Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Wedding Planning Thru the Eyes of The Perfect Plan

After 13 years in business planning weddings and events in New England, we have finally decided to write about the mishaps, confusion, logistical switch ups, and the fulfillment we experience first hand as planners. 
Being a wedding or event planner is not for the faint of heart or for someone with high blood pressure.
Our encounters as planners have been, well lets just say there is never a dull moment and its always an adventure.

Lesson number one: You cannot negotiate with Mother Nature
Rain plans are a must on our outdoor tented events or beach ceremony agendas.  If I had $100 for every bride who said "it won't rain on MY wedding day" I would be retired on some tropical beach somewhere.  Yes we have done weddings on rainy days and even in weather best described as monsoons.  But I will say that two tents teetering on the verge of coming down on the same day required just a bit of Perfect Plan trouble shooting.  Phone calls to tent companies to tell them to rush over like yesterday, us trying to move dishes and glassware to safety and then once tent is secured having to setup  with minimal time and finishing just in time for our bride's arrival, all done meticulously without our brides knowing the chaos that occurred on their wedding day.  Key to Success : A good team of Planners all with one goal in mind, driven with passion for what they do and an amazing team of tent vendors who make the impossible possible.

Lesson number two: Be prepared for anything, everything, and nothing

Anything: Well that could be ANYTHING, things thrown at us last minute, like "oh did I forget to tell you that you need to assemble all my flowers for the tables"  Well okay...guess its good that my team has some floral experience, sure we can make boutonnieres out of corsages, and move florals from the church.
Or yes we can certainly let your puppy out before we head over to the reception, we are dog friendly planners  Best Man forgot his shirt, okay no problem, we can try to find him an exact match as all the groomsmen, as we are the best at shopping and know all the great local places for the goods.

Everything: Yes we can find you a venue, a rental house for family, a caterer, a band, dj, photographer, espresso cart, ice cream truck, florist, a babysitter, a dingy for your grand exit from the reception, candy jars, restroom trailers, theme props, a contractor to build a white satin runway for your beach ceremony, a landscaper, mosquito sprayer, a gondola boat, a honeymoon tree house, an officiant on a week's notice, relocate your event for 200 in summer on Cape Cod with five weeks notice, operate a generator, flip a tent three times in one day, coordinate transportation logistics with two different companies for 200 guests from 8 hotels, one designated pick up parking lot and getting everyone to ceremony on time, coordinate a groom arrival by boat onto the marsh, sew a bridesmaid COMPLETELY into her dress the morning of the wedding, coordinate a canon to be shot off at the first kiss during the ceremony, cut your wedding cake, find you an officiant who speaks french, a planner who speaks spanish, setup a yoga workout for your bridesmaids, etc.....etc.....etc............etc......

Nothing:  Yes Nothing:  This is where we execute events without the proper information from clients.  Please let us handle your rentals, we know what you need.... we rely on information and communication to properly service our clients, we often are managing without knowing pertinent information, without contracts from your vendors we cannot adequately do our jobs, we need your seating chart and not the morning of the event, more information is better than little or none.  Changing your venue, vendor, time of event.  TELL us
If you have family issues we need to be aware of , tell us.  Problems with a vendor, tell us.

Lesson number three: Always work with a planner that has compassion, a gift of hospitality, ethics, integrity, meticulous with detail, is passionate about her work, will listen to your vision or help you find one, is honest with her clients, gives advice when needed, can talk you off the wedding cliff before you get there, has grace and a good business foundation.  The Perfect Plan was founded on these characteristics, every bride deserves to have a flawless and memorable day, our goal and desire is exceed expectations and create not just an event but an experience to last a lifetime.
Connie Nye Clark/Owner
Marissa Cubero/Senior Planner
Kelly Snedeker/Senior Planner

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Transportation Merry Go Round

So here it is in a nut shell....the agonizing of planning your guest transportation, hence the merry go round...we go round and round with same things in booking wedding transportation. Forgive the humor and sarcasm as we need it to keep ourselves sane in the process:)
  • If you are the bride, the groom, parents of them, or in the wedding party and you took a trolley to the reception and said trolley drops and leaves after pictures, have you  figured out how you will all get home if you don't have cars at the venue?  Surprisingly we have driven, grooms, their parents, and a few bridesmaids in our day back to their hotels....note as indicated below, they are VIPS we do not do this for your guests...that is what cabs are for.
  • No you cannot shuttle 200 guests from 6 locations in one 35 passenger shuttle and get them all there before the ceremony or reception. Oh and load on and load off does need to be factored in to the timing of it all.
  • Please think about what we have to do with all the early arrival guests while we shuttle everyone else,especially if your first look is in same location as reception, it won't be private that's for sure
  • Yes when I sent you out that vendor list months in advance and tell you to book your transportation immediately, I mean it.
    • .  
  • Well, since you did not do the above immediately, yes I need to outsource to a vendor further away and it will cost much more
  • Wait you want me to supply a coordinator at each pick up location to herd your guests but you do not want to pay for it? Well that is not going to happen
  • Hire good vendors for this, ones who do it all the time and know how to navigate guests and the routes.
  • No we do not drive the drunk guests home from the wedding who were too stubborn to take the shuttles and then drank too much and cannot drive, happy to call them a cab
  • Oh, so you don't trust my judgement on this and want me to call all my transportation experts to verify that I actually know what I am talking about
  • Yes I can find you a horse n buggy, antique car, roadster, or hot air balloon but those specials cost more
  • The contracted drivers work under our direction the day of for any changes or added stops, wait times and the like.... they do not answer to Aunt Ida who thinks she knows everything, Drunk Uncle Johnny who wants to add bar runs for himself at the end of the event, or any wanna be planners ( who mean well but don't help at all). Keep in mind you are paying on the clock for these drivers so give us the authorization to make sure they don't listen to any of the guests for directions
  • The Groomsmen and Groom almost always need to be onsite for the ceremony prior to the ladies
  • Lastly we cannot control the guests being on time and where they are suppose to be nor can we control traffic patterns or construction on roads and other unforeseen circumstances
  • We are planners and can execute perfectly when all factors are unwavering....transportation is not one of those factors.  We plan for the worst and hope for the best and say WHEW when it all goes perfectly
  • Most of all, its worth every dime to pay us to help you with this out of the planning gate, not two weeks before
  • I believe you should only feel obligated to shuttle everyone the day of your wedding if there is no parking at your venue, otherwise your guests are grown adults and should assume they can get themselves where they need to be and know how to get home
  • No we cannot make your guests take the required transportation or guarantee you they will
I certainly do not expect clients to know this but reaching out with the questions before booking things or going not MIA on booking transportation is definitely something you should do to save your self agony on the back end..!  REMEMBER guests biggest complaint is waiting for the shuttles for too long!

And YES you can just hire us to help with this!