Monday, June 1, 2015

What's Your Back-up Plan?

You've planned one of the most important days of your life.  It's a beautiful outdoor space that's the perfect blend of elegant and intimate.  The sun is shining.  The birds are chirping.  But that a storm cloud coming?  

"Welcome to Indiana weather" ...which can be funny if it's not ruining your perfect day.  You have 200 guests on the lawn waiting for you to walk down that aisle.  Now it's time to put your back-up plan into play. 

What's that?  You don't have a back-up plan?  Didn't your planner discuss this possibility with you?  Oh, you didn't use a planner.  

Don't let this be you!  NO event should ever be planned for outdoors without a contingency plan.  Weather is just one of the many snags your wedding can run up against.  Your planner is there to help you know what those most likely snags are and to plan for them.  So we can smile when they don't happen, but know we're covered if they do.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

What to Ask When Interviewing Caterers

When seeking the caterer that best fits your needs, it's easy to take pricing at face value without considering the "add-ons".  It's important to note that these "add-ons" are very legitimate charges but it's equally important to know about them in advance so you can compare apples to apples.  

Of course, we're assuming everyone's food is delicious and suits our style.  We're simply comparing service options and cost in this article.

1) Is there a separate charge for delivery?
  -Unless you're using a venue's on-site caterer, there is often a transport charge.
2) Is there a set-up fee?  And does set up include setting the guest tables?
  -Some caterers include this in the delivery fee, but not all.  It's worth the moment 
    to ask.
3) If serving a buffet, how long will it be served?
  -This sounds odd but it's not uncommon that buffets are cleared immediately 
    after the final guest table has been served.  This leaves no opportunity for 
    guests to make a 2nd trip.  If you want the buffet left available longer, the time 
    to negotiate is before making a final hiring decision.
4) If serving plated meals, be sure to know how many servers are included and 
    what additional charges might be incurred if more are needed.
   -You'll want to be sure your guests are served within a reasonable time frame 
    so the remaining festivities can be started on schedule.
5) Are drinks included?  And how long will they be available?
   -It's common for caterers to serve tea and/or lemonade but there is sometimes 
    a separate charge.  Some may also serve soda for an addition premium charge.
6) What dishware, if any, is included?
   -Some caterers offer tiered services with lower levels including disposables and 
    higher levels including glass chinaware.  Be sure you know your options.  
7) Are any table linens included?  
   -High-end caterers may include linen tablecloths & napkins but they sometimes 
    come at a cost and you may need to ask for them to even know they are an 
8) Will alcohol be served by their staff?  And does it have to be provided by the 
   -Many caterers have a licensed bartender on staff.  However, their service often 
    requires the alcohol be purchased directly through them.  Most will not serve 
    alcohol that you bring in and those who will, generally charge a hefty fee that 
    eats up any savings you might have enjoyed by bringing your own.
9) How will clean up be handled?  And is there a charge for clean up services?
   -This may be included if you are using dishware provided by the caterer.  
    Otherwise, clean up may be limited to their serving station(s).  Ask to be clear 
    so you can either purchase complete service or make other arrangements.  
    Remember, your venue deposit can be at risk if proper clean up doesn't 
    happen in a timely manner.

This may seem overwhelming but being informed can be the difference between being a happy customer or a disgruntled one.  No one wants to be disatisfied on their wedding day.

Happy Planning!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Getting Fit-Part 2 "Small Changes"

Hey, glad to see you decided to join us for this trek!  Remember to make slow changes and don't pressure yourself to get fast results.  Here's where we start.  

STEP 1: DO's
Start making small lifestyle changes at least 6 months before your wedding.  Even sooner if possible.  
-Trade in one of your meals each day for a salad or fruit & veggie plate.  Continue to eat the foods you enjoy for the other 2 meals, slightly shrinking portions where possible.  
-Keep fresh fruits & veggies on hand for snacking.  
-Start an exercise routine with just 5 or 10 ab crunches (or squats, push ups, whatever you're most concerned about) and add one more each day.  
-Drink plenty of water.  If you normally drink soda, try to find ways to challenge yourself to trade it in for water.  For instance, requiring yourself to drink a glass of water before having that soda.  
This is especially important if you've started exercising regularly.  Getting into the habit of drinking water throughout the day will make you feel better overall.  Most people notice softer, fresher skin in as little as a week after getting re-hydrated.  

-Skip meals, EVER!  This is always counter-productive.  If you're not in the mood today for a salad or veggie plate, look for another healthy alternative.  Keeping variety in your "healthy meal of the day" is key to sticking with it.  
-Give up the foods you love.  
If you eat cake for dessert, eat half a piece.  If it's pizza night, have a salad with it and enjoy at least one piece, two if you feel like you still want it BUT...only put one on your plate at a time. 
-Force yourself to live off salads & fresh veggies.  You'll only make yourself despise the foods that are good for you.  
-Burn yourself out starting 2hr workouts if you haven't seen the inside of a gym in 5yrs.  A routine you keep will have to be enjoyable and reasonable.  
-Give up soda "cold turkey".  Abruptly stopping your caffeine consumption can cause severe headaches and make you feel generally sluggish.  You'll feel much better if decrease your soda intake slowly. 

If you slip, don't be hard on yourself.  Just laugh it off and start again.  If you keep the journey relaxed and fun, you're more likely to keep up the good work. 

