Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wedding Buzz Around The World...

Last week I wrote a blog that really felt good to write. It's not too often that I am able to express my thoughts to those around me on the east coast let alone anywhere else.

For some, having people email about a post locally is HUGE...For me personally, to have been given the chance to actually meet aspiring and established industry professionals that live around the world; IS JUST A MEGA dose of smiles.

Have you ever wondered how many people you can make an impact with by saying JUST a few words? Words enough to have someone call you from another country 1/2 way around the world to train with you? I have!!! There have been a handful, but that handful is HUGE in my eyes.

I read my blog stats weekly and show below the daily views. The below stats are from around the world. I took the annual number thus far for 2011..Check it out!

Worldwide Stats for 2011 See Bottom of BLOG for Daily stats!!!

United States 1065

Germany 44

Russia 39

Australia 20

Hungary 14

Japan 100

Namibia 10

Romania 12

I just wanted to express the honor, the excitement and the thanks for your support! i hope you all decide to visit America! I read your emails asking for advice on how to establish this industry where you are. It saddens me to know that you do not have the education where you reside. I am sure this is not going to be a permanent issue!

The good news is that I have started webisodes weekly to share what is happening in our world...and in mine personally..May not always be glammy...But, sharing this, is probably going to save you from making the same mistakes!!!

Happy Tuesday World! It really is not as big as I thought!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Is The Wedding World as "Glammyrous" as You Think?

This is a question I find myself asking myself (ha) almost daily. Don't mistake this as if I'm not happy with my clients, staff or along with the trust we've been granted. This comment truly means this is not an easy task and to be honest, it's never going to be "easy" (easier, yes).

I so cringe when people say this is simple. There is nothing easy/simple about marriage and planning for one. Get real. This is serious stuff and it's not about us, it's about them.

Sometimes, we may have to wait 2 years+ to hear what a benefit we were to a couple, their families and more. It's worth it, really it is. I don't blame them for being on guard. After all, they meet me for an hour + and they invest in my services to ensure the ones they love are happy. That is not always an easy situation and you do need to work with caution to gain their trust. As a mother, I will expect the same when my 7 year old going on 85 tells me to butt out or snap to it as "You should know me momma".

While I joke about how I fell into this career, it is the truth when I share with various vendors around the world (an honor and still unreal or surreal) this career you see "chose me".

I love that it has allowed me to express a side that wasn't on the list of "wants". I truly love to make people happy. Weddings are just a piece of the bigger puzzle or picture.

I just like it and have developed a passion that I do not see too often in most careers. How many people can say they LOVE what they do?
I don't doubt this judgment and I know if you choose to read this, you too understand what I mean. There are no words.

I have not been on the east coast for long. Actually,it's less than a decade That is not much time to get "acclimated" to the way it works "here". I admit being most envious that I did not have someone like myself to warn me of what would be good, what not to rush into or say and what to stay away from to be successful long term if I really wanted what long term meant. The truth, I jumped in and took a chance. I did have the skill-set no doubt and I believe that my passion is now shown in ways that most of those who aspire see.

They are the ONLY ones that matter at this point, be very clear with that comment.

I did not have a "Me" when I needed it. I want to make sure someone does have this when they are ready to take a leap that could cause a rollercoaster to tip or like me...ruffle the feathers. Maybe that's why I have an obsession with feathers; they do have a huge significance in my life. Hence "Sassi Sammi" the gal behind the boa who really is just like you, but may have issues with the "foot in mouth" syndrome on a few occasions. I do know that some wish they had this trait as there are times we just want to combust maybe that would be therapeutic for some? Don't knock it until you try it. Just be careful with whom, we do have some “miserable players" and they will try to break ya, if you let them.

Is it possible to have someone hate you (a true ethical leader in our industry) yes, hate is a word I don't use for people, food yes. Someone who is that insecure that they destroy certain things that kept you sane in someways. More like a personal vendetta but not knowing you makes that a hard one to understand because you never met them. So what does that mean? It means they suck too. And again, per advice of many who cares? They are right. And they are NOT known or valued as much as they believe they are. Maybe someday, those who do chat will confront them and maybe it will end?

The many agents I have worked with and the vendors I have met have taught me more than I can explain. Most importantly they advised me NOT to care about the others and what they say, if they like me or how they run their business. I did listen to all of them. They said just "Be Sam" and don't give a Da...” And I don't. I am here to do my best and while it's been tough, I have some great memories and accomplishments and more to look forward to later this year.

I have stayed quiet (for me that means no blogging) for so long about so much and am happy that I've a chance to speak honestly about the who's who and the ones that just suck..Sorry. Is suck a bad word?

The concept of networking means you gather info, you help each other and you learn new things with every event you have. Even those of us who have been in the industry for 20+ years screw up. The honest ones will admit this on any given day and the ones who are shady will lie.

Ask them. Look into their eyes and see do they really look back at you with all the "passion" in their soul? No. Not all. Not many and that is just so sad.

I have never met those of my platform aka point in my career, not ever. I have reached out. I'm not too proud. I do know what you feel like when you email someone from TV and you just don't know how to ask for some guidance. Rejection is the worst. You email and re-write over and over because you want it to be perfect. What you need to understand, they are just people who are at a different place in their career. No it's not right and yes it's a shame, but it's not personal. It cannot be. They don't know you and that's their issue not yours. DON'T GIVE UP. DON'T subject yourself to that ask wondering if you can do this. If you doubt yourself, then you will fail.

While I have reached out to many for different reasons, thinking we could have some kind of "bounce the idea" or in once case to warn another professional who is most noted about a "shady" client. It had a negative outcome. I did not have to do this, but as a peer I thought I was doing this person a favor. That "person" had their assistant call me to get more details. You know what I said FU figure it out yourself. Oh and by the way, have a good day. I always end with a smile.

