5 Top Reasons Why Venues should encourage couples to hire a Wedding Planner

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This post is brought to us by the wonderful Shari Zatman of Perfectly Planned by Shari:

The ISES Pittsburgh Chapter held an Industry Forum for the first time. This provided an opportunity for members and guests to submit questions in advance which became “Hot Topics” posed to the group for industry discussion.

As the organizer of this meeting, I saw one question submitted several times by event planners. “Why do venues tell couples not to hire a Wedding Planner?” This question sparked a lot of conversation.

Representing the venues in attendance, the general feeling from them was either that they, as the venue, felt like they could (or should) provide all of the services to the couple themselves AND it is better to have no Wedding Planner than to be working with a bad and inexperienced planner.

There may be some additional reasons that were not shared during the meeting, but as a Professional and Experienced Wedding and Event Planner, I would like to share my opinion on this.

To all venue coordinators, good planners can work together with you to improve your life! Really, it’s true!

Here are 5 Top Reasons Why Venues should encourage couples to hire a Wedding Planner.

1. If you want to avoid working with the bad and inexperienced planners, then you can control that by referring only planners that you know are good, experienced and have a great track record. If you discourage working with a planner and the couple decides they want to hire one anyway, you may be at more risk by not referring because they will go out on their own and potentially hire someone you have to work with whom is not a professional, you have never heard of, whom is new or inexperienced making your job a lot more difficult.

2. Planners really do want to work together as a team. We are not looking to make your life harder- really. We want to see the best possible outcome for the couple just like you do. We value your knowledge and experience about your property and will rely on you to know information about all things venue related such as proper load in requirements, power, measurements, policies, payment terms, insurance, food and beverage and more. We will properly convey this information to our couples and follow your direction. You are our very important liaison and that is valued and appreciated.

3. You can’t be everywhere all the time. We know you also have to represent your venue every day which means while preparing for a wedding, while the couple is getting dressed, while the set up is happening, you may need to be showing the venue to other interested couples and giving tours or may need to attend to other things. When a planner is onsite for a wedding, the planner is there dedicated to that particular event the entire time which means you can step away and attend to other things.

4. Having a planner will lighten your work load and save you time. Just think about how many phone calls and emails you field from each couple/wedding and how many questions you are asked. Just imagine if that was all being directed to the couple’s wedding planner the amount of time that would save for you. Not to mention the other responsibilities you sometimes pick up like unexpected set up and assembly of items that you now have to take care of that turns out to take a ton of your time.

5. We are working with couples outside and offsite of the venue. We know you provide wonderful advice and direction to couples. We also know that you can’t be with them for meetings and appointments when they are outside of your venue. A Wedding Planner will provide additional services such as accompanying them to vendor appointments to convey their vision, designing the branding of their event and working with a stationer and design team at their locations to style the wedding, ceremony direction at a church or off site location and much, much more.

If you represent a venue, I welcome your feedback and response and truly hope to work with you soon!


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► The ISES Esprit Awards are awards that recognize ISES members who have excelled in their respective event field throughout the year. The awards offer multiple categories that represent different disciplines within the events industry.

► Visibility: Increase recognition of you and your company and don’t miss the opportunity to raise industry awareness of your achievements. Award nominees and recipients receive National and International online and in print media coverage through a variety of MICE publications. What better way to enhance your company brand then with a recognized endorsement from a respected industry association?
►Exposure: The ISES Esprit Awards shine a spotlight on best practices in the events industry and around the world, drawing attention to innovative ideas and services. Award nominees and recipients will be highlighted and receive special attention at ISES LIVE August 22-24, 2013, in Nassau, Bahamas. Create the opportunity to benchmark your work on an International scale.
►Recognition and Prestige: Create the reputation for being someone who delivers and reap the benefits of new challenges and opportunities. Join hundreds of your ISES colleagues who have already taken home a coveted ISES Esprit Award. Winning an ISES Esprit Award lets clients, colleagues, and the competition know that you are a talented events professional and industry leader.

►Marketability: Displaying a symbol of success like an International award encourages growth and development and is an effective method of redirecting conversations from prices, onto discussions of value, creativity, quality and expertise. An award is a catalyst for publicity.
A customized signature tagline and logo for nominees and award recipients
Award nominees and recipients receive national and international online and in print media coverage through a variety of MICE publications
Designated pin and ribbon presented at ISES LIVE
A customized glass award, stage presence, and promotional visibility during the ISES Live conference.
Announced on ISES Social Media Pages
Ability to promote and market the new success
ISES Esprit Award recipients are presented in the monthly ISES eNews, announced in an ISES e-blast, featured in a video on the ISES Esprit website, congratulated in the Special Event magazine and in many other special events industry and general interest media publications.


►Good news, the hard part is done if you’ve already invested your time applying for our local awards program (enter chapter). Why only be recognized by your local Chapter when you could be recognized by an entire International organization? Take your submission to the next level and apply for the 2015 ISES Esprit Awards!

