Coordinators and Taxes-Who knew?

I was having a very candid conversation with my accountant (who I adore by the way) the other day. We were discussing how there has been a shift towards people using automatic programs such as turbo tax to process their taxes now. He was saying how he just doesn't understand why people don't see the value of having a live person to walk them through something as important as filing their taxes-and why people don't get that if there is a dramatic price difference, there's more to it than meets the eye. I inadvertantly laughed and explained to him that this is a battle that is ongoing for myself and colleauges in the industry.

Now don't get me wrong, I've used my fair share of turbo tax myself HOWEVER I have a degree in Economics and a Master's in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting:(If you noticed, I started this post saying I was taking to my ACCOUNTANT, someone else TRAINED to keep me out of jail and on point with my wonderful friends at the IRS.)

So what does this have to do with Weddings?

There has been an influx of "Coordinators" to the industry recently and quite frankly, as a seasoned professional (I think I have finally have earned those stripes), it scares me. When I see advertising by individuals claiming to do EXACTLY what I do for $50/$250 or better yet former/current brides in chat rooms VOLUNTEERING to do weddings because they just "throroughly enjoyed planning their own weddings"...give me a break.

The truth of the matter is coming up with a new business name, a logo and a "pretty" website full of stock pictures, does not qualify you to be a Coordinator. It's just like going to your accountant. Paying a live person to analyze your actual income situation, what qualifies as a write-off and what you owe to the government, as opposed to a "plug and play", there's value in that. Yes it costs more-it should. Just like established Coordinators, we charge more b/c,

"We've got people!"

And people matter.

Especially when your cake doesn't arrive, or your mother's dress rips just before her entrance into the church, or the hem of your bridesmaid's dresses start to unravel, and the bouts don't survive the unair conditioned limo replacement that the limo company sent that finally arrives to the church who forbids your Bridesmaids from wearing strapless dresses down the aisle where the Officiant is standing without his Bible and your father remembers that they both he and the Pastor need white gloves for the ceremony and the Ceollist forgets her cart she needs to transport her instrument into the church where one of your guest suddenfly suffers from diaebetic shock...And all the while, you're sitting in your dressing room smiling and looking beautiful never knowing a thing except that the man you love is here and ready and just as anxious as you and at 3pm on the dot, it will be official.

Yup, that's what having "PEOPLE" will do for you.

(And yes, all of those situations we've encountered and survived :))


My name is NOT Susan!

…or Iris for that matter!

Being the victim of a 4 letter "unique yet beautiful" name, I've spent most of my adult life becoming accustomed to the notion that people pay little attention to the correct pronunciation of names. Trust me, I’ve been referred to as everything from Is-Is to I-Cease, with my personal all time favorite being "IRIS", and it never ceases to amaze me. While most days I can just shrug it off, I can't imagine this being the case at an important event…let alone a Wedding!

On your wedding day, be sure that you provide your Master of Ceremonies with the phonetic pronunciation (Isis= I-sis) for your bridalparty. Please don't take it for granted, in this day of silent letters and extra long e's, that your name is as easy to pronounce as youthink it is. If you've hired a professional WEDDING disc jockey, this tends to be a second nature practice for them...but just in case-have a version ready to provide to them.

Just one less thing to worry about and believe me, your bridal party members with names like my sister Saidah (= Sigh-e-dah) and colleague Deidre (=De-a-dra) will appreciate it!


Each One, Reach One

I'm a firm believer in the principle that it is our responsibility as educated people to assist those in need. Educated in my eyes is not dictated by degree, but instead by the knowledge that is innate in us all. As a career student (3 "un-event" related degrees and the school loans to prove it later), I truly feel blessed to have acquired a wealth of knowledge along the way. That's why when I was told, err uhm... asked by my Colleague and very good friend Deidre Gray of Always a Positive Image, LLC to teach at her Designed to Success workshop this past Saturday, I couldn't refuse.

Now you have to imagine, being amongst a list of amazing, experienced presenters and Linnyette Richardson-Hall, The Whose Wedding Is It Anyway "Diva" herself as the guest speaker, the pressure level is definitely on; especially when the audience is comprised of 27 local novice Coordinators. Pressure, Pressure, Pressure.

A word of advice for all of you aspiring Wedding Coordinators-please, please, please do your research and devise some type of curriculum to get a realistic look into the industry well before you begin to plan Weddings. It's not enough to offer your services "free of charge" because quite honestly, that's what they are worth at that point. I value my Clients and couples do not get a do-over so please do your homework before taken your first step.

The conference was a huge success and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity. I'm now preparing for my next trip over to Rowan University next month to speak to the participants of the Event Management program. Me, a teacher? Who Knew!

Here are some pics from the day:

Great job Deidre! The workshop was certainly designed and a success!


(Bridal) Show me the way!

For all you couples "to be", there are a few shows taking place in the area this Sunday 1/27.

