Author: avernaci

A New Home

Believe it or not, we’ve been in our office almost a year now.  It was our first “home” and it was a trail.  We wanted to see if it was worth the expense.  Did we really need somewhere to hold meetings, or did it make more sense to go back to Starbucks as our “home base”.

The past year has proven two things

  1. We NEED and WANT and WILL ALWAYS HAVE an office.
  1. We need more space.

If you haven’t been there, the current office is one large, kind of strangely – shaped room that’s about 350 square feet.  It’s good.. but not good enough.  We had too many times were clients wanted to meet at the same time and it’s not the format that allows us to hold more than one meeting at a time.  And we’re being overrun by all of our stuff.

So with great pleasure and excitement I’m happy to announce that BDP is moving….across the street.  We have a wonderful landlord and he had a perfect space available in the building right across the street from our current one.

And so we get to upgrade…. to nearly 900 square feet!!  A main meeting area (think our “BDP LIving Room”), a showroom, an office, another office, and best of all… a really large, walk in storage closet!!!  We are IN LOVE!

I’m so excited to post some pictures for all of you once it’s done.  We have a wall to take out this weekend, some crazy carpeting to rip up, a wood floor to put down, blinds to remove,  moldings to paint, a logo to post, well you get the idea.  It’lll take a few weeks to get it up to par.  But as soon as we do, you’re going to get to see it.  It trust me, it’s going to be amazing!!!

 

What dining style is best for your wedding?

Let’s talk food! One of our favorite topics, of course. More specifically, I want to focus on dining style choices because they can really have an impact on the timing and activities of the day. Below are some popular dining options, their pros and cons, and the amount of guests they are best suited for.

Buffet:

Pro’s:

  • less expensive than more formal dining styles
  • picky eaters can rejoice because they will have the choice of what they eat and how much they eat
  • quicker option than more formal choices (*as long as you don’t have too many guests)
  • offers more choices for guests with dietary restrictions
  • saves (some) money on catering-staff charges because guests are serving themselves

Con’s:

  • large guest counts may make buffets disorganized
  • buffets give guests control over the wedding reception timeline, which could throw off the schedule
  • one buffet table serves around 100 guests, so more tables may have to be added depending on how many guests you have
  • if you aren’t careful a buffet can become less budget friendly, as it may require a surprising amount of rental equipment

Price Range: affordable
Atmosphere: lively and energetic
Best Suited for: 60-100 guests

Family style:

Pro’s:

  • highlights the idea that two families are joining together
  • more affordable than plated dining style
  • less chaotic than a buffet because guests aren’t constantly leaving the table to get more food, which also makes for an efficient and somewhat quick dinner
  • this style lends itself perfectly to the trend of gorgeous large banquet tables
  • perfect for smaller, more casual weddings, as it can allow the guests to leave feeling very bonded with one another

Con’s:

  • you may need to increase your budget for rental items to account for additional platters and serving pieces
  • you may have increased food costs because your caterer will need to make extra food to ensure nothing runs out
  • if the caterer is not set up to properly organize a family style reception things can be disorganized. Ensure that this is something the venue, staff, and caterer are capable of doing.

Price Range: mid-range
Atmosphere: intimate
Best Suited for: 80-100

Plated meal:

Pro’s:

  • most formal dining choice and often the most elegant
  • the more formal the event, the more likely it is that guests will expect sit down service during the meal
  • allows guests the ability to sit and relax instead of worrying about how to get their own food
  • the larger the guest count, the more convenient plated dining will be because you won’t have to worry about crowds of guests trying to get their food
  • when all guests are seated it is easier to organize toasts and cake cutting, as opposed to people being responsible for getting their own food and holding up the schedule

Con’s:

  • staffing portion of the catering bill will be higher due to the need for a larger waitstaff
  • if you have a guest list with vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters, and people who are gluten free, the plated style dinner can be very difficult to accommodate them
  • plated can take away from certain ambiances and make the reception feel more formal than you originally planned for it to be. If rustic and casual is the feel that you are going for, plated might not be the right option to fulfill that.

