Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Perfect Time for Weddings - Fredericton Bridal Show

This past Sunday I attended and was part of Fredericton's largest and longest running bridal show.

For a bit of history - this was a big deal.

This show is organized by Nancy Curtis from Perfect Parties by Nancy who is probably the original party planner in this area. We are in essence direct competition. Well, I've been asking to be part of her show for 2 years now and finally, finally, this year I was sent an invitation to participate!!!!!!

Persistence is key. This is also known as "networking" which I am getting better at. lol

So needless to say I was super pumped to be part of this show and uber nervous. (I may not appear to be the person that gets nervous but I do) I was so nervous due to the fact that Fredericton is where I live. These are in fact brides I could potentially see every day around town. What if they didn't like me? What if my booth wasn't up to snuff? I talked to a few great friends and managed to shove these insecure feelings back into the box they should remain in; designed my booth layout; put on my best frock and called a friend who occasionally pulls through as my assistant. (must have been using my foresight powers here as I had the most severe migraine on the actual day of the show - thank god for friends and over abundant supplies of over the counter drugs!)

Below are some photos of my booth, which I was surprised to discover was not a 10x10 space. However, I am a great 'work with what I got' wedding planner and transformed the space given including everything I needed and did not impede traffic flow by the booth. That's how I roll - lol!

I was so glad that I used the black backdrop as it put me above the crowds - visually and literally - you could see my signs above the heads of everyone as you entered into the room.
The second photo is a close up of the flowers that were in my booth - a bit wild and funky which could easily be used in any garden theme wedding.

The photo on the left is the table that was set up with the guest book and my portfolio. On this table is also a green orchid pomander (fake) beside a tall tower vase - coloured pink here to tie everything together and to demonstrate simple yet effective options.
The photo on the right has a box of grass which could be used for a variety of reasons: hold escort cards, table numbers, insert votive candle holders, add flowers, options are endless! There is a floral print invitation (City Boy Meets Country Girl) behind the box and a favor pocket in front which contains seeds (very green). Again seen here is the orchid pomander, this time with a pink ribbon but placed on top of the tower vase - double duty!

FYI - Vases rent for $5 each

Monday, January 11, 2010

Heavenly Gowns Bridal Show

This past weekend I attended the Heavenly Gowns Bridal show in Saint John. As usual Sheri (owner of Heavenly Gowns) put on a lovely show and I have to admit that she even stepped up her game on the layout of the show and it was even more attractively positioned than last year when I attended.

Bridal shows are a great time for vendors as they draw in your exact target market - BRIDES! It is a great chance to meet new brides and talk with them about what you offer. However, it's not all about the brides (sorry!) it is also a great networking opportunity for the vendors themselves where we can meet new and catch up with old friends. I had the pleasure of doing both this year.
I was glad that the Hilton had a booth this year and they even teamed up with a decorator so needless to say their booth looked amazing!
again I'm not a photographer nor do i pretend to be...well maybe on girl or family weekends!

SO, check out the glowing orb in the back of this booth (next to the chocolate fountain - did I mention that the entire show smelled of chocolate!) This 'orb' for lack of a better term is beautiful! And they are for RENT!!! Simply contact Wendi at Spurs in Brunswick Square. Also, I should mention in this booth way up (which you can't see in this photo) are chandeliers - six of them - which they hung that morning.
The Hilton now has these lovely cocktail tables and barstools. They even have the white scuba chair covers and I've been told they are even looking at getting their own sashes (white). Hmmm...almost sounds like they are full service hotel - lol!

I also met Danielle from Danielle's Desserts and she rents her cakes (photo below)- that's right for all you brides who don't want a cake but want the look at the reception, you can RENT one. She even has cookies that can be used as favours (they are as large as my hand btw.)

My booth was sandwiched in between 2 vendors. On one side was "1st Choice Catering"(who also had 2 chocolate fountains!) - Russel and Michelle are very nice and he knows a lot about food. On the other side was my friend Sarah's Sweet Delights (shown above with Eric representing) whom I might add also brought her delicious chocolate truffles. (I KNOW! I ALMOST DIED WITH ALL THE CHOCOLATE SMELLS!)