How is it that there are a small number of us in the US under 20 perhaps and we do not communicate with each-other? What is this nonsense I hear about them bring afraid of new planners etc stealing their business? How can you steal something that was never yours? And how can you be so shallow as to think you are that good?

We are the ones that 90% of this industry looks up to. They admire all of us for specific reasons and/or accomplishments. They just want to learn. Where is the crime? We've had many interns, let me tell you only one screwed me. And it hurt me personally, not the company.

So the answer is no I will not stop hiring aspiring planners. However, they must be trained first and whether that is with me or elsewhere, I ask for that.

Let's be honest, I do have an interesting way of doing things. I admit that.

The truth, I just don't care about those things anymore. There is much more that needs to be done. If we don't share the right way to be successful, we will not be a fun, exciting and fulfilling industry for long. We all know this. But yet, no one makes a move.

PLEASE no more seminars for planners about getting rich and buying furs vacations and even a boat...PLEASE stop sharing how social media will be the way to become successful and PLEASE stop having those FAKE REALLY a WASTE of money seminars of how they too can be in magazines? Is that what makes one successful? Really? I use media to share ideas and experiences. Not really my work and what "people" I have worked with. If you really want to know, it's out there.

Is it really that important? Ask yourself is it right to ask those who have just started out to pay hundreds of dollars to hear brags, make more $$ and be famous? You are filling their heads with lies! You know as much as I do the media wants new info, true leaders that change this career and those who share what works. Someone who has never planned won't receive what you claim they will have. Give them something they can call their own, especially if you charge a ton...Forget the crappy swag bags too. They are junk and if they cannot use it or eat it like what we share with clients, they dump it.

We have orgs that are BEYOND fabulous. I am a HUGE ISES fan. In the beauty world they had ISES shows that we worked with 4-6 times a year. ISES has always been good to me and I will continue to say they are the best by far for learning, networking and so many things. Join THEM...and if you cannot afford it, talk to a chapter they will work with you. Sometimes vendors in those particular chapters donate funds so that some can get a break in price. That truly warms my heart.

I admit I have not been active as much as I would like, but am so thankful you hire me to speak. I do not charge a ton based on name or exp, I could, I don't want to.

Now you may ask about other orgs and I cannot honestly say that one particular one is a very good one. Esp. when the president, who I've never met, passed judgment doesn't know me and has never been in the same room as me. This person took the words of one person who has their ear and just believed it. If you knew what was said, if you knew who this was you would be disgusted. You may not believe it. So the paper trail is there when I need it. I have no reason to lie. It hurt, and why did it have to happen?

This person (not saying the XYZ PDQ) has no idea about my background or my abilities and honestly I would describe this "wise one" (Sarcastic for sure. I know you would expect nothing less from me) as a major a cluster fuck.

Yes, I did JUST say the F Bomb...Sorry. I know that many of you have shared these same thoughts and well, what can you do right? You have sent some fabulously funny emails and I thank you for that. And for doing what is right. You are amazing and real.

GUYS...Look into the mirror, whether you have done 1 wedding or 1400, you are who you are and will make this work in the capacity that is meant for YOU.
There are some great educators that can help and no they don't have books with just photos, they don't brag about how many mags they are in and they spend hours in a conference designed just for you w/o robbing you of your first born. BTW, they don't share what celebs they have worked with. That's beyond the scope of cheesy and such a plea for help based on insecurity.

Wouldn't it be great to choose the next president of a trade organization that has absolutely NO CLUE about this biz we are in? One that at least, shares the meaning of the word "Ethics" (not just the word, the MEANING). This is with a straight face instead of like a crinkled tattoo in the "Cracker Jack" box. Yes, they do still have a prize. I love those tattoos...BUT if this person’s face was on one, I might totally eliminate that favorite food for champions.

I do hope that doesn't happen. If it does, maybe I will be left with a less known brand. You know I will make sure that brand does become the next "Cracker Jack Hero". It's what we do when those have great potential. Call it karma. You share, you give and someday when you least expect it, a reward which is not always physical shows itself.

Trust me. This year is not over; We've a great schedule ahead. This means to be a guest speaker, trainer and best form of flattery, to meet more people! My own classes and yes watching my team grow with friends/partners whatever. We have the most amazing clients that have trusted me with more innate design.

How could one not be happy? Guess what? I did not have to change one thing which is proof even a wacky, silly off the wall designer can still make things happen despite those who choose not to partake in that world.

Yes, their loss, I know.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

For The Good of Good or For Monentary Gain? Can They Be Linked?

In the last 6 months I think I have won the trophy for the most "Drama" with regard to non-profits and celebratory events general. Honestly, anytime a nonprofit or profit idea is involved it's not always pretty.
I'm very happy about Dream Team and our decision to keep our clients silent and not shown-off which I respect.

We are truly just a small circle of those who work on special situations that allow for an intimate wedding. I think after a year + and going national with coverage doesn't make sense for us as it's not like our service is in huge demand. I am quite happy that it's not.

Small is good, and is manageable. I started on the east coast with 3 states in 2005 and now we are in 13 states with the ability to assist when we can. BUT again, would rather give quality and not quantity. I don't want people to need this service, I know you are savvy. However, when they do need such a service, they have a variety of orgs that can address just about any issue when speaking about a wedding or special event.

Did you know my goal when moving to the east coast was to join a few non-profits and be the best "stay at home" mom? I did not have this growing up and had always hoped to give what I did not receive. I love what I do and that makes it hard to make a decision, why should I?

