, but it’s really not that big of a deal. But, I AM turning the big 2-6 next Monday. What what??!!

Last but not least- I recorded a song! I know I told you all I’d post what I gave to my parent’s for Christmas [which is just a bunch of hymns that my sister, husband and I record for our folks two years and running now, as their gifts and they LOVE it]… but, I don’t have a copy of those online. SO, since my husband posted this on his working website [which is really his myspace], I figured it’s my obligation to allow anyone that wants to hear me sing, the honor of hearing me sing. Josh writes and records music for TV and film [mainly TV…] and he needed a slower song with a female vocal in a pinch, so there I was. The song is called “On My Own” and it’s all me. Well, and Josh playing. Tell me what you think!

In NEWEST news: I started my floral design class tonight. A friend of mine is taking it with me and I’m thrilled! It’s strange to be back in college but I adore flowers and can’t wait to know even more about them and arranging them- I’ll try my best to take a snapshot and post each week a picture of my arrangement. It was only orientation tonight so nothing to show for my 3 hours in a classroom! But, stay tuned [okay, well, next week is a holiday, but the week after for SURE!]

Now, how’s THAT for a random blog of the day! I don’t think I have anything else to say or post so, umm… that’s it!

Hot Mama!!!

POSTED BY Amanda

Now, I always knew that my good friend Angi was a hot mom, but when I planned this Christmas present for her [a portrait session for her and Stella, her daughter] I wasn’t totally convinced of how well her incredible beauty and unique friendship with her daughter could be captured in still frames. Endless amounts of thanks to the lovely and talented Sarah K. Chen for her hard work and patience with my favorite two-year-old.These are just a few of my favorites:       Thanks to Stella for putting up with us stinkin’ adults [and thanks more for letting us bribe you with iced tea and milk duds!] and a big special thanks to Sarah! There are more pictures on her blog so PLEASE go check them out- if you aren’t stalking her blog already, you should be! 

Darvie and Kevin 1.12.08!

POSTED BY Amanda

Darvie is SUCH a trooper! Not only has Kevin been training up in Sacramento for the last 3 or 4 months [without her], but he flew home for a “break” to get married and has to fly back today! So, their honeymoon is put on hold until he graduates training later this month, and then settles into a job. I tell you, she really had to do this whole event single-handedly, and I tip my hat to that! Darvie and Kevin got married at the Church of Reflections, just outside of Knott’s Berry Farm. I snapped a few pre-ceremony shots, but unfortunately a tight turn around time at our reception location prevented me from attending the ceremony! So, here’s a few shots earlier in the day:img_1379.jpgimg_1402.jpgimg_1408.jpgimg_1409.jpgDarvie has the most infectious and distinct laugh, and the whole time I felt like the pictures were filled with her high-spirits and calm Hawaiian attitude- what a dream bride to work with!!!img_1410.jpgimg_1419.jpgimg_1438.jpgDarv’s gorgeous bouquet [compliments to Laurel and Theresa atFloral Event Outlet for their amazing buds!]img_1432.jpgA few details from the church:img_1422.jpgHer programs [and, well, all printed materials for her wedding] were amazingly designed by a friend of hers! It was soo great how everything was so detailed and ornate and it all went flowingly perfect together! I ate that up!img_1392.jpgimg_1387.jpgimg_1396.jpgimg_1399.jpgAnd now, onto the reception details:Outside the room was her guest book [filled with their engagement pictures] and their signature matte. If their engagement session turned out this amazing, I can’t WAIT to see what Susan Flewelling captured of their day!img_1466.jpgA shot of the frame from later on, after the guests got to it:img_1589.jpgHer escort cards were placed in upside-down picture frames that had been filled with rice. It looked so neat!img_1469.jpgimg_1471.jpgimg_1472.jpgimg_1475.jpgShe had both these mini chocolates AND carmel apples at every single seat. Both of them were perfectly matched to her wedding!img_1441.jpgimg_1445.jpgimg_1461.jpgTable names:img_1447.jpgThey were things and places that were significant to Darvie and Kevin! She also had 3 or 4 different types of centerpieces! I got pictures of two, it looks like:img_1449.jpgimg_1453.jpgimg_1486.jpgimg_1510.jpgimg_1516.jpgMenu cards for the table [there were 2 of them] were easy to read and so cute in these clear plastic stands:img_1455.jpgimg_1504.jpgBathroom baskets [one in each, but I only captured an image of the ladies]:img_1817.jpgimg_1818.jpgA shot of the room and ceiling. Darvie had the hotel drape the room and then sprung for some very important lighting. We in the industry always boast about how much lighting changes a room- well, here you have it! [And you’ll continue to see, through the rest of the night’s photos!]img_1457.jpgThe cake, the cake, the cake. This cake was not only pin-spot lit, it was so amazingly detailed! I loved it!!!img_1477.jpgimg_1478.jpgimg_1480.jpgimg_1491.jpgimg_1496.jpgimg_1495.jpgSome of the cake table decor:img_1526.jpgimg_1535.jpgSee how that amber lighting in the room changes the whole ambiance??img_1500.jpgAnd now, onto the events of the evening! The grand entrance kicks things off:img_1537.jpgImmediately followed by the first dance:img_1542.jpgimg_1546.jpg[These two are ALWAYS laughing!]img_1548.jpgimg_1571.jpgBlessing of the meal:img_1581.jpgimg_1584.jpgAnd after a small break, a dance with dad:img_1593.jpgimg_1605.jpgimg_1613.jpgA few words from their Best Man and Maid of Honor [which had people laughing and in tears every other moment!]:img_1624.jpgimg_1626.jpgimg_1640.jpgimg_1645.jpgAnd a BEAUTIFUL Hawaiian dance performed by a friend of the bride and groom:img_1654.jpgimg_1657.jpgYou can see the swirls of Darvie and Kevin’s custom gobo on the dance floor!img_1678.jpgDarvie made a slideshow for the guests:img_1686.jpgAt the end of it, she put a dance sequence that featured her and Kevin doing some disco dancing [of course, it was their faces on dancer’s bodies!] The crowd loved it!!!And the bride and groom share a few moments with their guests, thanking them for their travels [as the bride is from Hawaii and so were many guests] and for their friendship and love!img_1691.jpg…But, this is Darvie and Kevin, so of course it got loud, silly, and playful!img_1695.jpgBonzai!!!img_1711.jpgimg_1712.jpgAnd straight into the cake cutting:img_1715.jpgimg_1719.jpgimg_1724.jpgimg_1739.jpgThen, Darvie’s mother came up and did a beautiful traditional Okinawan Dance:img_1750.jpgimg_1756.jpgimg_1772.jpgOnto the bouquet and garter:img_1778.jpgimg_1784.jpgimg_1787.jpgimg_1794.jpgimg_1802.jpgimg_1807.jpgimg_1813.jpgThe night was a whirlwind and a RACE to get to the 2 hour chunk of time that Darvie had booked for open dancing! When the DJ started playing the hits, EVERYONE was up and out of their seats and on that dance floor! It was packed the entire night! I could tell that Darvie and Kevin were surrounded by friends that just wanted to party with them! It was such a fun evening. Special thanks to Eric and Ramon at So Cal DJ for REALLY knowing how to keep those guests partying all night! You guys did a great job!And to Darvie and Kevin- wow! You’re married! I loved being a part of your day and I hope you two get to take the honeymoon you deserve before too long!!!

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