Sunday, May 31, 2009

Getting Married in a Tough Economy

A few weeks ago I started talking about how the economy is affecting us all—especially those of us currently planning weddings. Well, I turned my attention to other subjects for a few weeks because I was starting to feel like a Debbie Downer, and really, who wants to hear how dismal things are week after week? Well, we can’t avoid the topic forever, and I would rather help you figure out how you can still have it all—the wedding of your dreams—even in this rough economy. The other piece of this—and also something we can’t avoid discussing—is whether your guests will be able to afford to make it to your wedding. And, I hate to be the one to have to admit this, but will your guests also be cutting back on your wedding gifts? Someone had to say it. Yes, it is selfish to wonder about your wedding gifts in a time like this, but truth is, weddings are generally a selfish event where we find ourselves worrying about things we wouldn’t normally. I think it’s OK to be a little selfish this one time in your life. Just remember—it’s just this one time. And also please remember, people are suffering in this very difficult economy. So, let’s get back to your dream wedding on a realistic budget. For starters, I know you wanted a spring or fall wedding, but this is one area where you can easily shave off a lot of expense simply by having your wedding in an “off” month. I know, no big surprise here, but I wanted to remind you that July is a beautiful month to get married, and you could get very lucky with the weather— August too, and even November. This is a relatively minor compromise that could represent big savings. Moving on—would you be willing to have a Friday evening, Saturday afternoon or Sunday (anytime) wedding? If you can forfeit your Saturday-night affair, you could save BIG bucks. I know, no great revelation here either, but do ask yourself this question—are you willing to cut back on guests just to have a Saturday-evening affair? Just by changing the time of the year, and day of the week of your wedding, you can see a 20–50 percent savings. So, my advice is quit arguing over the guest list and compromise in other areas so you can have the venue of your dreams surrounded by ALL the people you love. Next, you need to prioritize. Once you’ve secured your biggest expense, the venue, start by making a list of the things that are most important to you—areas you are NOT willing to compromise. For many, this is photography and videography. Why? Because besides (hopefully!) your actual marriage, these are the two things that will last the longest beyond your wedding day. If you want a lifetime of reminders of your big day, allocate a decent amount of your wedding budget for these items, but do remember, you DON’T have to go with the highest end photographer. There are many middle-of-the-road (expense-wise) vendors that are just as good and will save you big time! And, even if it makes you uncomfortable (take 10 yoga breaths), you MUST ask for a good deal…now is the time! Stop shaking your head and saying, “I don’t have nearly enough in my wedding budget to hire a decent photographer.” Yes, you do, because you can register for one! If you and your loved one are both bringing toasters and dishes into the equation, you don’t need to register for those household items. Instead, you can register for your vendors! I know it seems a little untraditional, but people, these are quirky times. Quick tip: Have your stationer make up little cards for each vendor and include them in your shower invites so people will know they can contribute to these registries. Now, I won’t take you through every single item on your wedding to-do list, but here are some rules to live by when planning your dream wedding on a reduced budget: As I said, prioritize the items on your wedding wish list. Make cuts and compromises where you won’t feel “cheated.” And, don’t compromise on those things that mean the most to you—set aside enough money for those items, and then see if you can secure as good a deal as possible on those pieces. With the less important items, ask family and friends to help out. Got a crafty friend? Ask her to help you out with your favors as her wedding gift to you. Got any friends in the printing business? Perhaps they could print your invitations for you. Know any good bakers? Could they make you a wedding cake? Love your mom’s wedding dress? Everything old is new again…what about her veil, or wedding jewelry? Any of your friends into making jewelry these days as a hobby? Looking for a break on the catering? What about culinary students? You can go to a great culinary school and see if you can get a good deal on catering. Got any friends with younger siblings working part-time as deejays? Will they run the music for your wedding if you pre-program your iPod? Having a non-denominational ceremony? It’s very easy to get certified online these days to perform marriages—another great wedding gift idea from a friend or family member. Do yourself and your friends and family a favor by securing as much help as you can when planning your wedding. By offering you a “service” in lieu of a crystal vase, they can save money on your wedding gift and you can save BIG time on vendors! All it takes is just a little bit of imagination. Xoxo Sam

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Whose Wedding Is It Anyway New Show May 26th @ 8pm!!