This particular blog post is not about any specific organizations; It’s about the “for profit” businesses who want to do great things but have to charge a fee in order to make them happen. There is no such thing as free anymore. And to be honest, free is not always a favorable word. Trust me.

In March of 2011, I was asked to Headline an event. An event that was WAY overdue. I could not be happier knowing that my hometown "Chicago" aka IL was approved for same sex marriages. I have no idea why such a simple ask took this long. Politics and the word "Marriage" is really the obstacle on this one as Chicago itself is quite the conservative market when it comes to events.

The possibility of the magic $$$ being made doing something we love, can technically destroy just about anything, if that is your mind set. That would include the new law that was passed so that we can treat anyone who wants to marry the same way. In my eyes, this law is just words just as I say the license is just a piece of paper. It's how you choose to potray your relationship that matters the most. Love is Love... and you cannot argue on this thought.

How can money and same sex marriages be in the same subject? I'm getting there...It's a hard one to describe.

I was asked by Cheryl Hooten to partake in a “for profit” event for on June 1st 2011. A VERY important date for those in IL as same sex marriages were approved. If you are human, you have good ethics,want to be happy and to be accepted, along with being with the one you love, why does anyone have to wait for that? You are already doing the major items that would call for a really meaningful relationship. One that we can assume will last a long time. This is all good!

It wasn't that long ago where I was chosen to be the celebrity planner for the first same sex marriage shown step by step in New Jersey. Christopher and Keith who are not only hysterical, fun and REAL, but have never forgotten me during each year that passes and holidays even after the show.

I love their special handwritten cards asking how things are. I do not get that from many people. I've saved every card and will always hold a space in my heart for them. Fabulous men and YES still together after all of these years BRAVO to you both!

Cheryl Hooten of Dream Day Weddings in MI corresponded with me the week of March 15th 2011. It was about joining her as a headliner for the weddings at the courthouse/etc...She had such an amazing plan to design a inexpensive celebration for those who wanted a mini party or an intimate one while saying their life long vows in front of guests or alone with their partner.

This was a "for profit" event as with anything that is planned, it takes effort and people should be reimbursed for that. I was offered a fee to cover my time and my travels and yes, to be a part of this idea. A large percentage of my fee was going to be donated to various charities. They need this more than I do and I cannot think of a better way to support many different types of charities. So I donate.

Her business plan made perfect sense. She never had an agenda to make millions, but she did need to charge enough to support the idea at the Bolingbrook CC in Bolingbrook IL. What a fabulous venue by the way!I look forward to the day where I am living in Chicago again. I know that things will be different. I have had a taste of reality in my recent visits. I used to think NYC/NJ was very competitive, I can only imagine what's in store for my return. I do not believe in the word fail and I will ensure that this does work. It can always make the clients experience better.

What I have learned about Cheryl is that she is like an open book. I too share that quality and as you all know, I have been kicked for that quality many times. I have decided not to change that quality as 99% of the time, I do not have issues. I cannot lie that the 1% doesn't sting like a bee, but it's not enough to stop.

She had no hidden agendas and while I love this quality at times, it can be thrown back at anyone, I've been there too. And sadly, she shared her business plan (Honest and on paper) with a website which is the "Portal" of many gay friendly vendors located in FL. I had asked many people about this website and no one could tell me much, they had not heard of them. Not that it matters, but if you were there to witness what I did, between Cheryl and a "Gay Friendly" portal which I will share this week, you will have a questionable response..Just as I did.

This was not about Cheryl.

It was about two individuals that started with a handshake agreement and it turned sour due to money. Money that was never asked for, money that was not in a written contract, money that was an ask only after the other party decided to take that business plan and go after a percentage that was never discussed when this relationship took place.

MONEY MONEY MONEY...This is NOT what is supposed to happen with this fabulous and amazing time for those who have fought to have the same rights.

What happened in between this story...It's disgusting. I am going to share a weeks’ worth of a nightmare with you. I will also be linking Cheryl Hooten and her blog to this blog. We will share information that may be disturbing. I have personally taken a vested interest due to my feelings & anger with what is about to happen. I am being proactive which is part of what makes a successful venture.

Amazing what can happen when you have someone, such as the owner of this portal for "Gay" friendly vendors, who claims that they are in FULL support of same sex marriage. One who boasts about "their" family being 1/2 "gay" which is NOT what you share as you are only labeling your own family.."Gay" is judgment, Gay, is not respectful to those who do not share the same preferences in sexual relationships. It’s a word that should not be used bottom line. If the couple decides to announce it this way, great. It's not our right to judge anyone.

We do not have the right to place such a label esp. with our own family, flesh and blood. It's a word that prevents those from living a "normal" life...LABELING them or anyone is only going to stop this from happening. You may not agree with this, but if you give it some time, you will understand my point.

If one chooses to love one sex both sex what does it matter? It's like me bragging about someone in my family having cancer. Yes, this is just like those who used to whisper the word "Cancer" like it was the plague.

When you support same sex you should include them in our world and not name them as they already have names such as “Paul and Mike” or Susan and Donna”.
They are human not an alien. They like Pizza, fashion, laughing, taking a bath, getting their nails done etc…EVERYTHING that we like to do and more.

How sad it is that couples feel they have to warn the businesses etc that they are "Gay" How sad is it when those same people have to label themselves in fear to save the embarrassment they might have if someone denies them in public.

If you take a step back, it’s very similar to the issue between being segregated with many backgrounds, colors and cultures. While in some states slavery has not ended, why we need to segregate again. Why do you think America is called land of the free?

You can choose not to work with anyone outside what "one" thinks is normal/acceptable. I cannot judge a decision or belief. It is you, whom will have to live or work with this opinion. We all have the right to express this at anytime.

