Saturday, December 28, 2013

Does Do-it-yourself Really Mean "Yourself"?

We all have an inner voice that says "That doesn't look so hard.  I can do it myself.".   But do we really have the time to do everything on our own?  Or do we even want to?  How exhausting!

My experience is that most couples really can handle some of the details on their own to reduce spending in some areas.  On the other hand, I've seen many couples take on too much and re-spend their savings right back into a different area because they overpaid for services or products that they didn't have the experience to know the "going price" for or have the bulk buying power to get the best deals.  That's the pitfall We strive to protect our clients from.

When the budget doesn't allow for full planning services to be handled by a professional, consider a consultation with a planner who can help you decide who can manage some portions of your celebration while some are the sole ownership of the couple, and others are well worth paying a professional.  Which details fall into which category varies greatly from couple to couple.

There are many things that can be delegated to trusted friends and family but that depends a great deal on the skills and dependability of your helpers, the overall style of your event, and the venue's rules and guidelines.  For instance, many venues don't allow food to be brought in by anyone other than a licensed caterer.  Others limit the access time to the space which greatly limits the ability for a decorating crew to make magic happen.  For this reason, consulting a planner early will go a long way toward helping you select a venue that allows you the freedom to tackle some of the work and include your own personal touches without adding to the hassle.

Finally, no time should be more exciting than the time leading up to your wedding day.  Make sure you recruit enough help that it doesn't turn into an all-consuming and overwhelming job that you can't wait to be finished with.   You can't replace this time and you won't forget the frustration that comes along with being in over your head.  Let us help you make it a fun and memorable experience that you can look back on with a smile, knowing you included your own touches with your own hands and enjoyed every minute of it.

Best wishes as you plan!

Terri Yeary
(317) 348-7642

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Add Gift Certificates To Your Holiday Wish List!

Struggling with budget while trying to plan the biggest day of your life?  Add gift certificates to your   holiday wish list and enjoy some guilt-free spending!

No bride-to-be wants to unwrap another candle or figurine because it's neutral and friends aren't sure what to buy.  Help them know exactly what you want by asking for gift certificates to help add some "extras" to your perfect celebration.  They don't need to spend huge amounts to make it worth your while either.  

Consider this, 20 brilliant gift-givers each buy you a $20 gift certificate and you now have $400 to spend any way you wish.  That may be the chair covers you scrapped to afford the better cake.  Or maybe an opportunity to add our "Day-of" coordination package to keep your celebration on-track and hassle-free.  Whatever the detail that makes your day even more perfect for you, it's at your fingertips and the only thing you've sacrificed is another sweater that wasn't quite your style anyway.  

Share our info with all your friends and family today...before they fight the Black Friday crowds to get you that perfect cheese ball tray. 

They can call us at (317) 348-7642 or email at 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Paper or Plastic?? No Way!!

You might be surprised to know how many special events I've been to over the years where paper plates and plastic-ware were used in an effort to keep the budget manageable.  (Our own wedding included.  Wish I'd known better back then.)   We also see them used in outdoor events because it's just unthinkable to deal with the dirty dishes out there.

What if I told you that you can rent real, elegant glass dishware for not much more than it costs to use paper & plastic?  We deliver, pick up, AND do the dishes?  It's not as out of reach for your budget as you might think.  Call us for a free quote at (317) 348-7642 or email at

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Setting the Mood:

When you start thinking about how you want your wedding to look, try thinking more about how it will "feel".  

The decor and style you use in your planning will set the overall "mood" for your entire celebration.  This holds true for every wedding style from the fairy tale princess, to the rustic barn dance, to...yes...even the Halloween themed wedding.  (Can't wait to see some of these unfold this year.)

For instance, if your guests enter into a room with disco lights and bright colors, there will immediately become an expectation of a dance party and it's in our nature to mentally prepare for that party.  This is terrific news!  ...unless you were hoping for a sense of formal elegance and to be treated like a princess today. 

Likewise, we can't create a setting worthy of the Queen's Tea and be surprised that the dance floor isn't "pumping".  

