Category Archives: Hire a wedding planner

You Can Always Get It Cheaper

After several very busy months, I have been inspired by a very insightful blog post…

When I first started out in this industry, I struggled with pricing (as many of us do) and how to educate brides on price vs. value.

If you too have had this struggle or are currently challenged by this ever prominent topic, please click here. 

Thank you Sasha for your valuable insight!

Keep it Sexy,



Palette, Paper, Linen and MORE…

It’s hard to believe that the Special Event Planning course that I instruct at Wake Tech will soon be coming to an end!

I have had the pleasure of meeting and conversing with many fabulous people over the past two months, some of which will go on to have amazing careers in the events industry.

I am fortunate to have great relationships in this industry and two of my favs have honored me with their presence in this semester’s class.  The wonderful Bridget DuPre of Connie Duglin Linen and Stacey Motley of The Paper Cafe.

Bridget wowed the class with her knowledge of linens and

the vast selection available to add that needed effect to any special occasion.

She did an awesome job!

Stacey is so passionate about what she does, who knew there was so much to be said about paper! Many people are not aware that there are more options available than what they see everyday.  The value of a professional is unmatched!  If you’re not sure if that professional touch is in your budget, ASK STACEY!


Thank you ladies for giving us a glimpse into your world!


Not All Tires are Created Equal!

I recently experienced the joy of buying new tires for my car.  The choices were laid before me and as a novice “tire purchaser” I had no clue what the real difference was aside from price.  So with an uneducated guess, I chose the least expensive tire.

My rationale being, “they are tires, shouldn’t they all work the same”?

Well, it didn’t take long to find out why the “other” tires were more expensive.

This experience led me to understand the position that some clients may find themselves in.

NOT ALL PLANNERS ARE CREATED EQUAL!  The initial ride may be smooth and efficient but the true test comes when you hit the first bump or have to navigate through the construction and detours on the road of event planning.

Unless clients are educated, they too will make the mistake of thinking that all things being equal… price is the only differentiation.

Things are not equal and planners do not offer the same skill, education, expertise or connections. 

Clients need to do their research and stop ruling planners out based on fee alone… yes, you certainly get what you pay for but with the wrong person, you may get some things that you didn’t pay for and never expected.

Just as higher priced tires can = better quality, a smoother ride and the appearance of less bumps along the way,

Higher priced planners can = better connections, customer focused service and the appearance of less bumps along the way!

Does more $ always = better service? 

No, but compare tires before getting on the highway!

Why Discounts are Bad for the Wedding Planning Business

This is a re-post from the highly respected Preston Bailey:

A very common mistake among artists is to undercut our value. I understand the instinct, and I think it’s largely driven by fear. We’re afraid clients will balk at high prices. But if you don’t charge what you are worth, you are disrespecting yourself and your work.

Our clients should also understand where their money is going and why. It’s not unreasonable for clients to ask for a written estimate of our designs and services. I understand this impulse: when I go to the doctor, for example, my first question is almost aways, “How much?”

A potential client once showed me another vendor’s proposal. This client said to me, “If you can give me exactly what this vendor is offering but for 10% less, the job is yours.” I was shocked and replied, “With all due respect, I simply can’t do that.” And truly, I couldn’t do it, because the other vendor’s prices were already amazingly low compared to market value.

This practice is wrong on so many levels. That client was asking me to sell my creativity, a passion that’s very dear to my heart, for next to nothing. But what really upsets me is that there are vendors who are encouraging this kind of behavior!

My advice to everyone, but especially to beginners who are just starting out in the wedding and event planning industry, is to never sell your work and your services at a discount. Even if you’re having a hard time securing clients, resist the urge to lower your prices. Please understand that if you price your work at bargain basement prices, you’re never going to get out of the basement.

The bottom line is that we need to respect what we do. We also need to trust and believe that the universe is a very generous place. As long as we keep honoring ourselves and our creativity by charging exactly what we’re worth, the universe will respond in kind.

Keep it Sexy!

The bride needs support…

It has recently come to my attention that although a bride may know that she needs help to plan her wedding and she may desire professional guidance planning her wedding… often times there is someone in her ear telling her that she can do it alone!

“Why do you need a wedding planner”? “It’s stupid to hire someone, can’t you do it”?

What regular person could listen to that and not succumb? 

Now take a bride (because they are no longer regular people), with all the stress and hormonal issues inundating her mental capacity every day since saying “I Do”, and add in the pressure of a fiancé, parent or best friend – telling her that she’s crazy for wanting outside help.

I feel sorry for the bride that is placed in this position because normally the people who instruct the bride not to get help, have no clue what effect it will have physically, mentally and emotionally when she attempts to go it alone.

Nor will they be involved the way that she needs them to be (because they won’t know how to be).

Men support your bride… encourage her to seek assistance.  She deserves a friend that has all the expert knowledge needed to guide her through this once in a lifetime journey. 

Not to mention we know all the GREAT vendors and you won’t have to look at every linen and china pattern available!  That’s my job!

Keep It Sexy!

It Takes a Village…

Successful events don’t just happen! 

They aren’t magically delivered in the 30 minutes it takes to watch a wedding reality show.   There is no one man (or woman) who can plan, cook, serve, dj and photograph an event.

We need each other. 

It takes a whole village to execute an amazing event.

Okay, maybe not a whole village but it does take a number of PROFESSIONALS.  We cannot do it alone and the sooner everyone involved figures that out, the better the experience for the client.  That’s who we’re here for anyway, right?

I know the hard work that goes into an event.  I also know that many vendors prefer to work directly with a professional planner; it makes their job easier. 

Well vendors, we need your help!  

We are doing our part to enlighten the world but it would help if you (please) educate your clients about the importance of hiring a professional wedding/event planner.  Help us, help you (and your clients)!

I wish I could change the minds of everyone who felt that they couldn’t afford a wedding planner.  It’s so sad to see people (brides) stress about something that comes so natural to me.  Sadly, many still see wedding planners as a luxury and not a necessity. 

We are both!

It is luxurious to have someone you trust handle all the details of the most intricate day of your life and 



Keep it Sexy!

Triangle Ladies Power Lunch

AOT Events Table Display at Ladies Power Lunch

I had the pleasure of not only attending the Ladies Power Lunch held at the beautiful Prestonwood Country Club, I was also a vendor. 


   The Ladies Power Lunch is dedicated to showcasing successful women in the Triangle.  Carrie Peele, president of Blue Diamond Limousine and founder of the Triangle Ladies Power Lunch, was inspired by one of her friends who had a successful luncheon under way in Sterling.  Carrie wanted to bring the concept of the luncheon to the women of the Triangle.  She did her research and decided that the women leaders of our area needed this luncheon. 


There was an hour of shopping and networking prior to the luncheon and the attendees were all smiles.  We were even regaled with a pre-luncheon magic show!  During each luncheon there are wonderful door prizes and the founder honors a “breast cancer hero” every month.  You receive so much more than food when you attend the Triangle Ladies Power Lunch!

What a wonderful experience had by all and I encourage you to click here  for more information and to register for the next event!

Keep it Sexy!