“Normal” is the opposite label for Americans as we are far from normal...FAR. Our industry alone is hard enough and to add this into the equation. So why do it?

There is a lot more to this story, and the only individuals that know of this are Cheryl and the 2 individuals who made threats along with destroying the concept.

The goals of the other participants were clearly made to make this event so awful for her that she pulled out completely.
She was given an option that if she would pay 5% of the (Possible earnings) of each click or referral from their site, they could continue this agreement.

This was not noted on paper or contract, written or even thought of prior to Cheryl showing the business plan with estimates of the profits.
There is more…

The “Estimates” meaning if it were to be a success due to the reality that most business plans don’t work 100%. Cheryl will share this with you. It was an honest, well thought out business plan. Her mistake was showing this to the “couple” who then realized, “hey” I want in on this profit...OR… You will see their response as they will be quoted and this is the only one of many emails that are true and authentic.

Not one bit hearsay and 100% fact.

I was included with this issue about profit, being threatened from the portal that their referrals such as the “Bolingbrook CC” and a judge who would issue waivers would be taken away from Cheryl as they gave them to her. She contacted me as she was beyond upset and did not know what to do.

When the referrals were given, again, no ask of 5% or any fees other than for Cheryl’s officiant company to be listed and that the “portal” would advertise her event at n/c. Once you see the emails, this will become fact.

On March 15th I attempted to write a letter in hopes of buffering this issue and to have some resolution between this couple and Cheryl.
I was shown all emails which became more intense as Cheryl did not respond promptly.. endless emails after mine, at least 20, mentioning how I have no idea what is going on, “I should shorten my emails too much to read” or “ I used to blame you, but now I know you have no idea what you are talking about”. I read my email 4 times trying to figure where I might be threatening.

I explained I did not want this to be public as I have been representing some major companies. I also explained that I have shared such great things with the press and what they were offering Cheryl. My fear that if they did not work out somehow, this would become public as they/media will ask why she/I chose to not work with them. Why wouldn’t they ask especially since my comments of them supporting her on their large site for “Gay Friendly” vendors and not being recognized on paper etc”.

This letter amongst every other will be shown this week beginning on 6-13 along with several others that were not directed at me as I blocked them from harassing me. I wanted to be done. I do not regret this battle. I still support the idea of having an event that could/would allow for any couple to partake including same sex marriage.

There is much more, and I will share more tomorrow in hopes to answer your questions, which most likely would be the “How's and Why”?

And while the “portal” mentions that I have threatened them. There is nothing that was threatening about this letter. I will share this as well. To ensure that what I said was proper w/o threats and nothing that would destroy the integrity of my own brand which I do need to protect I shared this with many.

I asked advice from an attorney who happens be a friend, what is the best way to solve this? The advice was to think of a variety of options (3) to make this event happen between Cheryl and the ones who designed this portal. I would hoped that this would have been a chance to let steam die down, and proceed with the plan as Cheryl Hooten has described on her own blog.

Her website is www.dreamgayweddings.com

I personally am saddened, as I would have loved to marry couples and celebrate with them. Its history and to be a part of that is more than an honor.

Why, is this happening? ALL over money..You will not like what you see..BUT it must be shared the right way. There is NOTHING but fact.Again the ONLY person who really knows what occurred in March was Cheryl. She will share what she needs to in order to put this behind and start a new event which will most likely be better than her first original plan. I will ensure this will be done the right way and will help her acheive this idea w/o any threats from anyone.

More tomorrow and thank you for your support in allowing this story to be shared on your blogs and anywhere else you might see as a fit.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Are We Too Convenient For The Copy Cat Planner?

It's that time of year! The wonderful brides we started with over 300 days ago are ready to make that dash down the aisle. Girls' don't forget the groom on your way back!

Some call planning the test of how you and your significant communicate. I would tend to agree with this 99% of the time. They say to "choose your battles". Ladies, this does hold some truth. Trust me on this one.

I love when our clients allow for whimsical/extravagent design and personality! To show the creativity they have invested in to their guests is beyind the best feeling ever! You have no idea how wonderful this feels for me personally and those who have been your partner in crime. Sometimes we may plan 2 years in advance. There is so much that can happen during this time and the details are amazing. Sometimes, this can be too long and can make anyone a bit crazy waiting to execute the plans that we have put together during this time.

BUT...It does work out every time!

We know that every couple wants a wedding that is reflective of their relationship. "A true one of a kind". Those who know of me understand my goal in keeping this promise, I do take this very seriously. Some things may not be 100% possible and may seem like the icebreaker for the "wow" factor.

The decor, dress, rings, shoes, floral, music, venue, limo, makeup, rented tuxes and etc dosen't make or break the marriage. These items don't determine who you are. They are what one envisions for an important occasion. And is not a good enough reason to place such pressure on yourself. Decor is not a need, but your happiness with friends and family there with you is.

There are only 2 proven items that are considered "Perfect" One is chocolate and the other is when you steal someones heart.

Speaking of the desire to be different, I too would like to be noted for the unique vision and incredible passion I hope to share with our peers about our past clients. I'm not looking to share this information unless you truly care about your clients.

Some of what I have shared and then "witnessed", doesn't show this off in the best light. Why you ask? I see those who are just luring them in based on lies (pr maybe what you hope to have). The client today is going to figure out your experiemce level once you open your mouth. There is never an exception to this rule.

Your not going to be giving the client the same service. Trust me, they can see right through you.

We live in a world where most things pertaining to "being the best" at the job or the sport etc, are the main focus, They are thought to be a priority with anything one might encounter. I would be lying if I said I wasn't irritated by this.

I've spent many years trying to grow my business and focus on items that deem to be more important than the issues that happen on a regular basis. Items such as SABOTAGE and PLAGIARISM. Don't mind the caps with the words, I'm expressive what can I say?

