Monthly Archives: March 2011

Are you REALLY getting a wedding planner???

There are so many professionals that title themselves wedding consultants; and so many brides under the impression that they have someone working for them to assist with every detail.  Oftentimes, that is not the case.

This post will help to decipher some of the titles that masquerade as wedding consultants.

Catering Manager aka Wedding Consultant: Your catering manager is there to make sure your menu is correct on the day of your wedding and the venue is properly staffed. The catering manager ensures that your place settings are set up correctly and your food arrives to your guests at the correct temperature.  They usually re-fill the buffets, attend to beverage needs and overall, make sure the venue’s rules are followed.

Church Director aka Wedding Consultant: Your church director is there to make sure the rules of the church are followed.  They are not required to fix any pre-wedding emergencies (securing hemlines and making sure dresses don’t fall to the floor).

Private Events Director aka Wedding Consultant: The Private Events Director handles the needs of an exclusive club; they make sure their members are treated as VIPs and that events don’t get in the way of the member’s golf game.

Florist/Designer aka Wedding Consultant: They obviously handle your flowers (sometimes rentals, linens, lighting, and design). They are not required to get you down the aisle or handle emergencies and FYI they prefer to do the job that they were hired to do and not every duty of the wedding.

Fashion Consultant aka Wedding Consultant: Sells you a dress, rents you a tuxedo, has amazing taste in fashion and knows what not to wear.

Your Friend aka Wedding Consultant: Can plan one heck of a party; knows where to get the “good” beer and knows exactly how they want things done (could care less about what you want).

None of these are Wedding Consultants; although they can call themselves wedding consultants because they consult the bride…. on very limited topics.  

Your personal Wedding Consultant (the person you hired to work solely for you) is there for you through all of these issues, knows the difference between Peonies and Carnations and what time they should be delivered. We are there to organize and orchestrate through the tremendous amount of details and make sure it all happens perfectly.

Rely on the professionals; don’t leave all your hard work to chance!

Keep it Sexy


Guest Speaker – Tammy Tanner

Cake, cake and more cake… YUM

To know me is to know that I really enjoy great food;  and (in my opinion) no meal is complete without dessert.  Therefore I had no choice than to end our Special Event Planning class with CAKE!

I invited a good friend of mine, Tammy Tanner of Carolina Cake Company, to come in and share with us her story and most importantly HER CAKE. 

She did just that… Known affectionately as the Cake Lady, Tammy took us on a journey of faith and endurance.  She is an entertainer of sorts and she kept the class laughing.  Not only were Tammy’s cupcakes presented in such an elegant manner, they were scrumptious.  Thank you Tammy for sharing with us and you are welcome to come back again and again (with cake).

AOT Events

Who’s Gonna Have a Great Day Today?  You Are!

Guest Speaker – Caroline Sewell

This week, I had the honor and pleasure of welcoming Caroline Sewell of Encore Events into my class on Wednesday evening.

Caroline is a very good friend of mine and an overall wonderful person to know.  She spoke to the class and dazzled them with tales of events and lessons learned throughout the years.  She is a very supportive competitor (you don’t find that very often) and she took the time to answer all of their questions.  Caroline informed the class that she “doesn’t do weddings” but she certainly enjoys a good party (and has been known to throw a few of her own)! 

I am very happy to be surrounded by such excellent company in this industry.  Thank you Caroline for your amazing presentation.

Top 6 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner

After writing my last post, Hire a Wedding Planner, I was asked the simple question “WHY”.  So this entry will answer that very simple yet loaded question.

There are many reasons to hire a wedding planner and I will list my top SIX below.  Why 6? I wrote 5 and I wanted to add one more. 

Before I begin, please understand that wedding planners are not there to “take over”.  We still want you to experience the joy of planning without the added stress. 

Okay here we go…

6.     Schedule Creator – There are many events leading up to the big day!  Couple that with the many things that happen during the wedding and who can keep track?  Your wedding planner can!  A great wedding planner is well-versed at making detailed itineraries for all involved (including other vendors) and making sure that everything happens on time!

