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Archive for the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Category

In addition to planning amazing weddings for more than eight years, I also enjoy officiating wedding ceremonies for other clients. It is a unique experience to help create this sacred and special moment for a couple and bring them together as husband and wife.

 

Thanks to this special role, I am able to experience weddings from a different viewpoint.

 

Unfortunately, I recently experienced what can go wrong when a couple unknowingly hires someone who is NOT a professional.

 

In this case, it was a photographer who became part of the scene instead of documenting it.

 

As the ceremony began the groom and I, as officiant, took our places in front of the ceremony arch. When the bride walked toward the aisle of this intimate garden patio setting, the photographer – with equipment flopping around his body – ran ahead of her, DOWN THE AISLE, then turned with his back toward us to take her photo.

 

I was shocked and realized the groom couldn’t even see his beautiful bride because the photographer stood in the way, filling the aisle with his body and all his equipment. I gestured to the groom to move in front of me for a better VIEW!

 

Then the photographer STOPPED her halfway down the aisle to say “smile” and took her photo again, turned to the groom who was trying to watch his beautiful bride walk toward him, and said, “didn’t I tell you [she looked great],” then moved around past her back down the aisle.

 

It was UNBELIEVABLE and upsetting for the bride and groom. Here is one of the most special experiences of the entire wedding day, the first time the bride and groom see each other, a part of their sacred wedding ceremony, and they will never have that moment back.

 

A professional photographer would have reviewed the area long before the ceremony began for the best positioning and taken measures to be as unobtrusive as possible.

 

Ensure that your wedding day unfolds just as you’ve imagined it. Work with a professional wedding planner like Just Imagine, who will refer and recommend to you true professionals who are expert not only in their craft but in the etiquette and decorum so important to such a special event.

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In the world of events, it’s the Event of the Year: It’s The Special Event Show!

I’m so excited to share a sneak peek at a celebration and behind the scenes appreciation of the incredible talent and production that goes into every event. 

 

tse-logoThe Special Event Show is an internationally renowned event industry conference that hits a different major city each year. And this year San Diego strutted its stuff! 

As Event Chair for “The Special Event Starts Here” I was excited to produce the first showcase event of this amazing week as more than 8,000 talented wedding and event industry professionals from around the globe descended on San Diego to see the best, brightest and newest to hit the world of event planning and production. 

Photo by Catch the Moment

As Event Chair for the first night of celebrations: TSE Starts Here!, I couldn’t have asked for a better venue to get the party started than one of the hottest nightclubs in San Diego: Stingaree! ~Photo by Catch the Moment

 

 

 

 

“One of the best TSE Starts Here Events. The venue, the flow, the food . . . Tremendous.”  ~David Breen, Principal Designer/Founder VDA Productions

 

 

Photo by Catch the Moment

Photo by Catch the Moment

 

The TSE Starts Here party was a great opportunity for industry professionals to meet and mingle and sample the offerings and services of some of San Diego’s best in the business: Indulge Catering offered up the best brie you’ve ever tasted; delectable breads; sumptuous seafood; some of the finest chocolates with exotic flavoring; and the Dessert Divas to entice! 

Photo by Catch the Moment

Photo by Catch the Moment

 

“I thought the event at Stingaree was just perfect. Plenty of wonderful food, beautifully displayed, and no wait at the bar!

Sometimes outdoor events at night can seem a bit sad, but the event’s use of fire pits, cabanas, lighting and floral made for an exciting urban experience.

Can you tell I had a great time?

THANK YOU!”

~Lisa Hurley, Editor, Special Events Magazine

 

Master DJ, Tim Altbaum kept the house hoppin’ way past closing time

Master DJ, Tim Altbaum kept the house hoppin’ way past closing time

 

Magic Flower’s dramatic pieces perfectly set off the sophisticated ambiance of the club

Magic Flower’s dramatic pieces perfectly set off the sophisticated ambiance of the club

 

the coolest liquid fusion tabletops from Holo-Walls provided a fun edge to the party

the coolest liquid fusion tabletops from Holo-Walls provided a fun edge to the party

 

Everyone loved the ‘green screen’ photo setup courtesy of Catch the Moment – a great takeaway souvenir.

Everyone loved the ‘green screen’ photo setup courtesy of Catch the Moment – a great takeaway souvenir.

 

and Sabrina Cadini & Nahid Farhoud [right]”]With the help of committee members Sabrina Cadini, Sharon Cole, and Nahid Farhoud the event was an amazing success!

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Recently I was asked to participate in a panel of event professionals speaking to a group of more than 70 students at San Diego State University as part of SDSU’s Hospitality and Tourism Management degreed program.

 

It was a great opportunity to recount my experiences as a wedding planner and convey how much I love what I do. The students themselves impressed me with their poise, savvy, and professional attitude.

 

When one student asked me what set me apart from my competition, or rather, “Why hire you?,” it was a fantastic opportunity to remember one of the great aspects of the special event industry.

 

I responded that being a successful wedding planner is about so much more than being able to plan a successful wedding. What comes into play are the years of experience, resources and connections developed in the industry through working with some of the best in the business, continuing my own professional education, extensive networking, and participating in professional organizations such as the Association of Bridal Consultants.

 

The importance of these efforts and connections became abundantly apparent during the San Diego wildfires in October 2007. When my client’s wedding venue, the San Diego Wild Animal Park, was closed down due to the fires, I was able to call on other event professionals to make this beautiful wedding happen in the midst of a scary and tragic occurrence affecting much of the county.

 

At the time the fires hit, the wedding was only a week away. All of the couple’s wedding vendors lived in areas that had to be evacuated and I had no way to contact them due to strict restrictions on cell phone use. I spent the next four days calling on my rolodex of preferred photographers, florists, cake bakers, and DJs, all of whom promised to step in on the big day in case the event couldn’t take place as planned with the vendors already booked.

 

Most importantly, we needed an indoor venue that would not be affected by the smoke and ash in the air. My friends at the Omni Hotel were happy to make their ballroom available if need be and provide the event at a comparable price to what the couple was paying at the Wild Animal Park.

 

The bride and groom could breathe easy knowing the wedding could still take place and it would still be a beautiful event. Luckily, the Wild Animal Park reopened the day before their wedding. All of the couple’s originally booked wedding vendors were able to return to their homes and provide excellent service to the bride and groom on their wedding day. Their story even made the Los Angeles Times [Their wedding site reopens in the nick of time, Oct 28, 2007]

 

It was great to share with these SDSU students, who are just taking their first steps toward this wonderful career, that striving to be your professional best will always be rewarded and can make the difference in a successful event.

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