These are words that happen everyday and leave one thinking that if they're going to succeed in this industry, they're going to have this in life whether they like it or not. I don't like it. I don't/won't accept it & I do believe this can be fixed.

Your probably wondering what is "she" going to say this week, right? What type of drama will she share? Well the good news is I'm not going to share anything negative. This is truly to share an experience.

There are those who can sway a client away from those who may charge more for services. The "Swayers" may make themselves appear as successful, but we the "seasoned professionals", can smell you a mile away. It's like a letter I read in Feb 2011 about an employee of mine, taking a client and charging her way more than she deserves and stating, if they decide to use you, they can save a whopping 10%. Wow..Yep. This happened to me this year.

You know that saying that some people can sell a dog crap? Or even better, They have a great investment in the swamp-lands of FL to sell you? You don't need to worry about me brides and grooms, you need to worry about those listed in the swamp.

Funny mention...

There is now a site called, www.poopsenders.com. Yes, they will send shit to anyone who has been a shit for the amazing investment of $19.95 and $9.99 shipping and handling. I should have bought stock in this one. I have dealt with some "shit" earlier this year.

This is part of the crap...I had to "eat" in order to get stronger...

COPY CAT "TOP 2" in 2011!!!!

Simply Glamorous Events"
This is a event planning company which is owned by Nellie Rodriguez Link is www.simplyglamorousevents.com. Nellie took my planning course last year June 2010. She failed every quiz and made some rather "stupid" decisions when I was kind enough to invite her to a book release party to make some extra money serving items to guests. The pay was quite generous and we were happy to have her join us.

She mentioned she needed to make extra money on a few occassions and well, I wanted to help. This was a last minute ask and was happy it worked out. Well, not really. It really didn't work out. Why? Well Nellie had to meet someone at her home due to some flooding issues. She did not share this with us. She had her sister take her place. Wow, I have never been more embarrassed and just upset about her decision to NOT share this last minute change. Why on earth would one do a "switcharoo" with a family member who has NEVER trained with me? I did not sign off on this and for one to assume I would be OK? This "action" definitely assured me that she never listened to what I said in class and why she felt the "Ala Carte' area was a package.That was commical! Beware of Glamourous Events in NJ folks...

Nellie thought I should be grateful that she found someone to take her place. Well, I see things a bit differently. Her sister was late, upset my agent due to her inability to handle a simple task of passing appetizers. That was a poor reflection of me. She also knew that my agent would NOT be reimbursing this help for a week. I was kind enough to ask her sister that she was not going to be paid for a week. I offered to pay for the sister I have never met. She did not even have $40 for the parking. That was additional and was reimbursed.

I should have known better than to expect that a student of Nellies capacity would be professional especially when she failed every test we had during the duration of the course. Yes,like I said above, she thought a-la carte was a package. She failed every test and with items that were truly just common sense.

I would say based on her "borrowing" of the exact wording of my packages and dishonest information about being in business for 10 years. I want to share that there are some items that are incorrect on purpose on the packages that were "borrowed". I think I will let Neliie the 10 year planner "vet" figure them out. However, I am not sure if she even knows what these items mean. Whatever.

I would just say beware on this one. She has little to NO experience and Those who lie about such things along with plagiarizing my programs, will lie about other things too. I would say thumbs down with Nellie Rodriguez. She doesn't have 10 years experience and she was not certified by me. Sorry.

Let's be clear, packages are not the "portal" of my or ones success. Twenty years would be the correct way to assume my experience level is at least 100% better and stronger than Nellies. Just Sayin'?

2. Belle Fete' Weddings. Jayme Knast Engelhardt. Jersey Shore Area

This particular situation, is most saddening for me. You hire those who seem to be genuinely honest and want everyone to succeed. You hope that when you allow someone to have a career with something that have been dreaming of that when they leave, they stay honest and leave with compassion/respect not burning bridges. I don't know where to begin. I will say, Jayme, doesn't have over 10 years in the event planning industry either. What is with the gals that take my course and lie about 10 years? It's easy to say this as she worked with me, and only me. So I know this to be true.

She also took my course and shortly after, I gave her what she wanted. Her very first wedding was on June 19th 2010. She did not prepare for this wedding as she was going through her own planning. I told her to relax, not worry about things. Any good boss or lead planner would only share the same respect and space as to her own clients , right?

I apologise to the many people who offered to work for experience at this particular wedding. They truly wanted to learn about this business.I would usually ask most to take the class as I have little time for a strong bit of training on a reg basis.

On the day of the largest/most detailed wedding we had last year, I made sure my entire staff base was trained VERY well. I think all 10 of my planners agree, they were prepared and reimbursed for an event that they did very little for. In fact, Mrs Knast mentioned to a few of our planners that she did not understand why she was there, there was nothing to do. I have never met someone who would ask that? Especially while this was a experience that most would give anything to observe and learn.

I think for me, having nothing major to do on the day of, is a good sign and showed I was prepared for a long time. I would guess if I were that bored, why didn't they leave? Why did you stay unless you saw the $$$ in the mirror. She obviously felt OK about excepting such a large sum for doing nothing as she stated. It must be me as I would never do that.

Life went on...We worked with many more clients and well...I thought we were OK? So I thought.

This email below, really disappointed me & was beyond words. Not only was my very own employee telling clients to send monies directly to her instead of me, but she also took the leads I had given to her and sold them as her own. I have attached the letter so for those who haven't really understood the issue, can see what I reviewed. How does one express such hurt? You don't. You vent to your friends and I think to share via blog...

