A Planner Plans: The Venue

Picking a venue was one of the easiest decisions in the planning process thus far. Shortly after "I will" and realizing we were not leaving the states, I knew the location.

Last Memorial Day weekend I had the honor of planning the wedding of Jennifer & Colby . As I stood in the room and watched the couple do their first dance as husband and wife, I whispered to my Assistants "If I ever get married, this is where it will be". Fast forward 19 months from that date and that wish will come true.

As a planner, you're exposed to so many phenominal venues in the area. From large to small, extravagent to modern and chic. You know the ins and outs of every single location down to the state of the restrooms. How's a girl to choose?

The feel we are going for with our wedding is more relaxed, more contemporary and more us. I am by no means a traditional bride and I definitely struggle with incorporating the traditional elements with a more modern twist, as do many of my couples. The Hyatt offers the perfect compromise for a chic and convenient location accessible to many of our guests, 70% who will be travelling for the event.

More than anything, I want our wedding to be honest. An honest reflection of our love. Honest reflection of our committment and an honest portrayal of who we are as individuals and who we aspire to be as a couple. I enjoy understated sophistication. I love anything from bcbg, a good pair of jeans and a comfy pair of uggs. Mr. Charming is definitely laid back. He's an athlete by nature and just a very genuine "good guy". Stuffy is not us, neither is overstated and over the top.


This is the actual ballroom where our wedding ceremony and reception will take place. I can't WAIT to incorporate POSH "touches" in the space!




Its Pefect.

The ever so talented Tim Sudall of Video One Productions put together a video of some weddings at our venue, feast your eyes on this:

Hyatt Regency Penns Landing Philadelphia by Tim Sudall Video One Productions from Video One - Tim Sudall on Vimeo.

Riverfront hotel, amazing food (more on that to come), and a view of the most spectacular fireworks show in the city-yes please!


A POSH Event: Kelly married Vincent- Part I

I gave a little glimpse into this wedding and I'm so elated to share the details with you. With the rain clouds hovering this morning, it seemed like this October wedding would be the perfect way to bring some sunshine into the day. Oh internet, I promise, this one is going to be good. So good that thanks to Mary Quinn, who I just adore, we will have to show this wedding in a three part series

From our first meeting I knew Kelly was my type of bride. Calm, yet bubbly and totally in tune with the fact that for the party they wanted to throw, they needed a little assistance. We hit it off instantly. Shortly thereafter, I got an email, they were moving. Not just a little move...picking up and headed to Miami, as in Florida.

We spent the next few months corresponding over email. Though Kelly & Vinnie retained our deluxe services, we also assisted with decor and rentals. Their request was simple, they wanted to throw an amazing party. Big Italian family + gorgeous Church + amazing venue=Success!

The morning of the wedding Kelly was the perfect vision of relaxed. Her and the girls got their hair and makeup done at Bernard's and then headed over to her parent's home to finish getting ready.


The guys got ready at the Westin Hotel and First Class Limo then escorted them over to the Church.


Shortly thereafter, a vintage 1954 Rolls Royce arrived for Kelly and we were off to Trinity Episcopal in Moorestown for the ceremony.


I loved their Church. I've been in some pretty amazing Churches but the architecture in Trinity is truly breathtaking. What I love most is that they preserve the sanctity of the ceremony. There is no flash photography allowed in the Church. No movement. You truly witness a marriage performed in the purest form of religion and it is amazing to witness.





A planner plans: Weathering the storm

I interrupt our regurlarly scheduled update to bring you a dose of reality. My reality.

Over the last 18 months, I've experienced the death of 6 loved ones. My mother has lost 3 sisters, 1 brother in law, a nephew and a cousin. My grandmother experienced 2 strokes and my father was diagnosed with a brain tumor.


With the length of most engagements averaging a year+, it is quite common to experience a tragedy of some sort. All of a sudden what seemed like the happiest time in your life is cut short and replaced by tears and sorrow. You know that the wedding is approaching but somehow things just don't seem the same.

I share this sentiment with many of my couples currently planning.

What I often advise is to find a special way to still include that individual in your day. By special, I mean personal. The popular options are a memorial table, a memorial candle and a note in the program but the act does not have to be one of outward expression. For some this does not work however. Simply carrying a token representing this person on your bouquet, including their favorite flower in your centerpieces or sharing a quiet moment with your fiance during the day to acknowledge their spirit, are also options to consider.

While it saddens me to know I will not get to share the day with people that have contributed to who I am as an individual, that I won't dance with my uncle as we often did, or laugh with my favorite aunt, I am reminded that we will celebrate with a room full of people that love and support us and that the memory of those not present physically is still very present in our hearts.