Price Range: a bit pricey
Atmosphere: elegant and formal
Best Suited for: 100+

This may just be the planner in me, but try to keep the timeline/schedule and guest count in mind when choosing a dining style. Parties that are significantly large, weddings that have a lot of activities planned, and weddings that are dependent on staying on time should be conscious of the amount of time certain dinners take.

Remember, you don’t have to be chained to one option for the entire wedding day! Feel free to combine styles. The salad could be family style, the main course could be plated, and dessert could be buffet! This is your day, have fun with it and do what you want!

Vendor Meals

You’ve made it – your wedding date is quickly approaching and you’re at your final meeting with your venue.  You’re proving final choices and head count.  The best caterers and venues will ask for two counts – your guest count, and your vendor count.

Two important notes about this.

  1. Alcohol

Your venue shouldn’t charge you for alcohol for your vendors.  Your vendors shouldn’t be drinking – ever.  We are there to work, not party, and drinking is not acceptable.  Your venue knows this and should be willing to remove the alcohol cost for your vendors.  This is the same with other miscellaneous fees like cake cutting, or valet.

 

  1. The Vendor Meal

You’re at the end of the road.  Those costs are adding up… fast.  You’re writing a whole lot of huge final payment checks.  So when your venue tells you that they have a “vendor meal” option and offers it to you at 25% of the cost of your regular meal, you’ll probably take it.  We understand.  But you should know what that vendor meal usually means.

Most “vendor meals” are cold boxed lunches.  We get a generic sandwich, a random bag of chips, an apple, and maybe a cookie.  It doesn’t matter if we are vegetarian, or need to eat gluten free, or are allergic to peanut butter cookies, that’s what we get.  We have no choice of sandwich, or chips, and we’re usually left pretty hungry.

Remember that by the time dinner comes around, most of your vendors (e.g. your photographers, videographers, wedding coordinators) have already been with you for 6-7 hours.  They’ve been working that whole time and haven’t taken a break to run through and grab a nice lunch in the middle of your wedding day.  Any of us that have done this before are smart enough to bring snacks with us, but most of us are also looking at between 2-9 MORE hours of work before we can get home to our beds…and fridges.  We’re hungry.  Like, really hungry and we need some energy to keep us running at full-steam until your night finishes.

You also need to be aware that your vendor contract may have included a “hot meal” clause.  When you signed that contract, you probably agreed at that point to provide that vendor with a hot meal at the reception.  Now I’ve shared countless boxed meal dinners with vendors that mentioned to me that they have this clause in the contract but the good ones don’t sweat it.  The good ones aren’t going to ruin your wedding day just because they got a sandwich.  But you should check the contract before choosing meal choice, because that clause is probably there.

Now I”m not saying we need filet…. honestly, by the end of the wedding season most of us are kind of sick of filet anyway.  We would just like some kind of hot, substantial meal.  The important thing is to ask your venue what is included in the vendor meal.  Some venues, like MacRay Harbor, have a wonderful vendor meal.  They bring us a menu and we get to choose between 3-5 hot meals off of their restaurant menu – like a hamburger, or a chicken caesar salad.  This is a PERFECT alternative.

Remember, your vendors are working hard to make your wedding day perfect.  They’re putting in a lot of hours, a lot of heart, and pouring the best of themselves into your Big Day.  Think about them when you’re giving that final count.  Trust me, they’ll love you for it!

Feature on The Knot!

I woke up this morning to find that Tiffany + Tom’s October 2014 wedding is a featured wedding on The Knot!

We worked with some amazing vendors to help plan this wedding and it came together perfectly!!  Thanks to all of the fantastic vendors for helping to make the day PERFECT for this couple!!

Photography – Clicking Through Life
Dj / Video – Mike Staff Productions
Makeup – Roxy Myers
Hair – Jason Meyers
La Donna Wedding Officiants
Christine’s Cakes and Pastries
Shutterbooth
Lavda’s Limo
Sycamore Hills Golf Club

Check out our “Portfolio” page to see more photos from this beautiful wedding!