Jane,(Client name listed below was hidden) I have to be honest, this was the only time I have ever had to deal with someone who stole from me and my company. And it's not just financial, it's leads, contracts and verbiage taken from my own clients that trusted her.

Dear Jane,

I was thinking after we got off the phone........since you are utilizing mine and (another planner of mine) services for 90% of your wedding, wouldn't it make sense to go directly through our other company? We do work separately from Samantha's company from time to time, especially if we are doing most of the work on an account and we feel that we can save the client some extra $$$$.

As far as the design, we have the same capabilities and resources as Samantha and would be able to fully design your wedding, everything we spoke about would remain the same, but we can do it for 10% less, so that would mean that option #2 would be $3,000 instead of $3350. We are able to charge a bit less because we use our own overhead and supplies from our homes, and not Samantha's office.

However, as far as the reveal for the design goes, we can still utilize the space in Summit so you can see what you would be getting. Other meetings we can use my office in Point Pleasant since that is closer for you :)(This is not Jayme's office, this is where she works part-time FYI).

It's a DJ/Entertainment company. A very nice person owns this company and sadly, due to this, we are no longer friendly). It's actually a bit odd when we speak now. It's hard to find "real" friends/business contacts in the event world. I have a wonderful following and despite my thoughts, such as this one, they still respect what I have accomplished.

Wait there is more to the letter:

Again, nothing that we spoke about would change, except for the fact that (Blank) and I would also be handling your design ideas, as opposed to Samantha, AND you will be paying less $$$$. If this is of any interest to you, please let me know! The decision is all yours, but just trying to save ya some moolah :)
(Moolah? I want you to understand, this is not the way we talk in the event industry. This is how a truck driver/used car salesperson might work, not my employees.
Have a great night and I hope you feel better soon!!!


Other emails from Mrs Knast to various leads and to my own clients were also quite disturbing. Trust is a VERY important thing in our industry. If you don't stay true to who you are and you feel "entitled" You should allow your client to go elsewhere. They use our service to be stress free. I'm here to assure you, they will have nothing less than stress free.

I have to ask, do you know what it feels like to have an employee take your new client contract and eliminate your logo, info and replace with theirs? I cannot describe the hurt and "unsettled" feelings. There are just no words for this. Do you know what it feels like to read emails to clients about being "less"?

The problem with having your own company and being passionate about all that you do is that you think with your heart and you expect that everyone else will follow. I have worked very hard to get to where I am in life and with my career. It's much too important to allow for this to happen again. I finally have the team I need. The ones who don't care about the income first. They think of the client. Isn't that how it should be?

I did make this easy for Jayme. I trusted, I did not stay at the office everyday. I did allow for her to take a lot. Some might say if I was there more often, maybe I could have prevented this. I do not have regrets, my time in the field, and reconnecting with life was the best decision I made.

If it wasn't for a "fluke" situation, I may not have discovered this. I cannot thank our vendors, employees and even our clients who approached me and shared this information. Why would someone try to sabotage a successful teacher? That is what I was. I can only assume it plays along with the I am "entitled" attitude she portrays. In some ways I can say, I did a great job with what she learned. I thought I was teaching morals, my teachings were used to be deceitful who would ever use a client who entrusts you with such a special day? Jayme would.

I would ask if you have been told to mail a check to Mrs Knast and/or paid her in cash, check made to cash and or Pay Pal, please contact Samantha Goldberg immediately. Jayme Knast does not have an office in Point Pleasant (Her living quarters,yes). She is a employee for a entertainment company as well as a planner on the side. The entertainment company covers DJ/MC and various enhancement products. She is no longer with Samantha Goldberg and Co/Gold Events LLC as of Feb 8th 2011.

Jayme's experience level is novice (Beginner) with no formal design training. She worked with less than 10 weddings during her employment with SG&Co. Jayme has not been in the event and catering industry for ten years. That is incorrect information. She worked as a restaurant manager prior to accepting employment and planned her own wedding.

We do have documentation that she is currently using my companys contractual agreements and programs. This written agreement does not belong to Mrs Knast and is the sole property of Samantha Goldberg and Co.

I do not want to cause havoc, I want to show the truth. I do not mind that she is now friendly with the 2 vendors that we no longer work with. I can only hope that they never have the same issue. Again, they may right this very moment. I will say any pretty face can hide this and I thought I was good with scams. I guess I was not good enough.

This posting was not used to be vindictive. My sole purpose is to allieviate some of the after effects that this has left me with. I do have a heart and she broke it. I will do whatever I can to prevent anything of this nature to happen to those I do business with in the future.

With regards to the "friends" I thought I had lost, well I guess they were never my friends. That is also a hard lesson to learn. I did bring certain companies to another level. I know they have not forgotten this and will not lose sight of our workings. They can't, it was a good thing.

It really was. I now have new teams and new goals...They are much stronger than I imagined. Who would have thought it could get better? Not me.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