There really is no "wrong style" as long as it's done tastefully and consistently.  A professional planner/coordinator can help ensure you set the mood you're looking for.  

Remember, it's all about you as a couple and how you want to remember your special day.  Best Wishes and Happy Planning!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Can I Afford a Wedding Coordinator?

Think you can't afford to hire a coordinator for your wedding?  Are you sure you can afford not to?

Hiring a professional wedding coordinator can (and usually does) make or break your big day.  No matter how clear you are about your plans, there will always be questions, and sometimes utter confusion that comes up when things start to actually unfold.

Who should stop focusing on this magical moment in your lives to tell the caterer they didn't set the correct number of seats at table 5?  Or to remind the bridesmaids that they're in the wrong line-up order...again?  Who should run over to take care of things if you run out of cake plates?  I've seen too many couples make the mistake of thinking "Mom will take care of it" or "my sisters can help out".  The reality is that your family is (and absolutely should be) focused on the two of you, not the details.  They won't notice these things before they become a problem because they're going to be too busy being in the moment, YOUR moment.  That's where a professional comes in.  We take care of the details and keep everyone on track.

Our "Day of" Coordination Package includes:
- initial consultation
- unlimited phone and email access
- professional itinerary preparation
- complete coordination for rehearsal and "day of" events

Ask about our October 2013 Special: 
20% discount on "Day of" Coordination Packages!

To book your date, call us today at
Agape Weddings and Events   (317) 348-7642

or check out or website at

Monday, September 23, 2013

Children Invited?

Ten years ago, it was unheard of for a wedding invitation to exclude children.  And many don't find it any more appropriate today.  We've heard it called rude, selfish and inconsiderate.  However, even with the negative feedback, we're occasionally seeing couples who don't want children at their otherwise perfectly formal event, and we're hearing a wide array of reasons for this.  

Of course, the most obvious reason is the disruption that can come along with children who become tired and cranky after a long day of ceremony and reception.  A couple who have spent several months planning their perfect ceremony, and paid good money for a videographer to capture every special moment, may be worried they'll end up with a permanent reminder that their awe-inspiring vows were drowned out by a crying baby.  

But not every child-free request is about preserving the perfectness of the day.  We also hear couples who have opted to serve alcohol and genuinely don't want to expose children to the expectation of intoxicated adults.  They speak of it as equal to inviting children to a tavern for an adult party.  

Some others have childhood memories of "Aunt Sarah's wedding" where they were bored to tears and expected to behave eloquently while all they really wanted to do was go outside and play.  Why would they want to do his to another generation of children?

Whatever the reason, for some couples it's important enough to say no.  Meanwhile, other couples couldn't imagine not having their younger siblings or cousins share in their most special moments.  Either way, if children are going to attend your formal event, some simple planning ideas may help alleviate frustrations for the adults and children alike. 

-Children's table?  This can be debatable because some children do better being closely monitored next to mom & dad.  Most though, are happier and on better behavior when they can mingle with one another at their leisure.  You know the children in your family best.  Talk with your planner about options for including a children's table. 

-Provide plastic drinking cups with lids for younger children.  These can be fun, color coordinated and even personalized with names & dates.  Whatever you add, they will protect from spills and double as an excellent party favor.  (Let's face it, the kiddos have no interest in wine corks or soap petals as favors anyway.)

-Personalized, wedding coloring books are a growing trend.  Again, another great favor they can take home but coupled with a few crayons in a jar, they can be a life saver during the celebration.  

-Think puzzle games.  You remember those little hand held puzzle games we had as children before electronics were all the buzz.  Get the little ball through the maze, or slide the pieces to complete the picture.  A few scattered in the children's area can spark some renewed interest in a whole new generation.

Any or all of these ideas can make the day more enjoyable for your little guests while taking some pressure off the adults to entertain and monitor every move.  Of course, there are countless other treats and tactics that keep the boredom and accidents to a minimum.  Talk with your planner.  You'll be amazed at some ideas we've used that work wonders!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Choose a Wedding Planner Who Will Be Prepared

Ask questions!  You want to be sure the professional you hire is capable of meeting your needs.  Talk about their most recent events.  Ask what obstacles occurred and how they resolved it.