Tis the time of year where we finally get to see the episodes we've taped for season 9! Turn on the TIVO and DVR and watch Samantha Goldberg along with Linnyette Richardson Hall share an exciting one hour of challenging tasks! See Ana above getting fancied before her big debut on camera! She was a wonderful bride!! Did we have fun drama or what???? Your going to love my "tough love" shopping tactics! The show will be aired on May 26th at 8pm Eastern time! You're going to love it! Ana and Tony were an awesome couple to work with and we had an amazing time taping even though we dealt with some crazy vendors! The show is called Wedding Warriors! Now that sounds like a show I could do with Linnyette. Got to love the "tell it like it is" personality to appreciate the show! We do not hold back if things need to be said that's for sure. Get ready for a new show on the CW network coming out June 18th "Hitched or Ditched". We had the pleasure of working with a new production company and the experience was amazing and fun. Yes, there is drama, but not with us!!!! Let ne know what you think. I hope this episode makes you laugh! xoxox SG

Monday, May 18, 2009

Floral and Design Class June 1st Summit NJ

For those who have expressed interest, we ONLY have 3 spots left! Sign up today and save 1/2! Please inquire with Lacey Borman Cohen at 908.219.4028. See what you can do with your next client and their venue!!!! Includes a little vino and pizza too! Get ready to make a centerpiece and learn the color wheel! xoxo Sam

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Courier News Sunday May 17th!

If your an East coaster and you get the Courier, we have a fantastic article about prom and the trends this year! I will try to link it! Enjoy! Congrats to Amy and Daniel and Elaine and Daniel today! It's cold out there! I'm glad you all decided to have the ceremony indoors! I would have froze with you Amy, but you know I would have raced you to the door when it was over! :) XO Love you guys! Sam

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Thoughts?

I appreciate the emails and the following this blog has brought me! I know there are several of you who are aspiring planners or in the industry. I guess you can call us all aspiring. When I am asked what do I aspire to be, I have to change the subject. No really...I have tried to dabble in many things. How can I answer just one area? Some might call it selective ADD! No wait, that's what I call it! Ha! While focus is important in our industry, it's OK to goof around once in while. It keeps me smiling and others around me happy. Isn't the reason why we do this to keep ourselves and others happy. I mean this is the happy business right? It's been a very relaxing year to say the least. We've been crazy busy, but seem to finally have a system that works for all. I have spent more time on other projects and my team continues to amaze me with their fantastic organization skills and sales tactics. My company still continues to be a lonely business at times. When you've "made it" as some have told us, what do you really get? While many aspire to be where you are, there are many who would do anything to destroy it. How can this be you ask? You know exactly what I am talking about. While some call it your competition, I call it the "others"...If you let them get to you, your going to fail. I know times are tough right now. I am sickened by the amount of jobs being lost. I am saddened by the smiles around me not so bright anymore. I continue to do what I can so we don't end up on the sidelines. I just don't want to fail, so I won't. It is THAT simple. Not sure if you have read The Secret" or have watched the movie. It's amazing the laws of attraction. What positive things we reap when we think good and hard about the things we need to stay happy. I truly believe in this. I live each day hoping tomorrow will be just as good. And that my 5 year old will still have the cute rolls of fat on her thighs.. These things are what I look forward to. Hard day at work and juicy kisses when I come home! Wishing we could all be on the same team at times! How cool would that be??? I have met some of the most amazing people this year! For those who are inquiring for internships we are at max right now. Please check back with us in July or August. Don't get distraught, be patient. It will happen whomever you work with in this world. Here's hoping our brides tonight and tomorrow have sunshine for some photos outdoors! Thanks for not blaming me for the weather! xoxo Sam

Friday, May 15, 2009

Calling Chicago Brides!!!

I have some great news! We are in the process of opening a 3rd location in Chicago! In the past few years I have planned several nuptials in the windy city and decided we needed to be there! Starting in August 2009 we will have our first location set! Please inquire with our Summit NJ location until we have our phone system ready to go! Lacey Borman Cohen will be handling any and all inquires at 908.219.4028 I would also like to announce we are having our first CAES planners series in Chgo this July and August! Location to be announced. Most likely will be in the Northshore. Hotels seem too work best! Especially for WI and IN... This class is limited at 12 students so please let us know about adding you to our roster!!! Can't wait to meet you this Summer! Sam

Monday, May 11, 2009

NJ View on line article on "TIGHT BUDGETS" and Modern Bride bartering for wedding services!

I was not able to copy and paste! We were chosen with 2 other planners to give brides some great solid savings advice! Modern Bride Press Enjoy! xoxo Sam By the way, we still have a few openings for our June 6th wedding course! Call us today to save $50 off enrollment! 908.219.4028

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Structured Wedding Planning Does It Exist?

