May 2009

Yes, you can plan it yourself to your heart’s content, but take four minutes to watch this video on another ABC member’s blog. It’s absolutely priceless. Not how a bride should be spending her reception…..


Time to highlight some wedding vendors. How do they get to be someone I refer and recommend? First, it doesn’t happen because they sent me an e-mail, asked to be on my referral list, or offered me a referral fee (kickback). According to some, there are nearly 750 photographers in Central Florida – no, I haven’t actually counted. Only a small percentage, let’s say 10% of them are truly wedding photographers, which reduces the list significantly. Weddings are a unique specialization, Why do you go to an optomotrist to get contacts, not your family doctor. Just because a photographer has a camera does not mean they’re the best to photograph YOUR wedding.
Let’s start with the gorgeous photos you see on their website. Those are the best of many weddings – not really representative of one couple’s whole wedding. Not every bride is a “Barbie” model. How do they work with real women who aren’t “perfect?” Every photographer has bad photos. You want to see every photo of your wedding – do you want them to delete only photo of Uncle Joe because it was a little out of focus?
You’re evaluating 3 aspects: their products, their service, and their personality.
Unless you’re a technical expert, you’ll select a photographer based on liking what you see (products) and “they’re nice” or something to that effect, and your sense of “value” on what you’re getting for what your photography $$$. Being able to have a good rapport with your photographer is important, but “nice” only goes so far – you need service too.
So, why would a consultant have nearly 20 photographers on their referral list? Because it’s our job to have worked with 50 to 60 photographers and refer those that have the best of everything: product, professionalism, service reputation, experience, personality, equipment (including backup), personality, a passion for weddings, and a solid “track record” with our clients. The best photographers are working by referrals, not by great websites, ads in magazines, or booths at bridal shows. It’s our job to play “matchmaker” and refer vendors that “fit” your vision, budget, and personality. For instance, I work with two photographers for intimate or destination weddings. They’re in slightly different price ranges, but still less than many in the area, mostly because of our long-term relationship, we truly like working together, and they prefer a wedding of 5 on the beach to a wedding of 500 in a ballroom. Other photographers like large wedding parties with every combination of family members at upscale hotels, but may not want to deal with the salt, sand, sea, and sweat of beach weddings. Sure, they’ll do it, but it’s not their passion. It’s our job to know that and to help you select the photographer that best meets your needs, saving you time, money, energy, and stress.
We’ll cover other selection considerations in Part II.

Sometimes you just need a little humor to lighten up.  A colleague sent me this one…jewishwedding

What do wedding consultants do when they aren’t planning weddings? Most of us plan or work other events. My “niche” is teaching event management at UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, where I’ve (whew) helped 4 classes of event management students plan and execute 8 events this spring semester. While I like to think they learn something from me, I often learn from them as well. Here’s a couple of pictures from UCF Rosen’s end-of semester party with a Vegas theme.

One of the “neat ideas” that worked with this theme, but could work for you too was crudite “shooters” from Big City Catering. Fun Planners provided the gaming equipment and staff.
And what does a wedding planner do with all those wedding leftovers? Re-use them, of course. I invited students to “clean out” my storage unit, and they collected leftovers from other weddings and events to create their intentionally “tacky” version of a “Little White Wedding Chapel,” complete with an Elvis impersonator for photos.

If you’re following my blog, you know I enjoy “out of the box” weddings.  One of my perennial favorites that keeps getting better is Paradise Cove, aka Buena Vista Watersports. It’s been a little while since I had a wedding there, so I was pleasantly surprised at all the upgrades and landscaping on the property at a recent site inspection with a mother of the bride.

One of my favorite sites for a beach wedding close to Disney is Paradise Cove.  If you want the feeling of being on a private beach, with or without sand between your toes, this is your site.  I do hope you’ll consider taking me along as your coordinator, as I’ve worked this venue since it was a bit more “rustic.”   Visit their site: