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10 Professional Wedding Planning Tips for Clients

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Are you aware that more than 2 million weddings are performed in the United States each year? Thanks to these and other wedding figures, we know that being a wedding planner can be satisfying both financially and emotionally. Whether you schedule one or a dozen weddings this year, both professional event managers and wedding planners should make use of wedding scheduling tips to make the most of their unique customer days!

1. Expand the wedding know-how.

Learn how to plan wedding, photograph and make cake so you know the difference between what is good and what is really nice. You can also sell these services together with your preparation in a kit. It takes a while, but this is a wedding planning guide that event planners can use for any wedding.

It is also a smart business sense, as well as a great help to the happy couple. Bringing these abilities to your team will allow you to stand out. It will also allow you to sell services and make more money than you would if your job was limited to just planning.

2. Organize an initial meeting on wedding planning.

Initial planning sessions have provided the basis for the wedding’s success in every way. Next, you must set and handle your goals in compliance with budgets, dates and other major components of the wedding event.

Next time you will also want to review your contract. Most precisely, what is included in the contract or not. If hurried late night calls are not accepted during the months before the big day, inform them that if you email you, you will always get a reply by 10 am the next day.

The next thing that you have to consider is interests. What are their thoughts already? Do these ideas match in with a cohesive theme? How can you make your wedding unique and special in an innovative and budget-friendly way? To fill the gaps, brainstorm together.

Oh, and ensure that you follow the meeting with written documentation of all that you have addressed. Things may change on the way, but you’re all on the same page now, so there are no surprises.

3. Note that consumers have the final say.

Even if the taste is poor. Most significantly, the couple are content with all the choices they have made. It’s just too bad for you, their friends, their bridal party, or anyone else who doesn’t like it. It’s their special day, and whatever they want they should have the right to veto.

That said, several newbie wedding planners end up being bowled over by more assertive couples who love the idea but hate it when it comes to execution. This is where your wedding planning background needs to be balanced with your customer service skills. When their plan is difficult or unlikely to succeed, it is your job to make sure that you propose one or more ways to help them achieve their goal and still pull it off.

4. Relationships with your preferred wedding suppliers.

Remembering this is important even when you’re just beginning. All designers of wedding events bring to the table their own skills, style and experience. But a wedding planner who also brings along with them an army of qualified, tried-and-true vendors? It is above and beyond now.

Make sure that you have on your list a wide range of vendors that suits your budget and style. You never know what a customer might ask for! You might even come to define your own personal style of wedding planning. If that’s the case, you’re going to want to pick groups of vendors who can work well together in terms of mood and communication, regardless of which brands are selected.

Soon assemble your dream teams and make friends with the best vendors you can find.

5. Have a backup plan for all major components of the union.

The most common wedding mishaps, according to the Bridal Guide, include: red wine or bridal gown staining food.
A guest at the wedding gets too intoxicated and makes a scene.
Mid-event shifts in unpredictable weather.
A fainting bride, husband, or visitor.
The team at the function is late or someone has been calling out sick.
Have you already had ideas about how to handle the situation while keeping the guests relaxed and happy as you read through that list? If not, preparation is time to begin.

But don’t think about these plans to your clients until you have to use them. Sure, when they recruit you, they will feel comfortable because they know you’re going to be there to deal with all these things and more.

But if you show them the many (and we mean many) ways that even the easiest weddings can go wrong, they can get confused easily. So let them know that you’ve covered them, but don’t worry about the specifics. And when the time comes, they’re just going to be so much more impressed by their super hero abilities as you save their wedding day from near catastrophe.

6. Streamline the paperwork of wedding.

Paperwork is a must when a professional wedding planner is present. Nevertheless, it is easier to arrange and ignore these piles of contracts, vendor agreements and proposals until they become necessary. This is why it is so important to have a paperwork intake system, signature recovery and documentation. It is important to always make sure everybody is paying and is on the same page so that the documents are transparent and easy for all investors to access when necessary!

7. Shape relationships with event venues for wedding.

Wedding venues are a competitive world, particularly if you are a wedding planner in a big city with high-demand spaces or a small town where high-season choices are fun but minimal. Teaming with wedding venues allows you and your customers to get out. Wedding event venues would love to have you back in their room in the future if you’re a joy to work with. Also couples who are looking for a professional local wedding planner may be recommended.

