Friday Intro!

Hello everyone!

#fridayintroductions have been popular for a while although I’ve noticed it’s sort of slowing down now, but since I’ve never done one I thought I would give it a shot right here on my blog.

I’m trying to not make this post like a biography because I tend to write too much and it’s hard to keep it short (sorry!), but I’ll try my best.

Since this blog is about my experiences in event planning I thought I should keep it to this topic but what’s an intro without the background story? I will begin with how my father brought me to become an independent and business forward child. I tried, I really did. At one point, I was making ice cream at home and selling it. I bought all the materials, the juices, milk, chocolate, the little baggies, you name it. It worked, people were buying homemade ice cream from me and I learned to give change back. This happened back in Chile. After that I sort of gave up on that, and I shifted my attention to something that I seemed to be good at: meeting new people and organizing things. So, the very first thing I organized as a child was a dance routine with two of my best friends. The song was from Christina Aguilera “Ven conmigo” and it seemed to be going well. The purpose of the dance was to perform at the neighborhood’s Christmas event at the plazuela (square) where they gave out candy. In order to do this, we had to ask permission to the president of the board of the neighborhood, and my two friends and I presented ourselves at his house and told him our idea. He was convinced enough (how could he not? three young girls with a dream). We practiced and practiced until we knew every move and coordinated our outfits and performed in front of the entire neighborhood who was present.
Apparently, our idea was very popular because the following year another group of girls performed after us. I decided to not perform the second year but helped with the routine and outfits.

Fast forward to 2008, my high school graduation in the USA, and then later that year Penn State University graduating in 2012 with a bachelor in Marketing, which I obviously didn’t end up pursuing after graduation.

I had so many random jobs before I figured out what I was meant to do and what I thought, and still think, would make me happier. Somehow from the many random, low paying jobs, weird hours, nice and bad bosses, I ended up where I’m today with a pretty clear idea of where I want to go from here.

The one thing I know for sure was that I was not afraid to switch up my jobs when I felt like it was time, or when I applied to a job that I thought I wasn’t ready for but did it anyways because I wanted to prove to myself that I could and that I was not afraid. I had a lot of ups and downs, and I definitely did not start on the path where I had a good or decent job after college and could afford rent and food. I did have a lot of help and support from my mom and dad and they definitely trusted me for some reason.

Fast forward to 2018, I am doing what I want to do for a long time, still planning for the future with some ideas under my sleeve and currently doing some research. Maybe my father instilling in me that I should do what I believe in and not do what we think we are supposed to do is coming handy, also my mom’s sense of responsibility and consistency with everything you do.

I would still be somewhere on an Island living life if it were up to me, but I have to be somewhat responsible, I guess.

Oh, I almost forgot, on my free time I enjoy reading fiction books, watching movies and currently obsessed with movies like The Duchess and Marie Antoinette, spending time with my family and baby Leo, face timing by precious Renato, and hopefully going out hiking soon once the weather warms up because I can’t handle the cold.

Bouquet Toss

Hi everyone!

We are almost at the end and guess what? You know it–the bouquet toss. At most weddings now a days, there’s no bouquet toss and you know why? Because wedding bouquets are some what pricy and who wants to toss it away for someone else to have it? Personally, I love the tradition and I would have done it. I think it’s fun and it gives a little hope to the single girl who’s been wanting to get hitch..or not.

One little anecdote, once upon a time when I was just a teenager, I think I was about 14, I was one of the bridesmaids at someone’s wedding. It was really fun, it was literally my first wedding experience because in Chile parents don’t take kids to wedding. Say what?! Yep, they just didn’t, so I never really got to go to one until here in the US of A. The wedding was terrific and I danced a lot, one thing I didn’t know was that I was going to catch the bouquet. I didn’t plan it, the flowers literally landed on my feet. I don’t even know why I was there with the rest of the girls in the first place–marriage was definitely not in my mind then, but there I was and I picked it up. The next part it’s kind of shocking, especially to a 14-year-old girl who just wanted to wear a pretty dress and dance all night, a young boy my age caught the garter and yep it really did happen. I had to sit on a chair and let the young boy put the garter on my leg which by the way it was totally embarrassing considering the entire party was watching and we were in the middle of the dance floor.

Anyways, that’s my very first experience with a bouquet toss, but nevertheless I love the tradition. There are different alternatives to still toss it and to keep it to last for a very long time. One option (which is the most popular one) is to have a tiny bouquet for the toss. This will obviously cost you more, but if you want to keep the tradition and not get rid of yours that’s the way to do it. To keep costs down, remember there are so many flowers in season that you can choose from so talk to your florist and let her know what you are dreaming of!

Also, to keep your bouquet for a very long time (longer than 3-4 days if that) you can preserve it. Check out this website https://www.brides.com/story/how-to-preserve-wedding-bouquet.  It has some cool ideas to preserve it!