If they insist everything was perfect, you might want to keep looking.  (Something unplanned ALWAYS pops up or we wouldn't be such a necessity.)  They either weren't observant enough to be aware of the incident or they don't want to tell you about it.  Neither is a good sign!

If they're not willing to share information openly during the interview process, how can you expect them to be clear and upfront while planning your greatest lifetime celebration?

An experienced planner will have an encyclopedia of "OMG moments" and be more than happy to tell you about how they managed to pull of an outstanding event anyway.  (If for no other reason than because our friends and family are tired of hearing those stories.)  This is a time you need someone who is willing to tell you what part of your plan has potential to fall apart.  Not to say don't do it, but to at least be prepared with a back-up plan.  Someone who nods and says nothing can go wrong is definitely not going to be an asset when something does.  

Bottom line, you should feel comfortable that your planner will know how to head off adversities before they ever become visible to you or your guests.

Friday, September 13, 2013

An MP3 Player Doesn't Replace the Need for a Professional DJ

As we delve deeper into the electronic age, a common question we hear as planners is "Why can't I just connect my MP3 player or phone to a speaker instead of paying all that money for a DJ?".

The truth is, absolutely can.  Now, with that being said, it doesn't mean that you should.

Let's think about what we expect from a professional DJ:
We want them to play the songs we choose.  (CHECK!  My phone does that for free all day long.)  And sometimes in a particular order.  (BOOM!  Another task easily accomplished.)  It seems our do it yourself plan is off to a good start.  But that's just about where it stops.

Will your phone announce the bridal party as they enter?  Announce the special dances?  Speeches?  Cutting the cake?  Release tables to the buffet?  Point out something exciting but unplanned that you'll want people to remember?  Distract attention away from those things you don't want your celebration remembered for?  (None of that?  We're quickly loosing momentum in this debate now.)  What happens if plans go astray and the party needs to be put back on track?  (That can happen??  More often than you might think!)  Who will monitor your guests to determine what songs they respond to and adjust as needed to get people on the dance floor?  (You thought that would just spontaneously happen on it's own?  It's about a 50/50 chance in the right crowd.)  Will someone important to you have to stop being part of your celebration to start and stop the music, or find the right songs you chose for your special dances?  What if cords get pulled loose?  (Let's face it.  This is not the "hands-off" operation it started out sounding like.)  A real live DJ is your only guarantee.

A professional DJ will work closely with your coordinator to keep your guests not only entertained but also on-task.  They are key to maintaining a smooth flow to your event.  They should be experienced and trained to foresee and avoid possible disasters.  To ensure you get the right DJ, get referrals from your planner/coordinator or other vendors you trust.

My ultimate advice on the subject:  Leave the music and entertainment to the professionals.  They know their job better than anyone.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Avoid the Power Struggles in Planning!

Ugghh!  Whose wedding is this anyway??  Your parents want it this way, his parents want it that way.  Will ANYone ever be happy??

Believe it or not, you're not the first bride to feel this way.  It's a lot of pressure trying to balance everyone's ideas without hurting any feelings.  And let me say, it's not even possible because if you do it all "their way", your own feelings may be hurt in the end.   Not how the princess of the day should feel.

The solution, listen and speak with your heart.  Rarely are those bossy family members really trying to make it about themselves (even if it feels like it).  The goal is most always to make it as perfect as possible for you.   

Often you can head this issue off early by saying "this is the style we want to achieve for our wedding" and then invite them to offer ideas and suggestions "within your style" that they could help with.  However, be very clear that you are having this same conversation with both families and maybe even your friends so you need ideas, not actions.  This way you've established that you do want and appreciate their help while still maintaining that you are in charge and other people's ideas are important too.  