And if you have a couple whose entire wedding dream revolves around a specific location that is normally in high demand, you can let them know that you have a pre-existing relationship with their management team. If you can book as a priority, it’s perfect! But even if that’s not a possibility, it’s a great selling point for new customers simply to know that you’ve worked with that location in the past because they cover your business website.

8. Have a plan to fail.

We have already addressed the importance of having a wedding plan or components which go wrong the day. But what about a strategy if you manage the feelings of your customers before the big event? If someone has a meltdown, it will be your job to make sure that the problem is resolved and that the person feels secure, satisfied and excited again.

Such problems may even go beyond what you can manage, especially if interpersonal disputes are involved. As their wedding planner, you will only benefit from a systematic way to motivate them in advance. One of the best qualities as a wedding planner is thinking on your feet. And it’s much simpler to have a panic strategy!

9. Build a robust portfolio platform.

The portfolio of wedding sites is perfect for your business. It helps you find yourself online, organizes your relevant experiences easily, and points out what you can give to your customers. But it’s perfect also for the clients! You may have pictures of similar events, past lookbooks, or blogs about stories you may share behind the scenes to inspire your own case.

Make sure to include each of the following when designing your portfolio site: a detailed list of services you provide and an estimated cost of each kit.
Your theory of wedding planning and an explanation of how you deal with customers.
Pictures of past events as well as explanations of what you have done to make it so good.
New customers are welcome to check in with a range of validated references.
Any relevant professional awards, memberships or qualifications that add value to the planning skills of your wedding.
You’ll want to make sure you have the rest of the things in your wedding planning toolkit.

10. Can handle multiple projects at once, use one or more wedding planning tools.

Planning many marriages at once? Then you really need to keep it straight on top of your organization game. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to cover a wide range of wedding planning tasks, free (or inexpensive), easy to use. Some of our wedding planning resources have been mentioned here.

To complete and coordinate activities, you can use marriage planning apps and websites such as: diagrams of the wedding tools to help arrange your wedding and share information about your caterers, entertainers and other suppliers. Try free tools for 3D wedding style.
Free post applications synchronizing your digital invitation list to send email reminders, invites and RSVPs at defined intervals automatically.
A curated list of real examples of local vendors and venues to help narrow your search.

Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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Catcher James McCann returns after six weeks on injured list with hamate fracture

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Catcher James McCann returns after six weeks on injured list with hamate fracture

James McCann returned to his usual squat behind the plate on Saturday, catching for none other than the Mets starter with a six-pitch arsenal.

With McCann’s left hamate fracture, ensuing surgery and rehab behind him, the Mets backstop played for the first time in six-plus weeks, batting ninth, in the Mets’ game against the Marlins in Miami. Right-hander Chris Bassitt was on the hill for the Amazin’s, pitching to McCann again for the first time since May 2 against the Braves at Citi Field.

There is perhaps no other starting pitcher on the Mets’ starting five that missed McCann more than Bassitt, who has a 2.61 ERA in five starts pitching to him. That battery works so well because McCann is known to do extensive homework on his starters, and Bassitt’s toolbox features a sinker, cutter, slider, fastball, curveball and changeup that requires patience and quick-thinking behind the plate.

Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner has said Bassitt is at his best when he’s throwing all six of his offerings confidently. While McCann sat on the IL, it took nearly a month for Bassitt to get on the same page with Mets backup catcher Tomas Nido. During that stretch, Bassitt allowed 22 earned runs in 26 innings, making for the worst spread of starts in his eight-year career.

It should be smooth sailing for Bassitt with McCann back behind the plate, beginning with the righty’s 15th outing of the year on Saturday. For McCann, he will try to start anew and have a better season offensively than the numbers he posted to begin the year.

McCann is hitting a pedestrian .196/.266/.286 with one home run, six RBI, two walks, two doubles and 11 strikeouts across his first 21 games of the season. In the 28 games that Nido filled in for the injured McCann, the backup catcher hit .225/.281/.236 with nine RBI, six walks, one double and 23 strikeouts. Patrick Mazeika, who also helped replace McCann, was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on Friday.

OTTO THE WORKHORSE

Adam Ottavino is quietly having one of his best seasons in three years. The veteran reliever, who pitched for the Yankees from 2019-2020 before landing with the Red Sox last year, has a 2.60 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 30 relief appearances for the Mets this season. His 27.2 innings pitched are fourth-most in the relief corps, behind Drew Smith (31.2 IP), Edwin Diaz (28.2 IP), and Seth Lugo (28.1 IP). His 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings are second-most on the Mets pitching staff (minimum of five innings pitched).

Ottavino has allowed one earned run in his last 19 relief appearances, posting a 0.50 ERA with nine hits, five walks and 18 strikeouts in that span. He tossed 1.1 scoreless innings against the Marlins on Friday, including leaving the bases loaded in relief of Smith in the seventh inning. He’s holding right-handed hitters to a .147 batting average this season, and has posted a 0.71 ERA with three walks and 14 strikeouts in 14 games on the road this year.

The Mets acquired Ottavino in March, just days after the MLB lockout was over and spring training had finally begun. The Brooklyn native posted a 4.21 ERA in 69 appearances for the Red Sox last year, striking out 71 batters in 62 innings. But he hasn’t had a season this good since 2019 with the Yankees, when he recorded a 1.90 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 66.1 innings and 73 outings.

NL EAST WARRIORS

The Mets have done a solid job squashing their division so far this season. They are 23-8 against the NL East this year, including an 11-1 mark in their last 12 games against division rivals. The Amazin’s have lost back-to-back games against NL East opponents only once all season, which took place more than two months ago at Washington and Philadelphia on April 10-11. Their .742 winning percentage is the best intradivisional record in baseball, and they’ve outscored their NL East rivals 162-101 this year.

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Magic’s secrecy during NBA draft process could lead to long-term benefits

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Magic’s secrecy during NBA draft process could lead to long-term benefits

What seemed like a 180-degree turn really wasn’t. The Orlando Magic knew what they were doing all along.

The Magic chose Duke star Paolo Banchero at No 1 overall. He was too good to pass up for one of the league’s worst offenses. He can score in a multitude of ways such as transition, pull-up jumpers and offensive rebounds.

Banchero wasn’t the expected choice on well-respected mock draft boards like CBS Sports and ESPN. Most thought he’d be a top-three pick, likely landing with the Houston Rockets, but the Magic kept who they desired most a mystery until the last minute.

Why the secrecy?

The answer is simple — strategy.

“It helps you do business better,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday night. “Whatever partners you’re trying to engage with — whether it’s an agent, another team or whomever — they trust you more if they know you can be discreet with managing your information. It’s a smart way to do business. It’s a part of our strategy of success.”

There was a method to the Magic’s magic. They worked out several prospects during the lead up to the draft, including Jaden Ivey, Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren. Not Banchero.

It wasn’t unusual for the Magic not to have their future picks partake in pre-draft workouts. Jalen Suggs, a 2021 lottery pick out of Gonzaga, didn’t workout for them.

Banchero had multiple conversations with the Magic that included how coach Jamahl Mosley plans to use him and how he’d fit on the team.

“Talking to coach Mosley, he told me he just wanted to teach guys how to play and how to play efficiently,” Banchero said. “I feel like I really thrive with that.”

Banchero averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game at Duke, but his fit is about more than numbers.

All the while, the Magic were operating in stealth mode.

The Magic likely earned respect from a lot of teams by keeping their intentions clandestine, including from the teams at Nos. 2 (Oklahoma City) and 3 (Houston). The influence of social media and power held by agents, who can leverage that information to benefit their clients, makes leaks inevitable.

The Magic took control instead and buttoned up.

“Honestly, I think that serves a good purpose because not only is it important for us to keep our information discreetly so the players know they can trust us,” Weltman said. “But it’s also important when teams call because I believe we’re a team that other teams know they can make discreet phone calls to and it won’t get out. The way you manage information is a big part of this business.”

The next stage comes July 1 when free agency opens. Maybe the Magic’s tactfulness will pay dividends immediately and help accelerate their rebuild. Leaks can weaken a team’s position in the market. A 22-win team, second-worst in the NBA last season, has to be even more meticulous.

“You never know what’s going to come up. You never know what other teams are trying to do behind you,” Weltman said. “I can tell you we’ve had conversations with every team, including those right behind us [in the draft]. I could flip the question and say, ‘What’s to be gained [by talking]?’

“It’s the best way to do business.”

