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Monday, June 18, 2012

Its Our Anniversary!!!!


So I have been away from my blog for awhile, but I found the time today to do an update.  Epiphany Events, Event Management and Planning, LLC, is moving in many positive directions. We recently launched our Corporate Division and I am so excited about it. If you get the chance, please check out our new website at www.epipeventscorp.com and like our new Facebook page  @ www.facebook.com/EpiphanyEventsCorporate.  Our Corporate Division will focus directly with Corporate Event Planning for Small Businesses, Corporations, Non-Profit Organizations and Fund Raising Events.  When I started this business, my goal was to focus on all aspects of event planning.  Its not just weddings, but Social Events, Religious Milestone Events, and Corporate Event Planning that is involved in the vast industry of Event Planning and Management. Since approaching our Anniversary , I felt the need to launch a new division, while providing the same professional service. I personally invite you to explore our divisions and see all that it has to offer. The look of Epiphany Events has a new sleek and clean look. I wanted something that was mine and defined my style. I think this new look definitely sets the tone for what Epiphany Events, Event Management and Planning, LLC represents.  Professionalism and class is the goal of this company and it is my duty to instill that in all practices.
I want to personally thank those that have supported me in this business venture and I hope to continue this venture far into the future.  Till next blog update………….



Sunday, May 27, 2012

How To Stick To Your Budget



As we advance further into the 2012 wedding season, I am often asked how can a "bride-to-be"stick to her budget.   While many of us are not blessed with the “no-limit” spending, knowing what is the most important is the key to successful budgeting when planning a wedding.
When determining a budget for your wedding, there is more to a budget than just an exact amount.  Couples should of course determine a set limit, but how and where to spread the budget is the most important. By knowing how much you want to spend on each element of your wedding, can better help you stay within the realms of your spending. If your guest count is above 150 and you are considering a plated dinner, a budget of $15,000 may not accommodate all your needs.   Couples should research the average amounts spent for each element of their wedding and include these things in their budget.
Hiring a Event Planner who can assist you with your budget management, is always a plus.  Event Planners are experienced with budgets and have often worked with large budgets. Event Planners can also provide you with vendors who are in your price range.  Of course this often times comes at a cost, but it in the end, it can save you money and stress. Implementing cost cutting measures, such as having a buffet instead of a plated  sit-down dinner, or using silk flowers instead of real flowers,  can help couples with staying within their budget. Using these tools can help with not only your budget, but minimize your stress while planning your special day.
So when you decide on what you want for your special day, consider the costs for all the elements of your wedding and determine where your money will be best spent.  In the end, it will save you time and money.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Relationship between Event Planners and Their Clients


As an Event Planner, I am often asked the question “ What does an Event Planner do?” or  “How can you help me?” It also amazes me that many clients do not understand the Event Planner/Client relationship.

From the start of the initial consultation, the Event Planner and the Client establish a relationship. The relationship can grow into something that is lasting and memorable, with the work of both parties involved. The Client and the Event Planner work together to create the dream wedding or event that is desired. Both should consider each other’s personality and respect each other’s creative vision. An Event Planner is the saving grace to a Bride-To-Be and I wholeheartedly believe that.  We are your coach and we are here to make the plays that need to be made to make your event a memorable event.  There can be bumps in the road as you both travel to the desired goal, but I truly believe that if both parties consider each other’s place and responsibilities, those bumps can be minimized.  Often times, creative visions can clash, but at the end of it all it is the Event Planner’s responsibility to ensure that the client is happy regardless of personal taste.

The bond that is developed between an Event Planner and their Client, is something that can never be matched and I personally think it is truly a unique bond.  As you make the decision to hire a planner for your special event, consider what you are looking for in an Event Planner.   Event Planners always consider what is their ideal client. The initial relationship is a professional relationship but sometimes can evolve into a friendship.  Clients should be able to trust their Event Planners to foster their ideas into reality. Consider these aspects when hiring a planner. Clients and Event Planners should be a “ good fit” with each other and relationship that is cherished even after all the pomp and circumstance.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Importance of Etiquette For Your Special Day


As we venture into another wedding season, as an event planner, I think that etiquette is one of the most important elements of any ceremony and reception.  There are so many etiquette details to cover in a wedding and the reception. Often times, brides are overwhelmed and totally forget the etiquette piece in their planning.  Event Planners are the saving grace to any special event.  We provide the guidance on the fine details of a wedding. Yes it is the bride’s special day, and it is all about her and her groom to be. However,  the focus  should be to make this a lasting memory and not a memorable disaster.

 There are many etiquette rules to follow for a wedding and the reception.  I could go on and on about etiquette, but since this is a blog and not a book, my goal is to stress the importance of etiquette.   Etiquette sets the tone of the wedding day from the moment you send out those fancy invitations and save–the-date cards.  Yes, there is such a thing as invitation etiquette for both the bride and her guests. In order to receive your RSVPs in a properly timed manner, you must first send them out in enough time so that your guests can plan.

 Structure is the key aspect of your wedding and etiquette adds that needed structure.  Etiquette is a form of respect and that respect is shown to your wedding party, vendors and your guests.  All these elements are what make your wedding day one of the most special days in your life. For each element of your day, there are details such as how to conduct the ceremony, to conducting the reception.   Starting your ceremony on time is probably the most important aspect of your wedding when it comes to etiquette.  Nobody likes to sit and wait for a ceremony to start. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes; would you like to be sitting and waiting for the bride or the groom to show up?  In order to prevent mishaps such as lateness, it is imperative to follow a wedding day itinerary. If you hire an event planner, this should be one of the major tasks completed by the planner in order to ensure that your day runs smoothly.