Presto, you've not offended anyone!  Maybe even more importantly, they realize immediately that their idea may or may not be used rather that having to deal with hurt feelings later because they've "surprised" you by putting a deposit on a caterer you don't want or bought supplies to make centerpieces that don't match your theme.   

Worried this makes you sound selfish?  It doesn't at all.  In fact, your parents will likely be very proud of your sense of responsibility to ponder your options before putting your plans in place.  

Bottom line:  Communication is key!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Create and USE an Itinerary!

The absolute best tool you can have at your fingertips is an itinerary.  The best plans start at least as early as the rehearsal, include where everyone is staying overnight (with contact phone numbers), and cover play-by-play "day of" instructions for every member of the bridal party in as little as 15 minute increments during the peak busy times.

Who needs a copy of your itinerary?  EVERYONE!!
(Starting with the obvious) your planner/coordinator, every bridal party member, parents of the couple, the officiate, the caterer and any other vendor(s).
However, an absolute MUST is your DJ.  They will be key in keeping your celebration on track because they will be announcing those special moments.  Remember, there's power in the microphone so be sure to utilize that power to keep your guest aware of what is happening and coming up next so they don't become confused or bored.

Final thought:  A well planned event is a happy event!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Color Rules Don't Always Apply!

The traditional "rules" about choosing one or two colors for your wedding (or other event) and everything matching to a tee are quickly falling to the wayside for a much more relaxed atmosphere and color "palette". 

Today's couples are having fun with it as they incorporate a color scheme instead of that perfect "do or die" color.  Their finding that color groupings of 3 or even 4 colors that share similar attributes (or sometimes even those that clash on purpose) open up many more options for their decorating choices.  Of course we all know every item isn't available in every possible color so this greatly increases the chances for that perfect dress, or that lovely centerpiece, to fit nicely into our decor.  

I'm very proud of this forward-thinking generation.  It's a change toward the practical without loosing any of the elegance.  They've managed to take the next step in trading in their mother's pearls for tennis shoes.  Way to go couples!  Keep on marching to the beat of your own drum. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Don't Forget to Make it About YOU!

Your celebration, whatever it may be, should be a reflection of your own personality.

Whether it's a milestone birthday, a graduation party, an anniversary or your big wedding day, take the time early in the planning process to decide what about piece of your personality you would like to showcase.

Are you a reader?  Stacks of books can be incorporated in your centerpieces, or invite guests to bring a used book to create an exchange as part of the party.  Are you into music?  Think about decor that includes samples of your favorite musical style.  Have a charity near to your heart?  There's no shame in asking guests to bring a non-monetary donation to your event such as a canned food for a pantry, a school supply item for a local classroom, or even baby items for a low-income maternity center.  Whatever your passion happens to be, let your guests know that side of you.  It keeps your celebration warm and personal.

Now, we do acknowledge that as a couple, it's not always easy to find a blend of your passions.  Maybe he likes cars and she likes horses.  Not a problem.  Consider alternating table centerpieces that reflect each.  Horses on this table and cars on the next.  The only rules are that you have fun and are happy with your presentation.

Worried about keeping a sense of elegance while sharing this bit of yourself?  That's why you'll want the expertise of a coordinator in your corner.  We can dress up any theme you throw at us.  That's what we do because that's a reflection of our passion.  We love to make you look good!

Have lots of fun and remember if it's worth celebrating, it should be all about YOU!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Prep Your Helpers!

It's a terrific honor to be selected as someone's Maid-of-Honor or Best Man. However, there are duties attached to those roles and you need to be able to depend on them to fulfill those duties when it comes crunch time for your big day.

The most common reason Brides and Grooms don't get what they need from their bridal party is that they don't really know what you need. Let's face it, unless you've served in these roles in a previous well-planned ceremony, how could you possibly know what is expected of you. This is why I can't stress enough how important it is to meet several times with your bridal party and be specific about what you need them to do. Clearly spell out who will be responsible for what duties and equally importantly, when they should do these things.