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Bonnie Blodgett: Challenging a challenger of garden myth, as experience advises

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Bonnie Blodgett: It’s nearly time to tap the sap of my Autumn Blazes

I was invited to an online gardening presentation last week, put on by New Society Publishers and starring one of its authors, the famed Ontario botanist and gardener Robert Pavlis.

In his talk, “Plant Science for Gardeners: Essentials for Growing Better Plants,” Pavlis gently skewered not EVERY misconception we garden writers routinely pass on to our readers as if it were fact, but a handful of the more popular ones. With relish.

Bonnie Blodgett

I will offer a sample here, by way of either fleshing out or flat-out correcting some of my own gaffes.

But first, I must remind you that I have never been awarded an advanced degree in botany (my major was journalism) or claimed to have been. In other words, I never promised you a rose garden.

Or did I?

Moreover, if I’ve led you astray from time to time, it’s not for lack of being true to the best, fact-based and scientifically proven gardening advice I’ve ever given anyone:

The best way to learn how to do something is to do it.

Not that I could change my ways if I tried. I’m too damn old, and when I was young, I was too damn young.

Faithful readers won’t be surprised to find out that YouTube videos are not my go-to when something needs fixing around the house, any more than online experts are how I solve gardening problems.

Just the other evening, for instance, as the mercury soared to a record high, I was in one of the units I rent out on Airbnb trying to figure out how to keep cool air from seeping under two French doors into an adjacent, uncooled space that I call the Tropical Jungle. (The rental unit has a window air-conditioner. Most of my house is cooled with fans.)

Conventional door sweeps being useless in this situation thanks to the wildly uneven floors, I finally rummaged around in the garage and came up with a roll of fiberglass insulation.

I knew that only something spongelike would compress to fit under the door where the floor rises, while holding its shape where the floor sinks.

The project took about 20 minutes. Guests will be none the wiser, as the thin strips I scissored to fit the bottom of each door and then secured with packing tape, were then covered with painter’s tape that matches the door color.

A handy friend had tried to solve this problem before I took over. After perusing the aisles of Menards, he showed up at my house with a length of rigid foam tubing, the kind used to insulate plumbing pipes. I told him to return the tubes and not buy anything else unless it was a pair of sponges shaped (more or less) like baseball bats.

There being no such item at Menards or anywhere else, I pressed him into service as my surgical nurse. He handed me the scissors and/or the tape while holding the door in place.

Can I monetize this? No. There isn’t a consumer-product solution for any of the one-in-a-million problems that number in the billions.

Nor is there a quick-fix solution (in-a-bottle or otherwise) for nine-tenths of the problems I find in my garden, despite the best efforts of the experts and despite our economy’s never-ending pursuit of ways to monetize everything. Some things can’t be scaled up.

I mean, how do you scale up a flexible under-door gap remover?

How many people live in 1880-vintage wood frame houses?

Why does “This Old House” also go by the name “This Old Million-Dollar House?” Because the solution that gets scaled up and put on TV is to take the house down to the studs or further, today’s homeowner having been persuaded that a house that isn’t “plumb and square” is a disaster waiting to happen. This is not because of tornadoes but what the neighbors will think. Oh, and resale? Look out!

OK, so getting back to Robert Pavlis.

I did write here some years ago that oak trees have tap roots. This, according to Pavlis, is a bald-faced lie.

It’s actually more like a little white lie.

Oak trees grow in stages, Pavlis explained, and thus have two sets of roots; the older the tree the more dependent it becomes on the second and increasingly dominant root system comprising shallow roots that extend far outside the tree canopy, sometimes all the way down the block!

But the tap root does exist, its purpose to keep the tree erect when it’s young and defenseless.

Pavlis was also enlightening on weather and climate. Garden writers (like me) who have been encouraging readers to ”push” USDA zones, on the theory that climate change is pushing our plants, are kidding ourselves (and you).

Notwithstanding my own successful experiments in zone pushing, it takes a lot more than a few degrees to change a plant’s hardiness range. Global warming involves a 3-degree uptick in heat (at which point we all die), not the 10 or 20 or 30 degrees that differentiate USDA zones.

Once again (as with his debunking of the myth that oak trees have a tap root) I must quibble with the expert. More than just temperature is involved in what we call climate change.