Depending on religious practices, ceremony lengths will differ. Therefore it must be understood that etiquette must be in line with religious practices.  Receptions are no different, as they require certain etiquette practices as well. From the introduction of the newlywed couple, to the first dance and the cake cutting, these practices have etiquette standards that will make your reception a memorable event.
Etiquette practices must be engaged right from the beginning of your planning.  There are many books to guide you in the process of using etiquette.  Having a wedding planner assist you with ceremony etiquette is the best way to ensure that the bride and groom understand the protocol for their ceremony.  The Bridal party must also understand the importance of etiquette as well. When etiquette is implemented into a ceremony and reception, everything else will fall into place.  


I am sure at some point we have all viewed or witnessed a wedding that was not so nice.  Most likely, there wasn’t any emphasis on etiquette and the end result was a rushed attempt at something that should have been a beautiful thing. Understanding the importance of etiquette is only half the battle. Incorporating it in to your planning, rehearsal, ceremony and reception is winning the battle.




Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Bridal Expo Experience

It is that time of year when many newly engaged brides-to-be are venturing out to all the bridal expos. As a newly engaged bride-to-be, you are probably excited about attending a bridal expo or two. You excitement may soon  turn to being overwhelmed. There is so much to take in and there are so many cakes to taste.  When it's all over, you leave with a bag full of brochures, business cards, fliers, maybe a coupon for a "free" something and a stomach ache from all the cake that you have  tried.  When you get home with your goodies bag,  it dawns on you, that planning a wedding is going to be a trying process.  My advice to brides-to-be is take a deep breath and decide what it is that you really want.  The information that you received is valuable information and can be useful in your planning process. If you  don't know what you want, then all the information that you received will be one big large pile of paper.  Knowing what you want can eliminate a lot of unnecessary information. If you are just information hunting, then it is okay to collect piles of brochures and fliers. If you are on a  mission, ( which most brides are), then you have a purpose. Structure your purpose and plan your route. Know what you need and what you don't need. Often times, bridal expos are extravagant productions of services and it is like looking at the Christmas window display by Macy's on 5th Avenue. It is beautiful and you want it all.

Planning a wedding is a process and researching is the major part of the process.  All the information that you receive from a bridal expo, should be categorized into needs and wants.  You need a photographer, a venue for the reception, and a place for the ceremony. You may not need the doves flying over  as you exit the church, to get in the chariot that is pulled by the beautiful  all white Clydesdale horses. In order to have your "perfect day", you must have the perfect plan before and after the expo. Having a plan and sticking to that plan, will eliminate a lot of stress when attending an expo.  When attending a bridal expo, attend with a purpose. All your research will not be handled at the expo, but you will know what is available to you. If you need to book photographer and you have a few in mind, ensure that they are vendors at the expo and find out their availability. Most brides want to book their vendors at the expo or soon after. Be prepared to pay deposits when booking vendors as  many vendors require a deposit at the time of booking.  When it is all over and done,  a future bride with a plan,  will have positive experience when planning her wedding.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Everyone Needs a Mentor.

So I have been pondering on what to write my next blog update, and as I walk around in my daily routine, ideas constantly pop in my mind. When I started this business, I went through so many things and researched everything that I could to make sure I was “squared away”. The one thing that I carried with me from my military career was the idea of having a mentor.  In the military, it is an unwritten rule to have a mentor; someone to look up to or pattern your steps behind.  You can have one or many and take little things from each of them to implement into your work of art.  Most people don’t even realize that they are mentors to someone, unless they are told.
  A mentor is not someone you copy, but someone you respect and admire for their way of accomplishing certain goals. In the event planning arena, there are so many people to “pattern” behind. There are the “well known”   and the “not so well known”.  We all learned from someone.  As I conducted my research to start my business, I learned that there are many people that I could follow and learn from. I have chosen a few, and from each of them, I take a little piece to create my own vision.  Like me, I know they had to start somewhere to get where they are now. My visions are endless for my business and as I stated earlier in my blog, 2012 is the year of branding my business. So to all those out there that think they are not in the position to be a mentor, there is always someone looking up to you as a mentor. It may be your work ethic, your professionalism, your style, or just simply you. There are some many ingredients that make us who we are, and it is those simple ingredients that encourage someone else. I want to say thank you to my mentor (s) Desiree Moore Dent of Dejanae Events and Bonita Parker “The Event Planning Queen”.  These ladies encourage me and let me know that I can make it in this business.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Social Networking and the Benefits

So we are one week into the New Year and either you have given up on your resolution or you didn't even make any. The only resolution that I made was to define my brand. I have learned in the last few months that Social Networking is a beneficial tool. I have managed to meet some great people whom I have never met in the physical sense. Due to social networking, I have established friendships with people who I feel like I have known forever. I have even managed to develop a partnership with  Sage & Time Design  in Brooklyn, N.Y. A designer of invitations, cards, and other stationery needs,  Sage & Time Design and Epiphany Events, Event Management and Planning, LLC are both businesses that are beneficial to each other in the sense that we can both provide a service that compliment one another to our clients. If it wasn't for Twitter and Facebook, I can honestly say,  this partnership and meeting my peers, probably would have never happened.
In this age of technology, it is Social Networking that  helps to establish the viability for any business small and large. In order to be relevant, a business must be in the Social Networking game. I do believe that it is beneficial and can create new business ventures as well as bring new customers.  It is my goal to use Social Networking as a tool to establish my brand. Although it is not the only tool that I use, I do feel that it is an important tool to incorporate into a marketing plan for any business.  It is not all about how many "followers" or "likes" you obtain, but the information that you receive from them. Take the  "re tweets" and the "likes" and use them resourcefully. Until next time, keep Facebook and Twitter in your marketing tool box.  Happy New Year to all.