►The ISES Esprit Awards cost $100 per entry submission until May 7th, 2015 11:59 PDT. All completed entries, including payment must be submitted on or before May 7th 2015 at 11:59pm PDT. Submissions received between May 8th 2015 at 12:00am PDT and May 14th 2015 at 11:59pm PDT will incur an additional $25.00 USD fee. Any submissions submitted after May 14th 2015 at 11:59pm PDT will not be accepted.

►Who can enter the awards? The 2015 ISES Esprit Awards Competition is open to all ISES members in good standing on or before May 14, 2015, including all joint and team member entrants.

►The 2015 ISES Esprit Award Call for entries is now open for ALL ISES members in good standing. Click to enter an ISES Esprit Awards entry today! Or click on the ISES Esprit webpages to view the 36 different categories.
►This year’s competition is open to events that took place between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Events that were conducted after December 31, 2014 may be entered in next year’s competition.
►Since 1995, the ISES Esprit Awards have been one of the most dynamic multidisciplinary events industry awards programs and attracts an exceptional range, depth and quality of entries from the ISES membership each year. Don’t let another year go by without earning the honor, recognition and respect you, your company and event deserves!
►The prestige of the Esprit awards program relies solely on the high-caliber events and the dedicated and talented ISES event professionals that submit events for consideration. Don’t miss this opportunity to make your mark on the Special Events Industry! If you don’t enter you can’t win.
►For a list of categories and criteria, visit the CATEGORIES TAB, under the 2015 ISES Esprit Awards section of the ISES website.
Entry Deadline: May 7, 2015 11:59pm PDT
Entry Deadline: May 14, 2015 11:59pm PDT
*late fee applies

The deadline for the ISES Esprit Awards is May 7, 2015 11:59pm PDT
For an additional $25, the deadline will be extended until May 14, 2015 11:59pm PDT
►This annual awards program gives ISES members the chance to celebrate accomplishments with colleagues and be acknowledged for their talents, passion and commitment to the special events industry. The ISES Esprit Awards celebration will be held in conjunction with ISES LIVE 2015 on August 22, 2015 in New Orleans, LA

What Your Rental Company Wishes You Knew!

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Allison Miller of All Occasions Party Rental shares 15 tips to help ensure a better working relationship between the event client and the rental company.


Be honest—are you being honest with your event rental partner?

Here are  15 smart tips to help you work better with your rental team:

1) Two 20 x 20 tents do not equal a 40 x 40 tent.

2) Budget. We need to know it. Realistic budgets help us help you with recommendations of inventory if we have realistic expectations. We don’t want to make you feel bad by showing $50k options if the budget is really $10k. We can do a lovely job within your budget….but realistic parameters up front save time and heartache!  We want every client to feel good about their choices.

3) No, it’s no problem at all to change your 500 chair pad and 500 chair order from light blue chair pads to dark blue chair pads and white chiavari chairs to gold chiavari chairs the day before your wedding. (Sarcasm.)

4) You don’t need to spend an hour staring at flatware patterns during your appointment. It doesn’t really matter what flatware pattern you choose – dishware and glassware are more important to change your tabletop.

5) You cannot fit 400 people in a 20 x 20 space no matter how you look at it–upside down, backwards, sideways–nothing will make it grow.

6) Just because you see it on Pinterest doesn’t mean we can replicate it at a DIY cost, in a pasture, during sunset, with no rain, on destroyed yet charming farm tables, with mismatching dishware, with fireflies twinkling in the background …

7) Ask the people who load in what the load in time frame is, instead of telling them an entire tractor trailer full of dance floors, staging, chairs, chandeliers, tables and tenting needs to be unloaded in 10 minutes at 5 p.m. on a Saturday.

8) Be sure to limit the amount of items on your table. Stacking dishware, adding glassware, floral centerpieces, napkins, name cards, salt and pepper shakers, and candles can overcrowd your table to the point where you don’t have enough room to eat.

9) Almost always use floor-length linens. Lap-length linens should be used for casual events such as outdoor graduation parties or as an overlay on top of floor-length linens. Use table skirting sparingly–it’s best used on bar kits.

10) While we will do anything we can to help you, we are a rental company that provides added production services. We are not party planners and cannot plan your entire event.

11) Even though we do business together and get along, you are not our only customer. We cannot talk all day on the phone, and I may not be able to immediately respond to your email.

12) Trust us. We like what we do, and we’re kind of good at it. Despite what you may think, we always have your best interest in mind.

13) How the elements of an event get layered: All vendors should not show up to a venue at the same time to trip over each other on set-up. The same goes for load-out: First in, last out! Communication is key. Production meetings for large events, with all parties participating, avoid big issues on day of set-up.

14) We make recommendations based on specific event and potential conditions that may happen. If even you insist it’s not going to rain on the day of your event, we can’t tell the sun to shine all day. We are not trying to inflate the bottom line, but need to talk about a rain plan! We are your partner and want your event to be successful.

15) We don’t mean to sound nosy when we ask about your menu, but we want to be sure we are offering appropriate serving choices based on what and how your food is being served. We swear, we’re not going to show up and eat your appetizers.

