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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.