We have chosen to hang 8 butterflies from the ceiling during the ceremony representing each individual we hold dear to us and the evolution of their life. We are not making an announcement to their significance nor are we looking to sadden the mood of such a joyous occasion. To those in attendance it will look like another beautiful decor item, to us however, they represent our loved ones looking over us as we recite lifelong promises to one another and to me it really helps. Alot.

What have you done/are you doing to remember those who will not be in attendance on your big day?

A Planner Plans: The Countdown

One Hundred Forty Days.

It glared at me. THE countdown courtesy of project wedding that popped up this morning when I looked at my cell phone.

I looked again, it couldn't be. 140 days? What happened to the other 225? Seems like you blink and the year of planning is summarized into an incredible 8 hour day that you'll never forget.

As our date approaches, I must admit, I get to be pretty antsy. As my planner friend Lakendra Kennedy would say, "Isis, you're a planner first!". These 4 words have kept me from the deep end many of times. The reality is, I've been a planner way longer than I've been a contender for the wife spot. I SHOULD know better; I SHOULD prioritize better. THIS SHOULD BE EASY.

The greater reality, I'm human.

My clients, past and present have been so incredibly supportive of the engagement. Many of my brides ask "is it any easier?" and I tell them...not hardly. When you're a Vendor getting married, you face an entirely different set of stresses. Managing budgets with vendor relationships, not wanting to offend anyone, expectations of your colleagues, your guests and what you think you should be able to provide in terms of experience.

The double whammy is having it on New Year's eve. Big date=BIGGER expectations. Mr. Charming does not drink alcohol. Any other date for our wedding and we would have been skating on a dry reception possibly beer/wine (which I think is a great option by the way), but noo...someone had to have the grand idea to throw a grand party on a grand day, usually associated with lots of alcohol. So, open bar it is because after all, what kind of new year's party is it without a little bubbly (or so i've been reminded)?

One Hundred Forty Days. One Hundred twenty guests. One seven peice band. 2 photographers. 3 videographers. 1 florist. 2 lighting technicians. 1 invitation designer. 4 graphic designers. 2 linen companies. 2 rental companies. 19 bridal party members.

1 million more decisions over the next 3,350 hours.

Overwhelming? A little.

I reminded myself that at the end of the day, the truth is, this is really about 1 girl, loving 1 boy and the blessings and prayers of the family and friends surrounding them. It's about 1 unit. What doesn't take place, will never be missed. What doesn't go smoothly, will be rejoiced regardless. This one moment has taken a lifetime to get to. One hundred forty more days...I can handle it.


The courtesy of a reply-Breaking up with your vendors

I felt the need to write this post because given my current status, I sit proudly on both sides of the fence (or as my twitter hash states, I am a #giddyplannerbride). I recognize this blog is followed by colleagues, clients and potential clients and I am hoping that what I say resignates with you all.

As a vendor, I make it a top priority to respond to my couples in a timely fashion. That's actually one of reasons that couples retain our services, as compared to some of the other local Coordinators. As a couple however, you have a responsibility as well. It is common courtesy to respond to the vendors you have for consideration, in a timely fashion.

The industry has taken many turns since I first entered it. We live in a virtual society where "tweets" and "bbms" have replaced real human contact. Where telephone calls are made in the event of an emergency and email is the norm. I get it.

What I don't understand however, is when entitlement became par for the course. Planning is a very hectic, though enjoyable experience. When you're meeting with multiple vendors and trying to match your needs with your budget, personalities, expectations, that too can become extremely difficult to manage.

As a couple, while it's not your responsiblity to go out of your way and document why you are not hiring a vendor, I would strongly suggest that you atleast communicate whether you are or are not. Many vendors offer a complimentary initial meeting and extend a right to refusal allowing an extended period of time for your decision to be made. In the interim, business goes on and opportunities present themselves that at times do conflict with other scheduled events. The key to having a good vendor is that during your experience, you feel as though your wedding is the only one they are overseeing, the reality is, it's not.

I know "breaking up" with an individual that you really hit it off with is difficult. When perusing the wedding blogs, I often see brides asking each other "how do I tell the xxx we're not going to go with them...I really liked them" and I do a double take. It's simple, just do it. It's ok, really it is. A successful person in the industry understands that they are not the only vendor you will meet with and at the end of the day, you will have to do what's best for you. Always remember, be it the wedding or life in general, treat people the way you would want to be treated and things will naturally fall into place.

