Category Archives: Weddings

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,

Makia


Eating, Drinking and Succeeding!

I’m a little late in sharing, but I wanted to tell you all about the amazing time we had with Laura Schwartz of White House Strategies!

Laura came to town and talked to the fantastic members and guests of ISES-GT; she spoke to the value of networking and how to do it like a pro! Laura began the evening with a display of the principles she writes about. She certainly walks the talk! Below is a picture of the custom designed cake created by none other than Donna Ford of Sweet Memories Bakery.

Custom designed to match Laura's book cover!

Custom designed to match Laura

Laura Schwartz

Laura embraced the attendees with a pleasant smile and firm handshake. She regaled the group with wonderful stories and tales of her “climb”. As the evening progressed, Laura spoke of her experiences as White House correspondent and beyond.

Laura Schwartz is a phenomenal speaker with a top-notch personality. The Greater Triangle Chapter of ISES thoroughly enjoyed the event and the food was amazing! The Crabtree Marriott delivered! They went above and beyond to ensure that we were taken care of and all needs were met.

Thank you to all involved for creating a truly amazing and SEXY event! Special thanks to Julie Lee of the Marriott Crabtree; Carrie Peele of Blue Diamond Limo; Lenny Fritts of Touch of Class DJs; Allison Perry of Cute Buttons; Tesh Parekh of IWP Photography; Julie Liles ofJulie Liles Floral; Donna Ford of Sweet Memories Bakery; Makia Walls of AOT Events; Bridgett DuPree of Connie Duglin Linen

I love the partnerships that we have built and nurtured over the years!

KEEP IT SEXY!


Back In the Day…

If your inbox was like mine this week, it was full of ads for shopping and SAVING money!  In the interest of something different, I am sending this post your way.

Lately, I have been thinking of and remembering the past.

Maybe it’s because I’m almost tall enough to look 40 in the eye, or because I am beginning to think of my younger days as movie trailers full of action and adventure; whatever the reason, I am missing the days gone by as one might miss an old friend.

As the images of the past roll through my brain’s projector and cast a picture of the carefree days of my youth on the white wall of my mind, I wish that I could speak to the younger me and tell her to “DO MORE”!  Study harder and travel farther… go to the places that you could only dream of going and don’t worry about money (there’ll be plenty of time for that).

I don’t want to go back because like an old friend that is no more, there was a time and a season.

I want to learn, however, to embrace this next season and tell my older self “DO MORE“!

Travel farther, love harder and laugh… really laugh. 

The kind of laugh that is contagious and causes your jaws to ache and your belly to hurt.

As the holiday season continues, spend less and love more!

KEEP IT SEXY!

Makia


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!

KEEP IT SEXY!


You Can Do It!!

I am a born educator. 

I have always had a love of learning and a passion for events and I now have the opportunity to do all that I love.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?  If you have the chance to do something you love and help people at the same time, then I say go for it.  Too often we worry about what other people will think or say about a decision that we have made or how we choose to do something. We then allow ourselves to be held back and ultimately set back from our original goal.

Stand firm behind your decisions and remember that what is for you in this life cannot be changed by anyone else’s thoughts or actions.

Sometimes those same people trying to block you,

will inadvertently do something to help you move closer to your dream!

Find time in your day to breathe and say something nice to someone.  Make a step into your future and don’t look back.  If you step in a puddle, dry your foot and keep it moving.

Stay strong, stay encouraged and as always… KEEP IT SEXY!


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!


EventWorld 2011

What an exciting month in the world of education and events!

It has been a while since the last post but not due to lack of topics… try too many topics!

Yes, we have been so busy here this month and have decided to grab a few minutes to give you an update.

I am all about education and because my company is Always OTop, EventWorld 2011 was at the top of the list this month.

Beautiful Details from the Marriott Union Station Lobby

I received a scholarship from the Search Foundation to attend EventWorld 2011.  If you are not familiar with the Search Foundation, you should certainly take a moment to check it out.  It’s an amazing organization that provides support for event professionals that are confronted with a catastrophic occurrence.  How amazing is that?  People helping people is what it’s all about.

The conference was held in St. Louis and hosted by the Marriott Union Station Hotel.  This hotel is a remodeled train station and it was absolutely amazing!

The night I arrived, we had dinner at an Asian Fusion Tapas restaurant.  I highly recommend the Mosaic restaurant in St. Louis!

Yummy Mushroom Tart

EventWorld was full of fun, educational programs designed to encourage, motivate and inspire!  I had loads of fun meeting people from across the US, Canada and the UK! 

The affair to remember was the glitzy and glamorous Esprit Awards.  The decor was beautiful and elegant.  I have included a few iPhone pics for your enjoyment!

 

If you ever have an opportunity to attend EventWorld, DO IT!

Keep It Sexy!