Every bridal party member should have a written copy of the reception itinerary at least a month before the rehearsal and make sure they have plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Then, don't stop the rehearsal at the end of the trip back down the aisle. Walk through what happens after leaving the ceremony. Which way will they go as they exit? Where will photos be taken? What order will they enter the reception? Walk through all of the important steps. What's interesting is that unless you're familiar with the processes, you may not realize where you'll need help until you walk through it yourself. For instance, it's time to cut the cake. Do you really plan to stand there and cut 100-200 slices of cake on your wedding day? Not likely. This is where you realize a bridesmaid should take this over after you've finished cutting the first slices for each other. But which one has the skill and patience to best handle this successfully? Standing at the cake table is not the time to figure it out. Choose someone well in advance and make sure they know it. She should be ready and waiting to jump in without you needing to look around for her or get her attention.

Finally, when in doubt, depend on your planner/coordinator to help you know where you'll need help. They can be a wealth of information because who does this more than they do? Your planner has probably seen just about every possible snag and should be forthcoming with that info to help you avoid the common pitfalls. Thinking you don't need the expense of a planner? Think again! Their expertise will almost always help you save more in added expenses and frustration than you will ever pay for their services. It a great return on your investment!

Happy planning!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Decide Your Style Early in Planning

There are sooo many options to consider when planning a party but it's important to have a vision early on of the overall look you want to achieve.

For some people, it's a subtle elegance that sets the tone for a formal princess-style celebration. For others, it's about shouting it out to the world in bold, beautiful color that just can't be quieted.

Whatever your style, be sure that everyone involved is clear on what makes your special day perfect for you. Then, hold true to that style. For instance, don't let someone slip in wild table arrangements on you after you've worked so hard to create a light, airy feel to the room. Likewise, don't waste your money including that adorable, light pastel decoration in a room already blinged out with rhinestones and leopard prints. It just doesn't work.

Don't think of this as limiting your options though. There aren't many special touches that can't be adjusted to meet with your overall style. You just might have to think outside the box, but I promise it'll be worth it!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Don't Wait Too Long to Start Planning!

If you want to create a special occasion celebration that is sure to feel....well..."special", don't wait until "things slow down" or "I have more money to work with" to get started planning. Waiting costs you opportunities to save bundles on the big items now and ends up nickel & diming you at the last minute.

If you're working with a planner who is truly in your corner, they'll help you secure a venue early on so you're not price-competing during peak times, along with some other details that can and should be handled as much as a year in advance. Then, you can relax and actually enjoy the planning process as you watch it unfold.

We know how to keep things within your budget and we know how to set up a budget plan that spreads cost out over time. So waiting until ____.....not necessary and NEVER A GOOD PLAN!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Consider Set-Up Time

With overall expense being a top consideration for most of us, we all want to save money where we can. However, don't be tempted to secure your venue for the minimal time if you're going to have things to set up.

The length of access time needed before your event depends entirely on how many details you have to put together, how much help you have to get it done, and often more importantly, the experience of your set-up crew. Yet, even the best crew still requires ample time and access. (You might be surprised at how long it takes to dress 20+ tables and 100+ chairs.)

So what's the ideal solution? That depends on how much decorating you want to do. Utilizing a high-end venue? Try keeping the details to a minimum and negotiate your pre-event access BEFORE coming to any pricing agreement. This is the time you hold the most bargaining power.

On the other hand, a parks building or even a hotel banquet room will often allow early access for little or no cost. And if you plan for an elegant, formal setting complete with linens, chair covers & sashes, center-pieces, etc, it may be well worth renting for the day prior as well. Just think of it as an investment in your sanity...and knowing details won't be missed because you ran out of time.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Drawing for a FREE Party Package!

The contest is on!

The Prize: A totally FREE (and transferrable if you want to enter for a friend)
Economy Rental Package for up to 30 guests.

How do you enter?? It's as simple as clicking the "like" button on our facebook page at (But NOT from our webpage yet. Still trying to get that working.).

Everyone who is listed as liking our page is automatically entered. The drawing will take place on May 21st.

If that's not enough of a good deal....Everyone who enters wins the 2nd Place Prize.
10% off any package purchase. No need to wait for the drawing to cash in on this one.