Off my soapbox now


A POSH Engagement: Joan & Vince

Two words to describe the relationship Joan & Vince have...Real Love.

Joan & Vince

(Image courtesy of Blackeyesoup Photography)

From the moment I met these two, we hit it off. Not just planner/couple hit it off, but long life friends hit it off. The energy from this couple is truly electric. They laugh alot, smile alot and have a way of speaking in a silent language only they can hear.

We began on their journey of planning a elegant, fun and memorable wedding for 350 of their closest friends and family about a year ago. I am so excited for their October Nuptials!


A POSH Event: Edna married Derrick (Reception)

Happy Friday!

As the week is coming to a close, I thought what better way to celebrate the weekend than with a little cheer.

Edna and Derrick's reception took place immediately after their ceremony in the ballroom at Scotland Run. Guest were greeted by a feast of food selections, everything from waffles to salads-the spread was truly amazing (and delicious!). Morning or not, we definitely had a room full of dancers and Centerstage Entertainment kept the party going.

At the end of the reception the bartender came over and told us in his 13 years at the facility, it was the best wedding he'd ever worked!

The amazing spread:

Florals provided by Leigh Florist:

Dancing from the beginning until the end. This is my former gorgeous bride Sheilla:

The happy couple.
(You can't see so much from this particular picture but the linen I selected for the design of this room was phenomenal. Fuchsia with orange sunburst swirls. Perfect for a brunch reception)

I must give a shout out to my team members for the day Deidre and Sai. I'm really fortunate to work with the best gals a girl could ask for!

Edna & Derrick, this experience has been amazing and I'm glad that you've allowed me to spend more time with your family. Looking forward to many more laughs!


A Planner Plans: The Date

The date of an event is so critical in determining the style, location, and overall type of event you will be having. For us,the decision was one of the easiest we've had thus far.

The conversation went a little like this...

Me: "Honey, have you thought about when you want to get married?"
Mr. Charming "We can do it whenever you like..."
Me: "Well, if we do destination..."
Mr. Charming: (with a look of total confusion) "We can't do destination, I want to make sure that the people closest to me attend. I'm thinking Philadelphia".
Me: (slightly saddened): Well, if we do it locally, it has to be in the winter. I currently have weddings until October 23rd and need atleast 1-2 months to focus on ours. That puts us in December."
Mr Charming: "A December wedding? With the holidays. I don't know..."
Me: "Not just a December wedding, a New Year's Eve wedding".
Mr. Charming: (Not totally convinced) "New Year's Eve?"
Me: "Yes sweetie, it's perfect. Exactly one year from the date you proposed, we will get to celebrate the biggest day of the year surrounded by all those we love. EEEEEK!"
Mr. Charming (cracking a smile): "Sounds good to me!"

And there you have it ladies and gentleman. The 60 second exchange which took place to decide on our date. We're very fortunate to have a solid booking and amazing wedding season spanning from January-November at POSH this year and I know that I had to give my current Clients 100% of me to avoid feeling guilt during my own personal planning process.

Mr. Charming and I love the holidays. Between November-December 31st, we celebrate 8 family birthdays (including his and mine), Thanksgiving and Christmas. We both have strong ties to our families and feel fortunate to have fostered friendships in excess of 20 years that are now extended family. We recognize that a holiday wedding isn't ideal for all. To add to the mix, NYE falls on a Friday this year and we're having an evening ceremony and adult only reception.

While it may not be convenient for all of our guests, we hope that those that are able to attend experience a magical night, witnessing the love we share for each other and for them. It's like I always tell my couples, the goal of a great wedding is for your guests to walk away feeling like they've learned a little more about your relationship. The foundation of our relationship is faith, family and friends. Celebrating on one of the biggest holidays of the year, is an added bonus.

Besides, when you are guaranteed a view like this, how could you resist?


Celebrity Sightings

Unless you've been living under a rock (and even there too I would imagine somehow, some media outlet found you) you are more than aware that this weekend proved to be a big deal in hollywood with a number of celebrity weddings.

First up, the Clinton mega-extravaganza. I personally loved Chelsea's style and her classic yet modern look in her beautiful gown. Her bouquet, a lush arrangment of...wait for it...gardenia!

While Chelsea was definitely a paparrazi favorite this weekend, I rejoiced in the wedding of one of my favorite singers, Alicia Keys. I loved the piece that adorned her head and the serenity of their location. (Reminds me of my recent destination wedding-more on that to come shortly...)

Congratulations to all the couples who exchanged nuptials this weekend. I hope your day was everything you dreamed of and more!