I ran into one of my favorite floral designers Beth (she is uber sweet!) from Creative Designs By Beth. She can do large or small weddings and I've posted some of her orchid designs below, which she graciously showed me the secret to making the orchid shade - wonderful ingenuity!)
Beth also did the Stage decorating at the show

Oh, yeah, photos of my booth - I nearly forgot!

below are some photos at my attempt of a landscape centrepiece - one of the emerging trends for 2010. Granted this is more of a DIY version since it doesn't use the manzanita branch that typically would be present.

Well one show down and 2 more to go. Stop by and say hi!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wedding Show Season is Upon Us

It is that time of fever again - Wedding Show Fever!
Below is a list of shows that I've compiled for New Brunswick. By no means am I saying these are all the shows as I could have missed some, but these are the ones I know about or am in.

You will find me here:
January 10th - Heavenly Gowns Bridal Gala @ Saint John Convention Centre 12-5pm
January 17th - A Time for Weddings @ Delta Fredericton 11-3:30pm
January 24th - 20Ten: A Bridal Show @ Delta Beausejour Moncton 12-5pm

Other Bridal Shows: (But I won't be at these ones....)
Crowne Plaza Fredericton on January 10th from 12-4pm
Delta Brunswick Saint John on January 17th from 12-4pm
Moncton Wesleyan Church (945 St.George Blvd) on February 1 6:30pm
Moncton Coliseum on February 21st from 10-5pm
Forte Howe Hotel Saint John on February 28th from 1-4:30pm

With many new bride-to-be's now discovering that they need to start planning a wedding I have compiled a few tips for you prior to you venturing out to the shows. I want you to be prepared!

10 Tips for Attending Bridal Shows
1. Get a list of the shows in your area (Check - I just gave it to you) We are really getting off to a good start!
2. Pre-printed labels. Easy to do on your home computer. Have them with your address, email, phone and don't forget your wedding date! Some vendors will be "qualifying" you - this means that they are looking for your date and checking to see if they are available. (I'm booked for August 7th and can't take another client) Saves time (see #9)
3. Register for a free email account and have all wedding related emails go to that. Easy to stop unwanted emails after the wedding :)
4. Be prepared. Dress appropriately - wear comfortable shoes, it will be a long day for standing and walking around. Bring a bottle of water. Have a bag with handles for all the literature (see #8) or a large purse.
5. Bring a friend. Take someone from your bridal party who's opinion you want. Yes, you can even take your finance.
6. Bring swatches of your colours. This helps bakers, florists, planners and others make suggestions as to what they can do for you with out generalizing.
7. Be prepared to book. Or make follow-up appointments within 24-48 hours. This is really important with vendors who's services are limitted to only one-of's.
8. Take as much literature as possible & take notes. When you get home this will be all that you have - your notes will be what sets "your" vendors apart from the others.
9. Don't waste your time. If you don't need it, don't check it out. If you have a hall or ballroom booked you won't need another one. If you have a dress, chances are that you won't buy another one - use the time during the fashion show to go back and talk to vendors you were interested in. I'm always at my booth during the fashion show
10. Enjoy the experience!

I hope this has been helpful. If you have other suggestions that would make things easier please send them to me.

Cheers! & Happy Planning

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wedding Trends for 2010

With the start of a new year and decade, CSJEvents has decided to produce a newsletter. The first issue went out a few days ago. In this issue I listed, in bullet form, top trends I see coming for 2010 in weddings. I've received a few emails asking me about these so I'd like to take this time to clarify "why"......

W-Trends for 2010
1. Continuance of blues (every shade) along with grays as dominate colours - monochromatic schemes are on the rise.
why: Blues are serene, depicts water, relaxing. Gray is the new neutral with a sophisticated edge.

This photo is an 'inspiration board' from "Here Comes the Blog - Wedding Ideas for Brides"

2. Breaking of all the 'traditional' rules
why: Simply because the girl getting married today is not the same girl getting married 20 years ago. We don't do things simply because they've 'always been done' and when we do, they typically have an individual flare to them. No one would have dreamed of having black dresses in their wedding party 10 years ago or walking down the asile in a pink wedding gown.

Vera Wang 2010 - Dovima, long asymetric pale pink organza dress with bows on shoulder and waist

3. Outrageous colour combinations; a dominate colour with a surprising accent
why: With monochromatic colour themes it is very easy to add that visual interest with a surprising accent (feathers, crystals, trees, etc.). Paint companies have named their "hot" colours for the year and generally (whether subconscious or not) they tend to show up in weddings. This year you will see - oranges, turquious and bright yellow as well as combinations of these. Very tropical.