Best of luck to all! But with those odds, who needs luck?

Agape Weddings and Events
(317) 348-7642

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Celebrate in YOUR style!

Today's event planning tip:

No matter how "fancy" the occasion, your celebrations are still about YOU. Don't loose your own personality in the mix.

If you're a "fun" person, let your party be fun too. If you're a "loud and bold" person, let your celebration scream it from the rooftops. If you're a "subtle" person, that should also show in your event's quietly charming character.

This is why you see tuxedos in camouflage print, or receptions with the elegance of Cinderella blended beautifully into the style of the Addams Family. Your greatest celebrations are with the people you love, and those who love you. It's no secret to them that you enjoy going mudding. So they won't be traumatized to see that you being whisked off from your reception in a 4-wheeler, will they? They'll be happy, that you're happy.

Now, here's the trick. How do you incorporate all that personality into your event and still have the class and elegance that makes it "not just another day"? That comes in the details....and with experience. Call or email me today and we can make it happen!

Agape Weddings and Events
(317) 348-7642

Check out our website at

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Consider a weekday for deep discounts!

Today's event planning tip:

Working with a really tight budget and just cant manage all those things that would make your celebration everything you've always dreamed it would be?

Have you considered a weekday for your big day? Many venues (and even some vendors) are booked solid on weekends but have lots of availability during the week. So to offset this imbalance, they may offer discounts for weekday bookings.

We can help you find those discounts and special promotions. Give us a call at (317) 348-7642 or check us out online at

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Think Chair Covers - DISCOUNT

Ok, so you have a venue that supplies basic tables and chairs for your celebration (and we all know that means they're likely to be in very "used" condition). Would you even consider not using tablecloths over those tables? Of course not! It's rightfully engrained in all of us that table coverings are the very first step to properly dressing a table, right?

Chair cover do much the same for your chairs. They transform tired, everyday chairs into thrones of elegance that make your guests feel special to have been invited to such an elite event. Coupled with sashes, they can also add splashes of your theme color that make everything come together like a dream.

For the month of May only, book rental chair covers for your event for only $2 per cover (minimum 30) and receive FREE sash rental.

Remember "booked" means you've secured your date with a deposit. It does NOT mean your event has to happen in May. Call soon while there are still dates available for this summer!

Happy planning from Agape Weddings and Events!
(317) 348-7642

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tip: Live Music or DJ

Today's event planning tip:

Don't forget to include a DJ in your budget!

If you're not using live music (which of course is always the favorite choice if your budget allows) then you will need someone to keep the celebration on track. 

A DJ will announce the special dances, make introductions and announcements or keep guest entertained while you mingle. But most importantly, a good DJ assess the energy level of your guests and helps guide them toward the ambience you've requested.

Of course, like every other aspect of your events, I've done my homework. I have associates who offer quality services at much more reasonable pricing than you'll find elsewhere. We've got you covered!

Call or email me for details.
(317) 348-7642 or

TIP: Protection for Outdoor Events

Today's event planning tip:

Be prepared when planning an outdoor event.

Celebrating outside can be both fun and long as you are prepared for Mother Nature to play a role in your grand festivities.

We can't always predict the weather (and certainly not months in advance) so don't leave your outdoor party's fate to chance. With 1200 sq ft of uniform white tenting available, we can provide shelter for you and your guests without taking away from the sophistication of your day.

So while the itsy-bitsy spider might have gotten washed out from a little sprinkle, you'll still be celebrating strong.

For more info and pricing,
email us at
Or call at (317) 348-7642

Monday, April 22, 2013

Gift Certificates Available!

Have a Bride struggling with a wedding budget? Or a Grad struggling with their party or open house? Looking for an easy way to help without being overbearing? 

Or, are you planning your own event & looking for an answer to family members who want to help but don't know how?

GIFT CERTIFICATES are available in any denomination and can be used for any product or service we offer (including rental items). They can even be used with specials, discounts and coupons, just like cash.

Call or email to get yours today!!