I always thought I was a structured worker. Needing things just so. If I look back, I think this made me crazy! I think systems are wonderful, but you need to leave room for changes. I'm not so sure everyone understands this while planning for the big day. I have told my clients many times while watching them get upset about the small things. I ask "Do you really want to focus on the cheese display being a bit empty or do you want to look at the BIG picture your ceremony went off lovely and the reception room couldn't be sweeter"? We look at each other and laugh. So typical, but so true. The little things we focus on. Why? I always find my clients saying it's easier to focus on the bad instead of the good. Or easier to hear the worst instead of the best. I'm not too great with criticism if it means it's destructive. I remember hearing in Pretty Woman my favorite movie, while they were laying in bed saying how special they thought each other were. Julia Roberts said " the bad things are easier to believe". Is it really this way? I find myself trying to keep our clients on the other side of this, as negative vibes prove nothing but more negative issues. I don't know about you, but this causes me to run! On television you may see this well put together planner..Inside this gal wants to dash for the door. But what will that solve? I think we all know after this many years in the business. You just learn to deal. This is what I teach my clients. To deal.. Even when it's really bad, what control do we have? Very little once the day has begun. Once you realize this is it, you tend to let things go, but on a normal day you may run for the hills. Anyone have this? I have to admit this may be me in a few ways! Looking forward to your thoughts? Do you find yourself being more critical as the day comes near? Do you focus on the bad things more than the good? Why? xoxo Sam

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Another GREAT Weekend!

Wedding season is here! This weekend was our first kick off with 3 weddings. We ONLY have 6 more to go! This month! I have to laugh when I say this, who would have thought years ago, I would be working with months which we serviced 9 weddings? For those who read this and are married, what is your favorite part of the day? You go through the motions, but what part do you really remember? For myself, it's watching you walk into the reception to see the months of hard work all come together. If you think about it, this is the largest amount of time you'll invest for the big day. All of the important players that make it happen your way! I love the smiles and sighs of relief after you say your vows. The best part is watching you relax in general. Why life chose this as the top 3 major things you go through in your life always makes sense after a wedding! It's life changing for everyone, even your planner! I felt very complete inside after last nights wedding. JoAnn and Keith. The weather could not have been better and the stress levels were at a minimum. I wish I could duplicate this couple. To show everyone the small things just don't matter. This couple actually cared that I had a life too. I wasn't just the hired help. I wasn't on their pay roll. I was a part of the day. The one who assisted with their ideas and made it happen. I think we did make it happen based on the smiles! I could not have been more touched when they asked me to sign their Ketubah and marriage license. They had many close friends and family nearby. For a moment I asked why me? I felt honored and again speechless. We were friends. Can't find that with everyone. That's why it's so touching. People ask me all kinds of questions about this business, none are what we get from the experience. It is an honor to plan something so important. When you choose us, you are making an investment for something you will remember for a lifetime. I remember each bride, each potential client whether good or bad. How do forget a couple unless things go sour? I would be lying if I said every wedding we've planned has worked exactly the way we wanted. Or a possible loss of communication while planning that dissolves our relationship. Either way you look at it, it affects us. I've met a few people (being very modest) who were fans of WWIIA and they of course bring up the silly episodes I've done. They ask how could I have tolerated? Or they agreed with my decision. You never know your being watched until someone calls you by your first and last name...Or you hear soft whispers as you walk by that's Samantha Goldberg"...from the wedding show. I think the only time I have ever heard my name that way was while I was in trouble via mother! "Samantha Gene Rosenfeld" (maiden name)What are you doing now? I still shrivel the shoulders when it's spelled out. I have to ask myself, did I do something wrong again? Ha! Do I get into trouble often you ask? Hmm...How do I answer this and not sound like I am trouble on wheels. Let's just say I tread all waters lightly and hope for the best! Until the next post! I do hope all of you who are getting ready for the big day know that the small problems that come up, really don't make an impact on your day. I promise! xo Stay Smiling! Sam
I devote my time to ensuring our clients recieve fab service. There's another "calling" for me. To give back to my peers that aspire to be the next "best" fancy pants somebody! Those who play it safe standing behind me, will fail. I do serve as a warning to others and yes, I'm nutty. It's who I am & it's not going to change, as it works. Feel free to comment & join me on what could be the best road trip EVER!

Not That Sassi Planner Again???

Bling and Pearls Can Be The Icing on The Cake!

Bling and Pearls Can Be The Icing on The Cake!
Too Good Too Eat.

Just admit it, I say off the wall things...And it works!