Ah… January thru March.  The “Off Season”.

Contrary to popular belief, we aren’t actually slow during those months.  We’re busy – really busy – but different busy.  We are meeting with newly engaged couples, doing some bridal shows, working on blogs and other things that get lost the other 9 months of the year, and working on lots, and lots, of planning.  We aren’t, however, at weddings.  People willing to get married January – March in Michigan are pretty limited (like to yours truly, who was a February bride…).  Because of this, we get a little stir-crazy… who doesn’t in Michigan during the winter, right?

So when our friend Shannon with Clicking Through Life brought up the idea of an inspirational photo shoot, we jumped at it!  We’ve done it before – actually just after we started the business – and loved it!  The cool thing about inspirational photo shoots is that it’s a chance for us vendors to just have fun – be creative – throw the kitchen sink at it – and be kind of unrealistic (I mean, you wouldn’t actually ask your guests to eat a tables outside in February) but you get the idea.

We worked with some amazing vendors and we came up with some amazing things!  Jump on over to our “Porfolio” page to see the full album and check out what we did.  Oh and btw, it’s already been picked up for publication in MidWest Bride.. pretty neat, huh?

Special Thanks:
Shannon & Kevin – www.clickingthroughlife.com
Kevin – www.twigsandbranchesfloral.com
Will – www.bodhitreefilms.com
Laura – www.eleganceinsugar.com
Nicole – www.specialeventsrental.com
Sophilia – www.facebook.com/prettyinwhitehairandmakeup

The Holy Grail of Skin Care!

I’m changing it up on the blog today… here’s a little “beauty blog” for our soon to be brides!

I had picture perfect skin throughout my teenage years. I would say that’s pretty uncommon for most teens going through those hormonal changes, but I really lucked out. However, it caught up to me.. quick. My life post high school until about a week ago has been a messy ride. I’ve dealt with every skin issue in the book. Oily skin, large pores, black heads covering my nose, cystic acne, and the worst of all — scars from all my troubles. I came to the realization that this was just something I was going to have to live with. NO ONE, should have to feel like that.

For starters I have to say, I’m a product junkie. Some of us are into buying shoes, others into purses… (I’m definitely into those also)… but beauty products is where my money is really spent.  You name it, I’ve tried it. I can’t even think about all the money I’ve spent on crap that doesn’t work. I’ve even gone to the extreme of trying birth control, twice, which left my with a non-functioning liver. That’s a whole other blog though!

Last Saturday, 2/21/15, I struck gold. I made a stop into Sephora to return yet another failed $60 product. The sales lady was trying to convince me to take my $60 and turn it around to buy this detoxifying face mask. Something told me “No Nicole, don’t waste your money again!!”. I left and headed to Ulta to buy a few misc. things as I always do. At Ulta I was asking the sales person there if she heard of the face mask Sephora was trying to sell me. She said yea… but I have something better for half the price. She pretty much sold me right there. She handed me PUR Dirty Girl Detoxifying face mask. It’s line from Bare Minerals. For $30 bucks I thought what the heck I’ll try it. With my new face mask in the bag, I mosied on over to find some other things I could blow my money on & found The Body Shop Tea Tree line. After staring and reading for 30 minutes I decided to buy the Blemish Fade Night lotion. Between these two products, my life has changed forever. I know I sound kinda ridiculous, but when you’ve battled this for so long finding something that actually works makes you feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

I used the mask twice, and the lotion every night in the past week. Every. single. blackhead. I’ve had is gone. My pores are shrinking, my skin is GLOWING, my scars have FADED 50% IN ONE WEEK!!!!! I could just jump & scream right now!! I am so so so excited for summer to roll around & not have to worry about caking on my foundation when I’m trying to enjoy fun in the sun on Lake St. Clair. I actually bought a BB cream, because I don’t need buy heavy duty full coverage $60 foundation anymore.