OK Aspiring Planners I'm SETTING A CLASS!!! First I would like to thank all of you that have been super patient! In 2010 CAES can proudly say we had 70% of our students whether new or seasoned, that found their niche and have some amazing stories! Thanks for sharing everyone and I will share them with you on our new site!! This is a great time for me to meet new people and learn of new ways to help some break into the world of events or to help those who have been at the detour sign waiting for someone to guide them in the right direction. I have hired planners from this course and others have their own business and work with us at times. We want to stay connected to you. This is our own network system! And mentally, I think we need to stay close and not live in fear of someone duplicating our "ideas".Who cares if they do.I am sharing my pearls, Why? I have nothing to lose and nor do you!! Fact, everyone is different. We don't have something to give via "tangible means", We do have our personalities and expertise that shines..So make that word go away!! When people speak of networking, this is where it starts. One day with Samantha Goldberg and other peers is not the class. It's after you have completed "lab time" meaning you are going to come into the office to observe interviews with clients, you will participate with the interview by asking questions to a REAL bride and you will leave, knowing if this is a good fit. Want to know why you cannot close certain brides? What's better than having a day where brides come to you, and tell you anonymously why they chose not to go with you.Yup that is a hard reality.But it's such valuable insight. You do want to grow right? Yes, negative feedback hurts.I have been there and I know better than most how it stings.But, I am still here. Why? because my way of doing things is appealing and to be good at planning, yes you need that quality. I change our classes each time, not so much with content, but the way the context is discussed. Thanks to all of you, this program continues to sell out each month, word has spread to many states where I am able to travel, learn and meet some of the most extraordinary people. You teach me valuable information too. While the east coast has many fabulous vendors and venues available to us, it's nice to check out the scenery in another state. I always come back with good and positive feedback and always some form of drama due to myself not playing by the rules. This whole" rule" thing, I think they were made to be broken. I believe our industry constantly needs to be broken so that we can fix what we missed, revamp and rev-up! I'm happy to announce CAES is starting yet another class in April 2011. Date is April 30th. While I have loved teaching the 7 week course, with my traveling schedule and clients, I cannot do this right now. I will make you a promise that I will do my best to have at least one of these in 2011. Various reasons why I cannot teach the weekly and all good news!! This course is special. It's special because you are all going to have 100% hands on from the minute you walk in until the moment you leave. Can I share a bit about what this looks like? On April 30th at 10:30am you will arrive in Summit NJ. I will have an amazing breakfast spread with lots of goodies to hold you until lunch. The morning portion is really learning about you, how you might fit into the industry and how will it work for YOU. We have to start somewhere and since you have decided to invest in yourself, that needs to be our first area of focus. How do you want to be a part of the industry and what does that look like? Many cannot answer that question right away. That's actually a good thing as I don't want you to leave other ideas and opportunities behind once you leave us. I also would really be disappointed if I wasn't able to show you what areas you might want to consider. What I have learned about event coordination/orchestration and design is that they are all very important roles in the event world as a whole. It's impossible to play the role of all 3 at one event. While a planner must be good at multi tasking, this means that with-in the category you've chosen and being able to bring in each element that makes you exceed expectations on your own and with others. It's not impossible and yes, there are many planners/designers that can do both to an extent, but not until they have truly mastered each portion and walk away confident that they did give 100%. A bride and groom have just one day to make it count. If they invest in you, you too have just one day to meet the expectations of what really counts.How might you know this unless you know who you are and who they are. What you can do is seek assistance with areas that may not be mastered yet. The biggest problem with our industry is that people fall in-love with the "gig" the wealth and without thinking about how this might affect you getting another job via referral from the client or any of the vendors you are working with. I will show you in person what that means.I am going to allow you to meet a potential client who will tell you exactly what she needs, and let's see how many of you can figure that out with a suitable program. Many of the classes online are not good for this particular career due to lack of being live with peers, interacting with others that share the same goals and seeing what you might be doing that could destroy your desire to be successful. You can learn the mumbo jumbo of sales..But what are you really selling? You are selling yourself. When we speak of investment there are 2 meanings to the word "Investment". The first meaning is usually a collaboration of what you bring to the table and the time it takes to improve what you know. Or to change the mindset altogether and start fresh. When you invest in yourself, it shines through. It shows that you have enough passion to learn new things and are always going to change so that each client can benefit a wonderful experience with your keen knowledge and expertise. They usually don't have a clue with what this entails. it's not as simple as finding vendors, the right location, making sure a budget is being considered and etc. It starts with you. While you may know much about the industry, there are reasons why you don't close every client or any client, or that your buddy who attended the same class and took off like a rocket. And how we can show that you are still working your way through. I will give you one piece of advice, this will happen. It happens at least 70% of each class. When I review stats, if our average class consists of 10-12 students (Yeah have space for 25 if need me in Jersey City!!), 30% of the class will do the work and may have to change a few things along the way. They will succeed in whatever area they decide to focus on. Remember that the biggest problem for those who are seasoned professionals in ANY career, must look into different ways in order to constantly keep with the "now". If that 20% is resistant to this, they will never grow anymore than what they are. However, if they seek to change or make a mark in the industry, the change of mindset starts with them. their teacher. I always hope that people walk away and feel refreshed and motivated to develop a plan. I know that some are looking for the "golden ticket" or "pot o gold" waiting for them. I have some reality to share, it doesn't come via UPS. You must be the one to reach out for more support and develop a plan to ensure you are able to meet that task. However long it takes you dedicate the time and patience to ensure it's done right, your willing to put in the effort no less than 100%. To summarize, you take the new tools, you look at what you had, and make the decision of whether your goals are realistic. You don't want to rush. I will share why, during the class. We start with theory and how one might reach each goal. We start with your business plan. This is somewhat like the plan we will have for our brides. It's nice to control ones event, but can you control yourself enough to make the plan you have set for the client and yourself? Most successful planners/designers have