Getting Fit-Part 1 "Timing Is Everything"

Thinking about changing your body image before the big day?   

This can get pretty lengthy so we'll break it down into sections and tackle one at a time.  **Watch our blog for Part 2-"Small Changes" to get in on the first steps.  


While most articles on this are geared toward brides, we all know our grooms think about these things too.  A renewed sense of needing to "buff up" a bit or to "tighten up the six pack".  These same common sense concepts apply to our men AND women.   

I strongly caution against extreme diets, especially in the final weeks prior.  Almost every bride I've seen not feel well on her wedding day has been because the hadn't eaten well in the days or weeks prior.  NOT a worthy trade off.  

-If you're a month or less away from your date, embrace your body, just the way it is, and go enjoy your wedding day.  Trying to make changes at this stressful point is going to do nothing but make you uncomfortable, unhappy and probably a little grumpy.  None of which we want to be on the most important day of our lives.  

-If you're 2-4 months out, the "Small Changes" suggested in step 1 (which is encouraged to be started at least 6mos out)  can still make you feel more heathy and energetic.  Even though you may not be able to see the full benefit on the outside in time to show off a new physique, this is great time to feel healthy and in control.  Just don't try to skip steps to get there faster.  It's certain to work against you in the long run.  

-If you have at least 6 months to make changes, you're in the group that will see the greatest benefits from getting healthy.  While no one can guarantee weight loss (and this is NOT by any means what this article is about), you may still want to wait until closer to your date to get those dress or tux alterations done.  

Keep watching for Part 2-"Small Changes".

Friday, February 28, 2014

Using Lighting To Your Advantage

Often, our budget dictates that we choose a venue that may not be have been our first choice.  There are some things you can do to "spruce up" your space and still feel good about your cost.  

The first, and probably the most important thing to consider is reducing harsh lighting and replacing it with soft candle-light and potentially some scattered up-lighting.  This will move the focus to your beautiful table settings & displays and away from unsightly walls or flooring.  

Shining some color-coordinated up-lighting onto white draped fabric is certain to attract the attention where you want it to be.  This is an excellent way to accent your head tables and re-state your color scheme at the same time. 

Need more help making magic happen in your "budget-motivated" venue?  Call us at (317) 348-7642 or email at  Let's talk about our service packages. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Loving Your Valentine Doesn't Have to Eat Up Your Budget!

For many of us, the economy & Christmas have already put a damper on our "disposable income".  Now, for many of our clients, an added expense of planning a wedding or other large event means even tighter reins on where our dollars go. comes Valentine's Day, right in the middle of our bustle.  What to do??

If this is you (like it is me and most people I know) think of the smaller, more personal touches you can make happen for your special Valentine this year.  

*There's the ever obvious "Dinner In" option. - I can make steak and lobster (complete with salad & baked potato) at home for about $20, instead of the typical $100 check at a fancy restaurant.  Chicken meals for 2 can be as little as $10.  Don't forget to include something sweet for desert and dress the table accordingly!

*Sweetheart Notes can be sweet and fun. - Children's style valentine cards are an easy, inexpensive way to do this daily or in several places.  Just make sure to add a personal note that is just for your sweetheart.  And my hubby is a chocolate lover so you can bet there'll be a sweet treat included with at least some of them.  Quietly stash them on a bathroom sink, in the car, on his pillow, wherever they might be found unexpectedly.  

*Follow the rose petals. - Dollar stores offer bags with more than enough artificial rose petals to create a walkway to the dinner table (or bedroom).  And for a dollar, you don't have to feel bad about throwing them away afterward.  

For more budget friendly Valentine's Day ideas (including special recipes) visit our friends at or pick up their FREE ebook at

Friday, January 24, 2014

Let's Talk Guest List!

Wow!  It's really going to happen!  You've set your date and the adrenaline is pumping!  You can't wait to tell everyone so they can start planning to be there.

Whoa...wait a minute...are you sure this is a good plan?  Have you looked at your budget?  Have you booked your locations and considered how many people your favorite venue can accommodate comfortably?  Last but not least, have you calculated your "per-person" costs such as catering, seating, place settings, etc?  

Friends of your parents that you haven't seen in years, cousins in another state that you were never really close to in the first place, and co-workers you feel you should invite (just to avoid being rude) shouldn't take up prime real-estate at the biggest event of your lives.  Every guest multiplies your cost and divides your time and attention.  So let's work through this process together.  

First, consider how many people you want to be there overall.  We should start with immediate family & closest friends, then move out to other family & friends that are important in your lives.  (Don't forget to count single adults as 2 to allow for a guest/date.)   You can safely continue moving out until you reach approximately 120% of your desired guest count because not everyone will be able to attend.  

This process may sound calloused, but as you move farther into your planning, you'll be very glad you controlled your guest list instead of letting it control you.  It's not about being "cheap".  It's about directing your funds to what matters most to you and makes the day special for those who truly share in your lives.  

Don't feel bad about those who are left out.  We all have people we like & want to be nice to, but sharing in your life-long bond as a couple is for your inner-most circle.  Besides, you are likely letting some of those "would-be guests" off the hook.  How many of us have attended weddings out of obligation just because we were invited?  Then spend the entire time contemplating other ways we could've spent our weekend??

Have fun with your planning!  Getting past the guest list is a serious milestone.  Once you have this piece behind you, you'll be surprised how easily some of the next steps can fall into place.