8 Habits of Amazing Event Planning

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This blog post is brought to you by Shari Zatman – Owner and Chief Inspiration Officer of Perfectly Planned by Shari & It’s Your Day. Let’s learn some of the eight habits of amazing event planning! 


1. Be Organized- This sounds obvious, but not all people are “Type A” organized people. Those who are make great event planners. We do what we do because we are master list makers, on top of all of the details and keep everything straight and on-time.

2. Multi-Task!- We are not just planning one event at a time, we have all of the details going at various stages for many events all at one time. Whew! Just writing that out makes me realize what an amazing feat that is!

3. Get Creative- This sets apart an average event planner from an amazing event planner. An amazing event planner finds new ways with every event to make it fresh, and visually interesting while maintaining  the client’s event vision and presenting it to them in a way they didn’t even know was possible.

4. Think “Out of the Box” – Never allow your events to get stale. Always be thinking about how a non-event related products and services can inspire you and be applied to an event. Find inspiration everywhere. For example, read home decor publications for inspiration and bring that to event styling. I make notes when I travel and get inspired and find ways to incorporate new discoveries into my events.

5. Be Practical- Make sure your client’s budget matches their expectation. Pinterest can be great for sharing our visions however if what your client shows you doesn’t align with their budget, an amazing event planner can do one of several things- A. Stretch the budget. B. Find acceptable lower budget options the client is happy with. C. Accept that the planner and client may not be the right fit for eachother if A and B aren’t options.

Escort Table
6. Manage the Budget– Maybe you can come up with the most fabulous event concept in the world, but if your client can’t afford it then it doesn’t even matter. The most amazing event planners can meet all of the needs of the client, produce a desired result and come in within an acceptable budget. That takes true skill and experience.

7. Provide Experience– Let’s face it, there truly is something to be said for hiring a professional event planner who makes this their full time career and comes with years of experience. There are many differences between “Miss I just planned my sister’s wedding and now I’m a Wedding Planner” and a professional amazing event planner. They include: Being able to think on your feet under pressure, making the right quick decisions, referring vendors that are also truly amazing, knowing how to answer your clients questions, keeping calm in all situations and more.

8. Create an Experience– This is very different from the fore mentioned “being experienced”. Creating an experience sets truly amazing event planners apart from the rest. THE experience is what guests will remember and take away from the event. Always ask your client how they want their guests to feel, what they want them to remember, what is most important to them about the event. The feeling and the memories are what remains long after the event ends.


How a Film Can Take Your Event to the Next Level

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This blog post is brought to you by Pittsburgh Wedding Film Makers – Post Script Productions. Co-owner and filmmaker, Carolyn Klasnick, shares with us the importance of films, and how they can take your event to the next level.

View More: http://leeannmarie.pass.us/postscript

Whether you’re planning or​ working an event, it’s important to understand why a film is an essential component ​that many people underestimate.

Film tells their story.

If you’re involved in a corporate event, having a professional filmmaker capture the activities and guests​ is something that takes the event to the next level. ​The footage can be edited into a film that showcases how successful the event was.​ A film can also be incorporated into the event by replacing powerpoints or photo slideshows.

​Incorporating a film into your follow up strategy accomplishes two key things: it reminds people of how great the event was and it ​gets them excited about the next event. This can be especially beneficial for non-profits. It can keep donation momentum as well as help increase attendance at the next event. Having a film also legitimizes an organization. Similar to how your clients and customers feel when they visit your professional website. A film will show viewers ​that your organization is one to be taken seriously. A film is also a great addition to your social media strategy. Online videos are being shared now more than ever.​

Video allows people to relive the event.

The number one regret I hear from married couples is that they didn’t hire a wedding filmmaker. The day goes by quickly and special moments may be missed or eventually forgotten.​ If you are a planner or vendor working with clients planning a wedding, a mitzvah, anniversary or milestone birthday, you can help them avoid that feeling of regret. A film is something that the client will be able to cherish forever. The flowers will die, the food will be eaten and then band will eventually have to stop playing, but the film can be watched over and over again. Some of the most cherished parts of our clients wedding films have been the toasts as well as the formal first dances with the couple and their parents. Having those memories on film is priceless.

A few things to keep in mind when deciding to incorporate a professional filmmaker into your event.

– The company you hire should be professional. From the quality of their films to the way they are dressed.​

– Make sure they take the time to understand the client, whether they are an engaged couple or an organization.​

– The company you hire should be personable and pleasant when interacting with event guests and other vendors.

– They should also b​e as discrete as possible during the event. They should not be in the way of guests or other vendors, but still be able to get the shots and interviews they need to create a great product.

– They should be mindful of necessary turnaround time. Event promo films should have faster turnaround times than other events like weddings or mitzvahs.


Having video of your event is essential. It breathes life back into your event after it’s over and keeps your guests thinking of you.


If you have any questions about event films, please contact us via email at info@postscriptproductions.com or by phone at 724.986.3455.

View some of Post Script Production’s Work:

Courtney & Frank Wedding Trailer:

2015 South Side Soup Contest:

Urban League 2014 Gala: