Literary Inspirations: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Posted by on Feb 8, 2011 in Blog | 4 Comments

So I keep getting everyone near and dear to me to re-read One Hundred Years of Solitude. You need to give it a chance as an adult to understand the crazy and cyclical life of the Buendia family in Macondo. It makes me think of bold colors, drama, and family. This is how I think it would translate to wedding!

From Left to Right, an Anne Bowen sexy short gown, oranges under a bouganvillea tree, a Colombian village, Simon Bolivar, hairstyle at Carolina Herrera runway show, Ines Di Santo gown, Latina Bride stock photo, US Angels flower girl dress,  Talvera tiles from Laura Hooper Calligraphy, Preston Bailey design/Marcy Blum Event, Paloma Blanca Mantilla veil.

Bailey & Blum: A Mentoring Weekend

Posted by on Jul 9, 2010 in Blog | 5 Comments

Living in NY, I’m not one to be star-struck (except for that time a few weeks ago when I chased down Andrew McCarthy and told him he was the crush of my teenage years), however there were a few Wederatti that I admired from afar since the early days of our business and Marcy Blum, was one of them. When Mayra and I met Marcy we were at a small-ish dinner event for 30, we spent the entire next day saying “I can’t believe we met Marcy Blum!”

marcy-headshotSince then, Mayra and I have gotten to hang out with Marcy many times and in addition to her being truly Legendary (ISES recently honored her with a LEGEND award) at her work, our time with her is ALWAYS educational.  We literally can point to things that Marcy has schooled us on and how it vastly improved our business. So, if some of you who are reading this are ALSO wedding professionals, Marcy Blum and Preston Bailey have announced another Bailey & Blum mentoring weekend. It’s an intimate weekend of study here in New York where you not only learn from the two masters, but you will experience some amazing social opportunities as well.  Is it cheap? No. Is it Invaluable? Absolutely . I recently asked the Eventiste a bit more about the weekend.

X: Marcy, you coined the phrase “Eventiste”, which we at AAB love.  Why? and what’s the difference between that and a wedding planner?

M: An “eventiste’ has to own the entire event  rather than just be the vendor liaison or spread sheet producer. Every aspect of the event should fall under their auspisces. I started using ‘eventiste” as a tongue and cheek description bc I hated the term planner so much.  But I’ve come to like it because it’s as amorphous as my job really is-a a designer, definitely a conceptualist, an orchestrator,a bit of a logistician and a general contractor.

main-left-imageX: When I was a young planner and even today when I meet young or new wedding planners, I often find that they are so in love with weddings that they forget that they are running a business and that businesses need to be profitable.  Do you agree and do you and Preston address this in your Bailey and Blum seminars?

M: We definitely address the realities of running a business of this kind, one where the emotional attachments to the client sometimes outweigh the realities of making a profit.  We are very into the pragmatics as well as the art .

X: You and Preston have been collaborating for years on fantasy, multi-million dollar weddings. Can some of the secrets of your successes be passed on to professionals who AREN’T working with clients at that price point?

M: The reason that we decided to hold these Bailey& Blum weekends, is exactly that-to show colleagues that all the same rules pertain no matter what the clients budget is (well, within reason of course) and to give them the tools to get to those budgets. The weekend is for anyone in our business who wants to get the most out of their career-our attendees particularly enjoyed the one on ones with each of us, as we were able to give them very specific ideas for their businesses.

bakeryoverviewX: One of the things I most admire about your weddings a is that there is always the insertion of a very clever, very original take on something… say, like your breakfast bar .  What inspires these moments of Eventiste genius?

Why thank you sweetheart, I’m flattered. I try to be open to all ideas when I’m out and about (which I am a lot) and not look for things so wedding-centric. In that way you are not putting boundaries on your creative process by placing boundaries on what’s “appropriate for a wedding” before the idea has even gelled.

Bailey & Blum will be held August 6-8, 2010 in NYC.

Bailey and Blum

Posted by on Jan 28, 2010 in Blog | 3 Comments

In honor of the fact that this evening is the SURE TO BE FABULOUS book launch for Preston Bailey’s Celebrations book, I thought I’d take the chance to spread the news to my professional, non-bride readers out there about a fantastic opportunity to really expand your horizons and broaden your career outlook: The Bailey & Blum mentoring weekend.

Preston Bailey and Marcy Blum are arguably the top of the top when it comes to event designers and event planners in the business.  In fact, they actually changed the game.  Before Jung Lee was barking orders or David Tutera was pigmaleon, Preston and Marcy were re-inventing, re-imagining and elevating the concept of what a wedding or social event could even be.

main-middle-imageWell, these two industry icons, friends and frequent collaborators are opening the doors of Preston’s studio for an intimate (40 person) mentoring weekend for wedding professionals.  Attendees will get to talk shop, see the ins and outs of what it’s like to really plan weddings on “the next level” and get advice about guiding your career and business in a personal intimate setting.  PLUS, you get to stay somewhere kind of swanky in New York, eat  some amazing food and…. well, there are a ton of surprises that they have in store that I’m certainly not privvy too.