Another really cool company that I’ve been following on IG for a while now is Eco Flower. Check them out https://www.ecoflower.com/  They have beautiful flower arrangements for wedding to home decor.

Now you have some ideas of what to do with your wedding bouquet! Get planning!

With love,
Natalie

The Reception

The wedding reception is the most fun to plan, I would say. There are different things going on and it could be really fun and beautiful or kind of boring, so plan ahead and consider everything! Here is where you really get to show off your style, your dream wedding, your one big day to shine.

Now a days, there are so many different wedding styles such as timeless and elegant, rustic, or themed, etc., and below each of these styles, there are endless options. One thing to consider is to be conscious of what you are getting. For example, do you really need to pay that much extra for flowers or food that are out of season? Honestly, you want to choose food that is in season because it will taste the best and it will be the most fresh. Also for flowers, you can always use the arrangements from the ceremony and bring them inside for centerpieces. This way you will save money and be more eco-friendly.

If you have no idea of what is in season, don’t worry! There are so many experts in the industry that your only job will be to choose your style, tell them what you are thinking of having based on your taste and budget, and they will show you the options available.

Ahhh the party favors…I still don’t know how I feel about them. Every wedding that I have attended to as a guest, as far as I can remember, has not been memorable and I have not kept it throughout the years. There was one wedding that I loved that I coordinated a couple of years ago that had the cutest party favors that also served as the centerpieces. The couple chose a plant that still had the root and they placed them in vases with water. At the end of the night, guests got to take it home and planted it in their yard. How cute is that? Now all the guests who took the plant will always remember the couple because every time they see how beautiful the plant is growing (that’s only if you are not a plant killer…I’m still working on keeping my house plants alive), they’ll think of them.  Also, I’ve seen the cookies wrapped in individual plastic baggies..Stop doing this! I feel the same about straws. A good alternative to this is to choose recycled paper baggies or a cute cotton bag, but keep in mind how this baggie can be used again.

In all honestly, all the elements come together at the end and no matter how minimal you feel it could look, it’s going to look beautiful. Remember, this is one day out of your entire life ahead, so plan wisely!

With love,
Natalie

The Cocktail Hour

Hi everyone!

We continue with the wedding ideas saga! Last week, I shared with you ideas for your ceremony and today I want to share ideas for the cocktail hour.

Cocktail hours can last as little as 30 minutes and I wouldn’t go longer than 1 – 1 1/2 hours. At this point, guests are talking about how beautiful the ceremony was and how happy the couple is. Everyone is really excited for the rest of the wedding and want to start celebrating with cool cocktails and yummy appetizers. But if you make it too long, you may run into guests getting too hungry or bored, so if you will have a longer cocktail hour I would suggest having interesting cocktails, and a little more appetizers and possibly something to do in the meantime to entertain guests. Don’t over do the food though. You could possibly do an interesting station that could work as an activity as well like the one I found in The Knot website https://www.theknot.com/content/ways-to-make-your-cocktail-hour-more-fun

Here is where you get to get creative and show a little more about how the reception will be. When choosing your caterer is always easy to look up any vendor with good reviews and probably on the cheaper side because who wants to spend that much money on food? Everything adds up. right?. Also, you are probably thinking that you wouldn’t want to serve too much food (which in a way I totally agree), but, there are so many options now that offer sustainable food, and they are just as tasty and gorgeous if not better! So, don’t slack on your research. Also, remember that there are professionals whose job is to do the research for you, so don’t hesitate to contact them.

Just one tip, please tell your caterer or whoever is providing the alcohol to not put a straw on the glasses. There are so many other options like bamboo, paper or metal straws that could also work as favors. Guest can use the same straw all night and take it home once done! Check these out! https://pebblemag.com/magazine/living/5-eco-friendly-alternatives-to-plastic-straws 

Also, you won’t need much decor for this. If the ceremony is outside, have the cocktail hour outside as well and add cocktail tables and votive candles on the tables. The less the better. You don’t want to spend too much money here. Instead, look for fun activities for your guests to play and amazing drinks!

What was your favorite activity at a recent wedding you attended?

With love,
Natalie

The Ceremony

Hi everyone,

So, earlier this week I told you that I would post about eco-friendly ideas for your wedding! Earth friendly weddings don’t have to be plain or boring. You can get really creative and play around with all the textures, colors, and smells.

I guess the very first thing that you have to consider is to choose the right venue for you. Your venue will dictate your style and overall look of the wedding. Sometimes couples think that choosing a cheaper venue will save them money, but if the venue they chose doesn’t really match what they are looking for, they’ll spend more money on decor and rentals trying to hide what they don’t like or trying to make it look more their theme, so choose wisely and consider all the facts!

For the ceremony outside:

Having your ceremony outside really helps having all that nature around you already from trees, flowers, grass, sand, cobblestone, etc. Take advantage of those natural pieces to not have to get too much decor to make the ceremony look beautiful. If there is a tree at your ceremony site, use it and hang lights or seasonal flowers if you don’t like it bare. For example, the ceremony below didn’t need much decor. There was tons of trees and green grass that made this ceremony beautiful full of colors yet simple and elegant.