I really wanted to share this to not only bring praise to these two products, but to hopefully help someone else who struggles. The best thing about it is these products are very reasonably priced. See the links below for the holy grail of skin care, also a few other things I love & work into my beauty routine!  TRY IT LADIES! I hope your results are as perfect as mine. 🙂

The Body Shop, Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion
It’s all in the name !!

PUR, Dirty Girl Detoxifying Mudd Masque
I believe this is the product that is literally extracting all of the dirty ness from my skin

LUSH, Grease Lighting
Great spot treatment. Dab a bit on the troubled area, moisturize & you’re good to go friends!

LUSH, Ocean Salt
Great exfoliate! I use this everywhere

 

LUSH, Dark Angels
Another great exfoliate & cleanser. I use this on my face more than Ocean Salt because the lack of alcohol. Using the Ocean Salt on my face to much dries it out and causes irritation.

The “Off Season”

So I have to start this blog post by saying that I recently attended a webinar from Wedding Wire that talked about fine-tuning your marketing and inquiries techniques.  The best take-away I got was that I should be using my “real voice” while working with the business.  So instead of saying what you should hear, the way you should hear it, I need to act like myself and sell the business for what it is – a crazy good, group of talented wedding professionals that just KNOW what we are doing, are fun to work with, will make your wedding or event PERFECT, and truly enjoy our jobs.  Given this, I am going to try to write this blog post the same way you’d hear it if you were talking with me… so I hope you enjoy it.

OFF SEASON!

There’s this thing in the wedding business called the “Off Season”.  Most people call this season January thru March… we call it our break.  Except, it’s not…not anymore.  I am so blessed that the business has grown SO much and expanded to include SO many fun things that my “off season” has been completely erased.   I mean sure, my husband and kids actually get to see me on Saturdays this time of year, but other than that – I’m just as busy working to make this business the best it can be … and to make sure we can provide you the BEST options for your wedding or event!!

Because it’s been an exciting season so far, I want to share with you just a touch of what we’ve been working on these past few weeks:

  • 31, 2015 weddings are on the books and more are coming in each day!
  • We participated in Bridal University Detroit, and I got up in front of a large group of people and gave a 20 minute speech about how to break traditions without breaking etiquette.  Yes, it was scary.  Yes, I didn’t LOVE it.  Yes, I am glad I got the huge opportunity to do it!  (Plus we got a personalized “love note” from Sam Saboura for the office and that’s just awesome)
  •  We are gearing up for Rock the Veil, a new type of wedding show coming to the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market in March.  Check details here – http://mi-nwe.com/event/rock-the-veil-wedding-showcase/
  • We now have an amazing deal worked out with two of our favorite vendors – Clicking Through Life and Twigs & Branches Floral where our brides can get all three services (coordinating, photography and florals) for an AMAZING price!
  • We continue to work on finding new vendors that can provide great services for all of you…. plus, we just really like the excuse to have bakers deliver treats, cupcakes, and cakes to our office! #WeLoveFood
  • We’re working with some of our preferred vendors to do a winter-wedding inspirational shoot.  It’s going to be awesome!
  • I have some new ideas for the business … what services we provide, what we can do for you, how we can do it… and I’m not telling you more than that…for now.
  •  Lastly, we are working on this AWESOME new conglomerate of wedding professionals that will provide a new, unique, DIFFERENT type of wedding company…. we’re calling it “The Block Party” and you’ll hear more as soon as we have the details ironed out…but it’s gonna be great!

So enjoy your Winter Off Season… we’ll be here working if you need us.

 

Bridal U is coming!!

BDP is thrilled to be involved in Bridal University Detroit!

Come meet with amazing vendors and hear from some great speakers about all kinds of topics that are important to brides!

The best part?  Our very own, Jennie Wiegand, is one of this year’s speakers!

Come see her at 1:45pm on Sunday 12/8 at Bridal U at Ford Field.  She’ll be speaking about “Breaking Traditions without Breaking Etiquette”!  Plan a unique, fun, invidiual wedding wtihout throwing ALL etiquette rules out the window!

Hope to see you there!

www.bridaludetroit.com

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