Greetings from my hotel room in sunny SoCal! This weekend I am installing a beach wedding in the suburbs of San Diego.
More often than not, I am planning a destination wedding for a couple coming to Las Vegas from out of town. On this particular occasion, the rolls are reversed! I’ve left my home base of Las Vegas and traveled to Mission Beach where I will serve as the wedding planner to Amanda Cohen and Phillip Safarik.
So, how does this work? Why would a couple decide to bring in a vendor from another market? Especially a wedding planner! How does the planning process differ, and how does the work product change when the wedding team is coming in from multiple markets?
For many couples, expanding their search beyond their own market gives them the chance to book the planner that they have the best connection with, and the most confidence in. With technology today, most planning and communication takes place by phone, email, and text message. But nothing takes the place of the warm and snuggly face to face meeting to put all parties at ease! There is a cost associated with bringing your planner in for a few days of power planning, but my our of state, destination wedding couples have always found it more than worth it!
One of the coolest things that happen when you bring in a vendor from an outsided market is that you get a whole new, fresh set of eyes. Just as I see the city of Las Vegas through the eyes of my clients, destination couples get to re-envision their own city and venue through me, bringing a whole new perspective and style to a location that they may be very familiar with.
For the creative partners that come together and work on the wedding, everyon’es location is secondary to communication and responsiveness. We all get to know one another by phone, Skype, and email. By the time we come face to face, we are typically embracing like old friends, energized and inspired by the new set of experiences that we each bring to table, motivated to create an environment that’s new and a feeling of camaraderie!
For me as a planner, the days are a little longer, the kids are missed desperately, and the schedule is expanded to make sure that no one on the home front or the work front feels neglected. But I have to tell you - The excitement of being in a new place, the professionals I get to meet and work with, and the experiences that I get to share with couples around the country outweigh everything. It’s so rewarding, and so motivating.
To give you a behind the scenes look at what it takes to do this well, I’ve scaled back the timeline (currently 18 pages, but who’s counting) to a quick to-do list that you might find interesting!
But for now I am off to enjoy my one lone dinner San Diego….
Send out final timeline. Contact each vendor and partner. Review with couple.
Review packing list. Pull all wedding inventory. Review timeline again. Touch base with couple. Cuddle kids. Try to breathe.
Up at 4:30 AM to get in extra time with kids and dog. Respond to all emails. Respond to all phone calls. Pack. Load inventory pieces into car. Review timeline again. Touch base with couple.
On the road by 10 AM. Chat with bride on earbuds until noon. Focus on driving.
In & Out by 1:15 PM.
2:00 PM Conference Call with Clients from Florida.
Check in at hotel by 4:00 PM.
Unpack everything from packing list. Confirm all wedding inventory made it. Review timeline again. Touch base with couple. Breathe.
Call Bride & Groom. Are they eatiing? Do they need anything? Text. Tweet. Respond to Emails. Respond to Phone Calls. Touch base with ALL other clients - I may be out of the office, but I am never unavailable.
Review timeline again.
Walk the ceremony location. Walk the reception location. Touch base with hotel staff. Touch base with couple.
Execute rehearsal. Walk space (again) with couple and hotel. Review timeline (again) with couple, hotel staff, and AEE task master team.
Execute Rehearsal Dinner. Review bill.
Back at the hotel. Review changes to timeline.
Respond to Emails. Respond to Phone Calls.
It’s on! This is it!
We get there first.
We leave last.
If it happens between those two times, it belongs to us!
WOW - Not done yet!
Wake up early. Send Love Note to the new Mr. & Mrs.
Shower & Coffee to combat the Wedding Hangover.
Review alll wedding inventory. Pack all wedding items. Pack all personal items.
Symbolically burn timeline. Just kidding - Move it to the “History” folder.
Check out of hotel, head to post wedding brunch. Walk space, greet clients, goodbye hugs and love all around.
Go to sleep with a smile on my face.
Wake & Repeat….No matter where in the world we are!
Oh, this…Just the view from my suite! 80 degrees and sunny all day…I’ll take it!
This weekend I will be heading to beautiful San Diego to produce a beachside wedding for a couple who love being outside. With a bride who runs outside daily and a groom who serves as a military meteorologist, it made sense that they would want to do go green and forgo paper as often as they can.
While this couple still sent printed invitations, more and more couples are seeking alternatives to the traditional printed invitation suite, opting instead to send something electronic. Some are being environmentally conscious, some are being cost conscious, and others are just dedicated to technology, and want to incorporate it into as many aspects of their wedding planning as possible.
Looking for an amazing alternative to the traditional paper options, but don’t want to sacrifice style? Consider Greenvelope, an online company dedicated to creating beautiful, personal, and fluid correspondence between you and your guests. By offering a couture selection of designs with event-specific functionality, Greenvelope has created an opportunity for you to enjoy traditional appearance with contemporary delivery.
And to show just how committed to the environment and the greater good that they are, Greenvelope donates a percentage of every sale to Mountains to Sound, a non-profit organization that maintains forests.