Mansion on Main Street
Plaza 3000
Voorhees, NJ 08043

Princeton Marriott Hotel & Conference Center at Forrestal
100 College Road East
Princeton, NJ 08540

Happy Planning!


Editor & Chief

Yes, yes, yes I know...the phrase is Editor "in" Chief, but this title refers to my extraordinary colleague with the impeccable "eye", Veronica of Vera-Icon Weddings. Veronica is a Chief in her craft with a style that certainly gives the phrase "Here Comes The Bride" a whole new meaning.

It's High Fashion Editorial meets the "Chapel aisle" and I've got to say, I love it! Veronica and I recently did a shoot at the Mansion on Main Street along with some of my other favorite NJ connections, Tiffany of A'Janae, Inc. and Denise Herker of Leigh Florist and...well, see for yourself:

If you love her work as much as I do, you're in luck! Veronica will be exhibiting at the Princeton Marriott Bridal Show this Sunday January 27, 2007. Be sure to say hello!


Another Great Read

I love, love, love Weddings. Seriously, I'm slightly obsessed :). One of my greatest treats are all the Wedding books on the market; ok, let's be frank-you definitely have to pick out the "basic" reads to make your way to the jewels in the bunch, but once you do-you're never dissapointed.

So...imagine my surprise when my fellow amazing Coordinator friend and TSE buddy Lakendra Kennedy of Affairs with Elegance informed me that Jung Lee (Owner of Fete NY and featured planner of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway) recently released a new book appropriately titled Fete!

I adore Jung Lee's work. Her sophistication and eye for detail leave a timeless feel to the events she plans. Her work has actually served as design inspiration for my own Clients, Farrah and James, who fell in love with the scene on the book cover and ultimately designed a dessert reception surrounded by endless amount of candlelight.

The new book features 8 weddings coordinated by Jung and her fabulous team and can be purchased for $36 at Barnes & Noble. Can we say...excited?



I know, I know- technically, I never said I was leaving but with the anticipation of what should have been a wonderful week in SUNNY Hotlanta, it escaped my mind. Well, SUNNY was actually SNOWY-but the trip was great nevertheless.

This past week, I joined 6,000 of my fellow Special Event colleagues at the Special Event Show at the Georgia World Congress Center. The trip was educational, informative and full of reasons to drink (hey Planners know how to party)but best of all, it was a great way to catch up with friends, old and new and find inspiration for the new season.

Lots of pictures and posts to follow!


Lil Duck Duck

So if you're an avid reader of the blog, then you've heard me mention how much of a fan I am of thank you cards. Personally, I prefer handwritten notes, but the "fad" these days seems to be photo cards. So, imagine my surprise when I opened a thank you card from my fabulous couple Farrah & James Gee that I actually loved!

Naturally, the planner in me scanned the card to find the source, and there it was This company got it right ladies and gents! The company offers custom designed cards created to suit your style and is great for creating wedding announcements, save the date and thank you cards. Once you select the stationary of your choice, you submit the photos and wording for custom creation by an in-house designer.

Non-cheesy photo cards personalized to your event style. Now's that's what I call the best of both worlds!


We're hiring

I get countless emails and inquiries from individuals looking to get "into" the business. With a new year comes new potential so I'm happy to announce that we are officially opening the doors of POSH to expand our staff.

We are looking to hire 2 part time interns to assist us for the 2008 Wedding Season. This is a non-paid position. Candidates must be organized, outgoing and have exquisite attention to detail. In addition, they must have a valid drivers license, reliable transportation and be able to dedicate a minimum of 10 hours per week between February-May & 20 hours (including weekends) during busy season.

If this sounds like you, please email a copy of your resume (Subject Line- 2008 Internship)to and include your availability within the body of the message.

Telephone inquiries will not be considered.


Enter the Realm!

If you're anything like me, you are "over" the attempt to make Bridesmaids dresses even a bit stylish. Trust me, doing this for a living, I see my fair share of dress selections and though they've come a long way-Bridal party dresses have quite a distance left to go. Sure, you can coordinate separates and have your girls wear different versions of the same color dress(which I actually encourage)however, let's be honest, many gowns, still are a bit "non-desirable".

Enter the realm.

If you are looking for a fabulous look for the ladies in your life that have chosen to support and endure with you during the planning process, two words.

Jim Hjelm

This designer line has finally hit the nail on the head with a collection that is chic and sophisticated and emphasizes the sexy silhouette that we as women desire.

"Using luxurious fabrics such as satin-faced taffeta, chiffon and soft satin, (designer) Francesca incorporates unique details such as corseted bodices and full tulle skirts with ribbon accents to capture the feminine glamour of old Hollywood. Bridesmaids will be thrilled to choose from flattering A-line satin dresses with plush velvet ribbon detailing to more fashion-forward halter neck designs in crisp springtime colors. "

Below are a few pictures of some of my favorite selections from the Just Teas and Occasions lines...

Now that's a dress that just might not make it's way to the back of the closet (smile).