Obviously, this kind of access and mentorship isn’t cheap- I mean, it’s Preston and Marcy- but it is AN INVESTMENT.

For a moment, I hope I can get on my soap box.  Lately, there seem to be a BOUNTY of previously unheard of, or totally green “wedding experts” charging an awful lot of money to attend academies or become “superstar wedding planners”… and I personally have been skeptical of what exactly, for all the money that they charge other planners/ designers/ professionals can they tell you about that a few great business books and a well spent weekend at Engage! couldn’t…

There actually ARE things that Preston & Marcy can tell you that NO ONE ELSE CAN.  I’ll be honest, I do personally know and love Marcy…. We’ve gotten to know her over the past year (once Mayra and I could stop being so nervous that we were in her presence and actually say something) and just in the time we’ve known her, I’ve become a better planner who values my talents and time more AND who thinks a little more out of the box than before.  We spent an amazing 2 hours at her office a few months ago where, upon leaving, I turned to Mayra and said “We plan weddings, she plans experiences”.  I only write about this weekend because I feel really confident that it will be transformational for those who attend!   Registration is live now….

Wedding Web Roundup 4!

Posted by on Sep 25, 2009 in Business Advice | 4 Comments

So, there have been SOOO many great things happening in the world o’ wedding websites, that I had to do another Wedding Web roundup of some sites you should definitely check out if you haven’t been on there already!

First, the site that I had raved about, Wedding Relay, which helps brides, moms, and bridal parties plan the wedding and surrounding events has now launched it’s blog, the Wedding Blog Party. It’s a take on weddings from all sorts of perspectives including bridesmaids, parents, groomsmen AND even moi! Some of our wisdom from Always a Blogsmaid will be up on the Wedding Blog Party AND in the coming weeks several other wedding pros will be chiming in to the party! How to handle drunk wedding guests? Check. Is Jay-Z a Guru of love and marriage? Maybe. Can you send a STD via Facebook? It’s all covered at the Blog Party!

If you are in the Bay Area and getting hitched you NEED TO BE VISITING this site! San Francisco Dream Wedding is the home of the amazing Dream Wedding Give-away. A team of the area’s top pro’s are putting together the wedding of a lifetime for FREE for one lucky couple! Couples have until November 25th to enter the contest. I just checked out the prizes and it’s PRETTY amazing.  The winning couple will enter their love story and it will be voted on by us readers.

Finally, if you haven’t been reading The Adventures of Wedhead & Eventista, you really need to be.  It’s the blog by my heroine (and frankly, the hero to all wedding planners out there) Marcy Blum.  Since Mayra and I can’t get enough of her, we are thrilled that she’s just a hilarious, witty writer with UBER degrees of knowledge on all things wedding.  She and her co-author/ alter-ego Eventista write about things wedding, and personal and likes (front yards in Carroll Gardens) to dislikes (the “over” trends of cupcake tiers and white lounge for afterparties).  WedHead is the wedding savant writer (who was also probably up dreaming of how to accessorize wedding gowns at 4AM this morning.  Add to your bookmarks, ladies!

Are You Going to New York Weddings?Ven

Posted by on Mar 31, 2009 in Practical Planning | No Comments

I’ve spent the whole day getting ready for tomorrow’s New York Weddings event!  We’ll be showcasing a fabulous table top “Look for Less” and raffling off 10 hours of consultation services ($1,000 value- and that’s no April Fool’s Joke!). I ‘ll be announcing the winner on our blog on Thursday.  Plus, we have a special invitation to attendees tucked inside the gift bag!
Our new friend Marcy Blum will be there, along with commonly mentioned names on Always a Blogsmaid like CECI, Christian Oth, Elan Artists, Mark Ingram, Pronovias, Ron Ben-Israel, Milk and Honey Video, Shiraz Caterers…. and the list goes on and on and on!  And there are tons of other vendors who I haven’t met yet.

I think I mentioned before that participating in this event feels like rings on the tree of our business, and it has such a sentimental place in my heart.  We met Jessy of Fleurs there a few years ago (who is providing all the flowers for the event and has been
designing day and night) and always get to connect with brides and meet some readers. So Mayra and I will be on hand to answer any questions, and generally have a great time.  If you were going to be there, please come by and say hi!  If not, I’ll be posting pics!  Oh, and not too late to get tix!