4. Monograms; simple to elaborate and on everything
why: Brides and Grooms want to touch every aspect of their day. This is their stamp. expect it to be on everything from the invitations to the walls & dance floor.

5. Focus on more personal & detailed touches
why: Couples are more thoughtful on making guests feel welcomed and want to ensure they enjoy their time. This will be seen in the form of welcome baskets, weekend affairs and take home favours. Focus will be on the DIY more than ever but expect the budget to be increased.

6. Groom style: grooms will be more involved and will add their special touch in forms from converse sneakers to fedoras, etc.
why: The groom of today wants to be involved. No longer are they on the sidelines letting the bride take charge. They want the wedding to be equally theirs and to see their own personality shine through.

So I simply had to post these photos from my cousin's wedding this past November. This is completely their individual style.

7. Smaller guest counts lending to more elaborate "parties" at unique venues.
why:With a smaller guest count you open up options of other venues for your reception other than the traditional hall or hotel ballroom. You can look at galleries, back yards, clubs and even museums.

8. Mini-destination weddings: staying home but yet opting for another city.
why: With the economy the way it is, those with money are choosing to spend it inconspictiously so an extravent affair scheduled to be away is now scaled back to a more local destination which will still have the same feel and features. The destination wedding will ever popular remain but guests will get out of town by car (within driving distance) so couples can create a weekend affair, guests get an escape an no one breaks the bank.
example: I have a current client who lives in Fredericton and we are planning her wedding in St. Andrews. FUN!

9. Landscape centerpieces
why: First it started as monochromatic and then developed into multiple clusters of different flowers. With the focus now more than ever on green practices and getting the 'largest bang for your buck' landscapes are emerging. They last longer and are a real focal point. You can use fewer of them as they are typically larger - 1 on every other table.
Expect the price point on these to be higher. The impact is undeniable!

10. Shorter wedding dresses
why: Shorter dresses lend themselves to more feminine details.Shoes are getting bolder and we have a variety to choose from. Pairing a super short dress with some ankel tied sandles shows off your individual flair. Think flirty 30's.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Passionate and dedicated

A few weeks back I was asked by Laverne Stewart to come into the Daily Gleaner to be interviewed for a piece she was working on. Of course I went.
I was a bit nervous as I new the piece was going to be of a more personal nature and I'm always leery with telling people everything about me. What if I forgot something? No one really knows how individuals can perceive you and well 'print' can be immortalized. I spent maybe over an hour there talking to Laverne that day, I cried, I laughed and I remembered. She was a pure delight. At the end of our time, she asked me for individuals with whom she could speak with. (???) Ok, so of course my husband (I've always wondered what he really thought about everything), a new and old friend (Jan & Samantha - I knew where they could be reached without hesitation). I'm sorry to say that she didn't have a chance to speak to my sister but over all I was quite pleased with the article. (Who am I kidding? - It was perfect!)
So today, one of the worst snow storms may be hitting us now and I ventured out to get the paper (of course after posting it multiple times on various social media outlets). I bought
I was standing in line with them and noticed that I was actually looking at myself - ON THE FRONT PAGE! Here I was at the top of the front page in the banner - playing my guitar no less! Now I should state that I am only learning to play. The photo shocked me as it had been taken earlier in the summer when I was interviewed for Last Summer Parties which was printed around Labour Day. This is the original photo....

I personally liked that they clipped me out from my ugly purple chair....Someday it will get recovered...someday.....

One of the best things that has happened (so far today) from this article was that I received an email from an old employer who had just read the article (not sure how he got the email - google?). I almost fell over I was so shocked. I was surprised but really glad that he took the time to reach out.

I'm trying to determine what I'll send Mrs. Stewart on Monday for such an amazing article.... I know what I'm sending my sister - an autographed version of the paper! lol


With the newness of 2010 upon us and feeling renewed vigor I've started a newsletter. Currently I have it scheduled for monthly publication with January's going out tonight.

To sign up for the newsletter and other alerts simply send me an email to csjplanning[at]gmail[dot]com with 'subscribe to newsletter' in the subject line.

Happy New Year!