While I personally love paper, and the hoarder in me has a trunk full of beautiful invitations and programs from days gone by, I have to admit that I am really enjoying automated invitations and notices for the less formal events that surround the wedding.
More than that, however, I appreciate the online and electronic pieces as a great accompaniment to the printed paper. Instead of choosing between the two, I love the idea of sending out the keepsake invite, and then following up with a coordinating online piece that guests can refer to by phone, screenshot, and share!
#Repost from @wipalv:
Introducing the Las Vegas Chapter WIPA president, Andrea Eppolito! We are so honored to be guided by such a strong, dynamic person. Armed with nearly two decades of event planning experience, numerous awards (including a Special Events Gala Award and Las Vegas Wedding Professional of the Year) and backed with a degree from the highly respected University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Andrea’s work has been featured nationwide in The New York Times, The LA Times, Style Me Pretty, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, Glamor Magazine and more.
Renowned for designing weddings with soul, and called “vibrant, chic, and impeccably organized” by Junebug weddings, Andrea prides herself on being an advocate for her clients. Her tireless dedication is a testament to her love of weddings, allowing her to bridge the gap between wedding planner and friend.
Las Vegas Wedding Planner Andrea Eppolito was born in New York, and lived bicoastally between New York and LA, before relocating to Las Vegas in 1994. After 20 years she considers herself “nearly a native” of the city she now resides in with her husband and children.
Andrea Eppolito Events LLC is based in Las Vegas, and operates world wide. #wipa #wipalv
Having been known for saying “I am not a joiner” and meaning it for many years, you may find it odd that I have not only joined WIPA Las Vegas, but I have accepted the position of Founding President.
So how does someone who’s spent an entire career avoiding organizations suddenly decide to found one? It has little to do with me, and everything to do with the WIPA Organization itself.
WIPA stands for the Wedding Industry Professionals Association, and is dedicated to the the standard and ideals that they impart, the teams commitment to education, and the professional ethical standards that they are guided by.
I didn’t always avoid organizations and mixers. However, often times I found them to primarily comprised of people intent on whining, complaining, and aggressively soliciting business and referrals. The educational aspects were often lost, the food and beverage was uninspired, and I left feeling more drained than invigorated.
Not so with WIPA. I attended a meeting in Southern California and was blown away by not only the quality of the attendees and the class and professionalism that they conducted themselves with, but also with the quality of content. From the space which was decorated beautifully to the educational speaker, the tablescapes and decor, the menu, and the design presentation…No detail was overlooked. I felt as if I was in a one-day intensive Engage! experience.
As I spent more time learning about WIPA, I became passionately convinced that this is an organization that Las Vegas needs, and I wanted to be a part of bringing that level of style, sophistication, and luxury education to the market.
Las Vegas has always been known as “the wedding capital of the world” for the sheer quantity of weddings that take place here. What people sometimes forget is the quality of weddings that Las Vegas produces, the extent of luxury weddings in Las Vegas, and the top of the line food, decor, artistic expression, and execution that take place both on and off the strip. WIPA willl not only serve as a platform to magnify those luxury weddings, but to build upon them and grow the talent that is already existing in this market.
The most exciting part about WIPA is how the education and elevation of the Las Vegas market will impact couples that are marrying here. WIPA is meticulous about screening it’s members, meaning that anyone associated with the organization has already been vetted and proven to have years of experience, a strong reputation, and a sound business model.
But more than that, participating WIPA members are certain to have a unique approach to planning your wedding, since they are not only on the frontline of emerging trends, but take part in creating them and setting the bar for the next big thing. Which, of course, should be you.
The dynamics of our board, and of our membership, are certain to strengthen existing relationship, and build new ones. As custodians of the wedding community, we will interaacg better, know more, and produce events with stronger focus, more meaning, and more detail than ever before.
Founding WIPA Las Vegas Board of Directors
President - Andrea Eppolito of Andrea Eppolito Events
Secretary - Susan Tran of The Bellagio Resort
Treasurer - Gabriella Cote of By-Dzign
Director of Education - Dennis Silknitter of The Four Seasons Las Vegas
Director of Programs - Rissa Gunderson, Tara Federico, Traci Keefer of Scheme Events
Director of Sponsorship - Rebecca Stebbins of The Venetian Resort
Director of Social Media & Marketing - Dalisa Cooper of Alt F Photography
Director of Membership - Randi Garrett of Naakiti Floral
National Liaison - Brit Bertino of Event Excellence by Brit Bertino
Beautiful Paper & Invitation Suite by @paperandhome A glamorous wedding invitation suite. @andreaeppolito #glitter #envelopeliners #blushandblack #pocketweddinginvitations #elegant #classy #glamorousweddinginvitations #weddingrehearsalinvitations #ceremonyprogramfans #ceremonyprograms #accommodationcards #replycards #weddinginvitations #weddinginvites #thesmithcenter #blushpink