one thing in common. We did not aspire to be in this career. We had skills that would show early on, but would never go any further than that. They will also take the all or nothing approach. That may show dedication, but without a plan, we have all fallen on our face, and will continue as we never stop learning. Even when it's bad. Let's just say "Bad" isn't as terrible it sounds...It's the only way you learn. Like I tell every bride, I do not believe in perfection. That statement is real as nothing is ever 100% perfect on ones wedding day. Our job is to take control, be quick on their feet and stay honest with when you need help. While I show you how to budget, the real timeline of a wedding, the "how to" and the 4 F's in sales, I show you ways to incorporate YOU into this career choice. Experience is a question that will be asked by many brides. BUT a connection is just as important. I will show you how to connect. They are investing in you bottom line. Shoppers ( Brides who would care less about what you can bring to the table and just want price, are just not savvy of what we are about). It doesn't matter how much of a budget a bride has, if you don't connect with them or visa/verse how will that experience be that day? Or how about the 1+ years of planning with someone you don't connect with. Venues...How do they do it and how can you begin to understand how they work. There are MANY venues that do not believe that a client needs a planner. I have actually been in a appt and have the sales manager state, "You really don't need a planner". That is insulting. What they don't tell our clients are ways to save, how to work with a calendar, talk about all aspects of the event and etc..Who will be there every week etc to guide them through what's affordable and what's not. Or at least offer an option that is similar. I don't mean with food. I actually enjoy hearing them ask that. I say each time" So basically you are going to take over stuffing envelopes, calling vendors and arranging payment schedules,negotiations to ensure your client stays with-in the number given. reminding them when it's time to book rooms, what to do with guests if you have a long period of time between the ceremony and reception, transportation for everyone/anyone who needs it..Are you really going to help with this? NO COMMENT! Silence is GOLDEN with this one..So what if you get the evil eye.Hey if I can take that, you certainly can. We also talk about how to match the right person/vendor to a client. One that has work she loves and also can "mirror" her so that your team allows for a trusting and fun relationship with your birdie/groom. MANY cannot do this. You will. What is the worst that could happen if the bride doesn't like the person such as a photographer..UM bad photos as he's a jerk and makes her upset. I've been with the bride when she finally says ENOUGH.I want to go in to cocktail hour and see my friends/family etc.They annoy her/him with requests that should have been answered early on. WE HAVE VALUE even-though we are not tangible. You cannot put a price tag on time. The value of a stress free beginning which allows the client to focus on being engaged and not just focusing on the wedding. On the day you come in, we will see a venue in action..What happens when you walk in, what do you first once you arrive, how does the procession work/recession during the ceremony, what takes place during the event, how to give some room for last minute changes etc. You will also hear first hand, what venues dislike about planners. You need to know this. If you have a good relationship with the venue, they will recommend you. We are not caterers, so it's not our job to tell someone how to do theirs. BUT some do. So let's not go there OK? You will also watch an interview with a potential bride, let's see if you can tell what she is looking for. You will have a chance to ask her/him anything you want. THIS PORTION IS IMPORTANT. When 5:30pm hits. You are not done. For the next 1-2 months you will have floor time. You must sign up for days before you leave the class!!! This means you will come into our office in Summit and do research, be in client meetings, see reveals, how I design, even chat with our clients about specific things they need. I promise you, there are not planners who will allow you to do this. EVEN if you offer your services at N/C. I cannot answer why people will not allow you to do this, but I can tell you, it has much to do with them, NOT you. In the 1-2 months you will have up to 14 days working inside one of our facilities. This is not paid, this is part of your certification. If you cannot come during the week, you may have to be patient and wait for evening appts. We do not have labs on weekends. You will also attend 2-3 weddings. Participation is a must. Each student will have the opportunity of working with myself and team. The last portion of this particular class is your own client we will choose this for you. Each student will be given an assistant who knows less than you. Your bride will need to fill out a survey based on items you were taught and how you implemented the tasks. This will also require an 80% to pass. It's not important that they like you, it's important that you do what is required. While I wish I could say everyone passes, some do not. That means nothing and everything. We have to try again. We will NOT give up on you as long as you do not give up on us. We do have a waiting list for this particular course. I'll believe the rush to fill when I see a name with proper paperwork done. As of today, we have 5 openings. The date is April 30th 2011 Location: 12 Bank Street Suite 201 Summit NJ 07901 Classroom #4 (last office) Time 11:00am to 5:30-6pm Breakfast, beverages, Lunch, snacks will be covered Fee: The fee is $950 SPECIAL GRANT FROM ALLIANCE $@)) OF PRICE SHOWN..Not applicable unless you can share certain forms (Audit) per student in school (For a college student you may take $100 off the price listed with a valid ID). We are lucky enough have limited amounts of financial aid which has been donated by various vendors. We do offer our planner special which includes our online system "Project I Do" (this is a $600 value , you will invest $50. We also have out completely filled "BRIDAL EMERGENCY KIT" which gives you everything you need and labeled for $150 instead of $250. The total package for the working planner is $1250. You can wait to pay for the kit and Program I Do..We will guarantee the price for 6 months from the date you complete the classroom portion. This pass also allows you to take any other CAES program at N/C with the exception of the floral/design class which is a 2-3 hour class includes pizza and beverages and is a ton of fun! Prizes will be given for the best centerpiece...The prize might be $100 in cash..$200 in cash..a DVD player for your clients to see your work, a bridal emergency kit on wheels...It's whatever ticket you choose!We have 4 people that will qualify for various categories.. We do take PayPal..Visa MC and Discover along with money orders, bank checks and personal checks (Please note, personal checks must be given at least 2 weeks before the class. The only payment we need as a retainer for your space is $100. This is not refundable and can be used as credit for the next class. Please checkout our website for the education link www.samanthagoldberg.com Email or call us at 908.219.4028 for schedule and questionnaire. We do not accept every applicant. If we feel this particular class doesn't work with your experience/background. Our education coordinators can be reached at info@samanthagoldberg.com or you may call 908.219.4028 I cannot wait to meet those who have signed up and look forward to sharing my tools and how to use them in a way where you too can be successful! OOO I forget to mention you may hold your place with a retainer which is #100 down. Discounts for cash payments. So are you ready to hit the streets with me?? Are you ready for that one wedding you know you can do but cannot get that foot in the door? Let's get started shall we??? Sam xxoxoox
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!