I plant more Zone 5 (i.e., less hardy) perennials than I used to not just because I’m betting against a return of minus-40 cold snaps but because such plants often tolerate heat better. Maybe they have root systems that go deep for water. Some even have tap roots!

It’s the shallow-rooted plants, whether they’re Zone 4 or 5, that don’t like our new weather’s extreme inconsistency and the way it enables heretofore unheard-of pestilence.

Plants are more likely to die from a long-term drought or an onslaught of baseball-sized hail or monsoon-like rains that can’t drain and get sick because of it, or, like our ash trees, get infested with a bug that used to be unable to survive our cold winters and can now, than plain old ordinary blistering heat.

My goal is to plant whatever can deal with all this, regardless of its USDA zone. Indeed, some of the toughest in the summer months are tropical and semi-tropical plants that I reward for their resilience by bringing them inside for the winter.

One of Pavlis’s facts that I can’t second-guess, because I have never grown sunflowers, is that sunflowers kiss. The truth is, they rotate their huge flower heads twice a day, first toward the rising and then toward the setting sun, to extend their window of solar-storage opportunity. Sometimes this frenetic swiveling results in what looks like kissing. It isn’t.

What was most interesting to me about Pavlis’s botany lesson was the Botany. Yes, I mean with a capital B. Things I know intuitively about plant behavior he gave names to.

What we think of as flowers are usually something else, such as bracts (euphorbia) or sepals (clematis).

As to conifers, Pavlis urged us to leave them alone, all except the yews, which can be pruned for shape (see yew topiaries) quite aggressively.

All other conifers should be handled with care … and restraint, lest you remove the living cells from which fresh foliage grows.

As a rule, it is only safe to take off new growth, the candles of a pine or the lighter-green tips of an arborvitae, for example—and to do this just as the new growth appears. This way you’ll know which is new and which isn’t.

I’ve told you about my misadventure with three blue globe spruce that are evenly spaced along a retaining wall in my front garden.

The happy ending, I have not told you about.

Having failed to curb their enthusiasm when I had the chance (by frequent pruning of their candles when they were young), I finally had no choice but to hack off all the dead wood that perpetuates the lie that these ungainly looking plants are shrubs.

I turned all three into trees.

Taming my blue globe spruce began about three years ago. Clearly, they were not the “well-behaved dwarf that makes this gem the perfect structure plant” I’d brought home on the assumption that they wouldn’t cost this much if they weren’t the good cops my garden was begging for.

Wrong-oh! They were thugs.

By hacking off the pointy tops that shot up like witch’s hats from the “tidy globes,” I gave them a horizontal habit. Removing all the dead lower branches and twigs that used to BE the tidy globes was the next and, I hope, final step.

Then, in the dense shade of the evergreen canopy where dead branches had been, I planted “Alaska” nasturtiums. They don’t mind poor soil and in fact prefer it and are not greedy when it comes to sunlight or water either.

The nasturtiums are now poised to spill over the stone retaining wall (under their own weight) and lap up the sun. By midsummer they’ll be flowering their heads off.

“Alaska” has variegated leaves. This, too, makes it the perfect choice for this site. Variegation equates with slow growth, caused by less chlorophyl, and it also equates with shade tolerance, for the same reason.

Which brings me to Pavlis’s next topic: the many ways plants fight against variegation and other “improvements” bred into them by humans, so as to revert to their “original” selves.

Pavlis showed how reversion causes grafted roses and fruit trees to send up shoots of its wilder and hardier precursor (and what to do about it: prune the suckers immediately), and why variegated hostas and heucheras and other manmade cultivars also revert.

Bottom line: If your fancy perennials are going dull green on you, it’s because it makes their life easier. Green is the color of chlorophyl. And the more chlorophyl, the more energy the plant can photosynthesize.

A Botanist (capital B) would require a semester to explain the details of this amazing process to his or her college students. I am NOT going there.

Suffice to say, it’s your job to make these lazy sots suffer a little, in return for which your variegated lovelies will receive lavish praise when garden tourists come calling. This applies also to plants with chartreuse coloring and/or streaks, splashes, speckles and the like.

So grab your hedge shears and remove that boring green leaf before its kind takes over completely. Remember what I said about scaling up? It’s not just a human thing. Mother Nature does it too! But isn’t it more fun to go against the crowd and try something new?

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