Ceremony Set-up2.jpg

For the ceremony inside:

You can make a backdrop with string of lights, or recyclable paper cranes like in the pictures in this link https://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/minerva-erik/

Depending on the venue, you can always select for the ceremony to take place by a window (if the view from the window is pretty) and use soy candles or seasonal flowers to decorate around. You’ll be surprise how pretty a space looks without over doing it.

Choosing vendors:

When picking your vendors for your wedding, ask them questions. They are there to help you. For example, the florist, ask them if their flowers are sustainable. Is their wholesaler near by or are they getting their flowers from oversees? Ask them what types of flowers or greenery is in season on the date of your wedding. They’ll tell you right away and will be happy to help you.

Also, remember to use real flowers if you are using them for isle or for guest to throw at you when you are walking out. Remember, anything plastic won’t vanish after your wedding is over, and using real plants is way better and it looks so much more beautiful.

I hope these ideas help you! Remember, you can still have your dream wedding while being eco-friendly and save some $ for your honeymoon or the new house you want to buy or for the baby on the way!

With love,
Natalie

Awesome Party Supplies & Decor, The Sustainable Way!

pexels-photo-428124.jpeg

Hi everyone!

Happy New Year! I can’t believe we are already on the second week of January. Something is really going on with the months flying by. The industry right now is on the slow season for events, but it’s prime time for selling. You would think that we would have a break, but no, I’m full of tours, drafting proposals, and planning random events during these two months of January and February.

Although we are still busy selling, we do have some extra time on our hands to prepare for the year. This means we need to freshen up our marketing materials, social media, menus, look up new trends, etc.  I actually enjoy doing this party of my job as well as it gives me the chance to get creative and research cool vendors that I think would be beneficial to get in touch with.

I’m on Instagram everyday, as many of you are as well, I’m sure, and my feed is mostly about photographers, sustainability, cute animals, caterers, and random vendors that I find when they post cool pictures of their work. And yes, I do have my friends and family, but they don’t post as much…what is wrong with them?

So, the other day, as I was scrolling through my feed, I came across some planners posting beautiful pictures of birthdays parties they have planned. The last picture I saw was of a kid’s birthday party and I loved everything about it! The theme, the colors and the creativity and work that was put into it. But I couldn’t help but wonder, how can we make the same awesome, colorful, fun theme birthday party more sustainable? That’s when I started doing some research and I found some very cool online stores where you can buy pretty much anything for a party and it’s Earth friendly! Yaaaa!

I don’t encourage single use items, but let’s be honest, for kid’s parties, they are a must. No one wants broken china and glass everywhere!

The first one is www.sustyparty.com. It will lead you to their website, but to shop, it will take you to Amazon. They have really good reviews and very cute cups, plates, eating utensils, napkins, table cloths, etc. and everything is plastic-free and non-toxic. I think it’s a win win!

www.greenpartygoods.com. This site also offers biodegradable, recycled and non-toxic products. Here you will find all kinds of party supplies from decor to party favors and much more! They even have biodegradable balloons! 

Get planning!

With love,
Natalie

EXPECTATIONS

Hi all,

The topic for today is “how to manage your client’s expectations” which has been a topic lately especially now with this coming Inauguration Day. In the world of event planning, and in any kind of business for that matter, you encounter many types of people with different wants, needs and expectations. Because you want to do business and also provide everything that is possible to your client, you may promise things that you may not be able to deliver. This is when you need to Manage Your Client from the very beginning.

How can you manage your client? Well, it’s actually pretty straight forward and that is why we might not always think about it (I’ve done it!). You need to tell your client what you can offer, how to deliver it, the time frame to finish your job, and just be sort of honest. In event planning, and this happens not just to event planners, clients reach out to you with a vision of their event , but they are not sure how to develope it and they want you to help them figure it out with your expertise. Or some clients come to you with a vision knowing exactly what they want (think decor, music, venue, overall experience, etc).  Either way, as a knowledgeable person in the industry, you can certainly help the client make their vision a reality, BUT there are a few things to take into consideration after talking to your client about their wants, needs and expectations of the event:

  • Obviously, the biggest thing would be BUDGET
  • How capable are you to deliver what the client is asking?
  • Are the client’s expectations realistic?
  • Is the time frame to plan the event realistic?
  • Do you have the right tools to plan and carry out the event?
  • Do you know people in the industry that could give you some tips about something you don’t know much about?

These are some things you need to think about as you talk to your client while discussing and going over the ideas and plans for the event. The client will definitely appreciate your input so that he/she is prepare as to what to expect and as to what can be done. Trust me, building a trustful and professional relationship with clients should be one of your top priorities.

Trust and professionalism = repeat business

I hope you find this helpful!

With love,

Natalie