5.       A Time Saver – Planning a wedding can take well over 200 hours.  If you work, go to school or have any kind of life (at all) you do not have the time needed to successfully dedicate to planning your special day!  A great wedding planner will save you both time and energy; we already know and have established relationships with the vendors you will need to plan your amazing day.

4.      Relationship Saver – Weddings can be stressful.  A great wedding planner can help to avoid the problems that oftentimes arise when the emotional levels of families go off the charts.  By alleviating concerns and responsibilities ahead of time, your wedding planner has provided for an atmosphere of peace and tranquility; allowing your loved ones to enjoy your day.

3.     Advice and Guidance – A great wedding planner is knowledgeable on etiquette and proper processes.  They know what works and what is not appropriate.  Wedding planners are able to recommend competent, reliable vendors that will get the job done, on time and ON BUDGET.  Your wedding planner works for you (not the venue), they’re with you from beginning to end and they ensure that all desires and expectations are met.

2.    The “Go-To” Person – An average wedding has at least 15 vendors.  Without a wedding planner, you (or your mom) will be responsible for ensuring that all vendors are coordinated and on time; make certain that your vendors have everything they need to properly perform their assigned duties.  On your wedding day, do you or a loved one want to handle setting everyone up, calling all vendors, guaranteeing that the wedding party is accounted for, sending everyone down the aisle on time and oh, making sure that you don’t forget your shoes; all while trying to get your makeup done and picture taken!  I THINK NOT (and that’s before the ceremony, I’ll write another entry for the reception).   Also, by hiring a wedding planner, the couple can simply tell others, “talk to the wedding planner” (we can handle anyone, diplomatically of course).

My number one reason why you should hire a wedding planner:

1.       A great wedding planner is a Crisis Handler.  Like it or not, problems will occur. .  Flowers late, columns fell over…no problem.  Wedding planners know how to handle all disasters with ease.  We minimize stress and maximize fun allowing you to enjoy every aspect of your wedding day.  Armed with your dedicated wedding planner, you’re not just a guest, but the “STRESS FREE STAR”.


Hire a Wedding Planner

I really mean this: I don’t care who you hire, but hire a wedding planner.

If it’s me – awesome!

If it’s not me – that’s great too – just hire someone!  I do sincerely mean that.

Remember you can’t go back and re-do your wedding day.  So if you are considering hiring someone to help you make your wedding day dreams come true, make sure they are professional.

Look around, interview a couple of planners and find someone whose personality fits yours.

Then relax and enjoy the experience!  Happy planning…

Guest Speaker – Julie Liles

Our next guest speaker was none other than the joyous Julie Liles of Julie Liles Floral and Event Design.  Julie arrived early to set up and she brought the most beautiful flowers.  The students asked if they were real… “of course they are” was my response.  The colors of the Anemones and Orchids were so vibrant; the Callas so regal.  Julie was professional and her cheerful demeanor, so inviting.

Julie gave some fantastic tips on designing floral centerpieces on a budget; she also motivated and inspired the class to try designing some “simple” arrangements on their own as well as becoming professional florists.  She spoke with individual students after her presentation and even left the flowers for the students to enjoy later.  Julie encouraged the students to call her in the future with any other questions.  Many thanks for the excellent presentation Julie!

For more info: or visit her website:

Guest Speaker – Michelle Aldred

You may know that I am an instructor of an awesome Special Event Planning course through Wake Technical community college.  What you didn’t know is that we have the pleasure of meeting and hearing expert advice from some of the Triangle’s top vendors!

Allow me to introduce Michelle Aldred.                                             

Michelle Aldred is not only the owner of both Triangle Catering and the all-inclusive event venue, The Cotton Room; she is a visionary.  Michelle’s venue is distinctive, her food is tantalizing and her personality – delightful.  Michelle spoke to the students on a very lateral level; she addressed every question and extended invitations to each of them to come to the next open house (which happens to be Saturday, March 19, 2011 @ 11am).  Thank you Michelle

The Cotton Room is located @ 807 East Main Street, Durham.  The venue accommodates over 400 guests for weddings, corporate events and other large gatherings.