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3 Things To Consider Before We Start Planning

It's Tip Tuesday! With so many newly engaged couples and folks planning for epic events, I decided it was so important to share some tips to help you as you consider your planning services.

Photo Credit: SC Stockshop

Photo Credit: SC Stockshop

Sensational Soirees is of course here and ready to help you with your beautiful soirees and weddings! We're literally one click or call away. Before or after you hit the contact button on our site, here are some great questions to ask yourself as you prepare to start planning:

1. What are your initial wants?

Rest assured, as planners we are here to assist you with shaping the vision of your event and executing the details and plans so you don't have to do it alone! But before we can present you with a proposal of service and make your event dreams come true, you have to share with us your initial wants.

Now, before you go running to Pinterest to figure out your wants, I would encourage you to grab a pen and paper first, and then sit and imagine your event or wedding. How do you want it to look? How do you want to feel? How do you want your guests to feel? What things would make you happy if they were incorporated in your event? What are your priorities - good food, beautiful decor and/or guest experience? Bring these answers (and your Pinterest board or inspirational photos, too) to your initial planning consultation. I also send all prospective clients a questionnaire, so this is a great place to elaborate on everything you're dreaming up.

2. How much CAN you realistically invest in your event?

While the role of a planner is definitely to help event hosts and couples to navigate budget and all the categories and factors that go into it, it is first good for you to consider how much you can or will financially contribute to your event. This is key whether you're working with a modest or big budget.

When I ask "what's your budget", I would recommend trying to avoid saying that you don't have a budget (even if in your mind you really don't have one yet). Perhaps you're really saying "I have no idea how much events cost" or perhaps "whatever the important things costs, I'll just be willing to pay for it". In either scenario, try to come up with the max amount you believe you are able to invest as this is so helpful. During the planning process, this number may change after I share my expertise and insight on the average costs of the things you want. However, coming to the table with a number is so beneficial, so that I can better advise you upfront based on your budget. 

3. What are you looking for in a planner?

I remember when I was planning to get married 9 years ago, and although the planner in me was being birthed during that time, I 100% knew I needed a professional planner - not a hobbyist. My planner was there every step of the way to cheer me and my husband on towards the aisle, provide expertise on vendors and everything that went into budget, and fully managed the wedding day and my stress level. She was someone who I relied on and someone I valued. To this day, I'm grateful for the investment we made in hiring a planner.

My wedding day was very important to me and required a certain level of service that only a professional planner could provide - again not a hobbyist or venue appointed coordinator. For weddings, I completely recommend hiring a professional planner; otherwise, it will be challenging to ensure your vision is executed and for you to relax on wedding day. For those of you who were like me 9 years ago and know there's no way you alone could plan the type of event or wedding you desire, I encourage you to share how my team can best serve you.

We would love to work with you, but truly believe it's all about making the right match for us both. Therefore, the things you are looking for are so helpful to communicate in your inquiry, questionnaire, and/or during your consultation. Additionally, our planning guide is an added asset, as it highlights the different levels of service we offer. Beyond service offerings, some of things our clients have mentioned that they love about us are: our personalities, background in weddings and special events, responsiveness in communication, creativity, great vendor connections, and being able manage it 'all' so they can relax. Maybe you need someone to help you stay on budget or an assuring voice that the day will go off without a hitch, whatever it is share it with us. When it comes to that over the top party for your child's first birthday, or your corporate holiday party or the day you say I do to the love of your life, we work hard to get to know you, and are eager to provide value to you and your event.

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography

Photo Credit: Rhea Whitney Photography


I can't wait to learn more about your upcoming wedding or event! Share in the comments section 1 thing you look for in a planner, and stay tuned for a future post where I'll be outlining WHY you should hire a planner.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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2 Recent Roll Outs You'll Love

Happy Thursday!

With it being back to school season, it's also a back to blogging season for me. Although it's been pretty quiet on the blog this summer, I was making noise with our amazing summer wedding season! Our July and August couples were so much fun to work with, and I also enjoyed some fun with my family and friends too - so a great summer indeed! How about you? How was your summer? Share in the comments section - I'd love to hear.

With my return to the beloved blog scene, I'm excited to share some news about 2 new roll outs that I hadn't mentioned before summer...and I'm pretty sure you're going to love them:

1. A New Wedding Service

While full service planning remains to be our most popular wedding planning service, I do still have couples who fall in love with partial planning and month of coordination. In the past only full service and partial planning have included design services. Well, I'm pleased to announce that I've restructured our month of coordination to include design - and with this new service, comes a new name: Wedding Execution and Design. 

So what does that mean exactly, you say? This means the couple who has or plans to do all of the wedding planning, but still needs a professional planner to manage the wedding day PLUS "the look" and design details of the wedding, can now have BOTH through our month of execution and design. We step in a few months before the wedding to map out the design of your day and needed vendor partnerships (florals, lighting, rentals etc.), and then 1 month before the big day we go over all the wedding plans and details you executed and step in as the leader for your wedding day, so you can relax and enjoy your special moment.

Why risk being stressed those last months leading up to the big day when a professional is waiting and equipped to give you the assistance you need. This new service will help to make sure your wedding day is absolutely beautiful and that your nerves are calmed just in time for the big day. And guess what?! I have ONE more 2017 slot available, and I'm booking now for 2018 weddings, so let's chat about your big day soon! Shoot me a note here.

The+Estate+Wedding+Photography.jpg

2. A New Client Portal for Events

Planners are hired for our ability to make event dreams come true, manage event logistics while keeping everything organized. With that in mind, I've naturally worked so hard to make sure the systems I have in place help to keep both me and my clients organized and in sync at all times. A couple of years ago I fell in love with a client portal site that I use with my wedding couples, and it gives us 24/7 online access to all the details I've added for that specific wedding. The system is so user friendly, and has revolutionized the way I manage event details.

Well this system is now customizable for events and other projects and not just weddings! That's right, whether we work together on a styled shoot, corporate launch party, first birthday soiree, or ladies luncheon you now get the benefit of my fabulous client/project management site. I've customized each client site so that me, my team and clients have:

  • Ease of finding contracts and important event documents
  • Ability to manage guest lists, rsvps, and seating charts
  • Comment/messaging style of communication that keeps conversation strings associated by category, task or vendor that can be referenced historically
  • Access to our customized task list, that is checked off as tasks are completed
  • Calendar to keep track of client and vendor meetings
  • Categorized Budget System that the client and my team have access to update, along with an invoice manager that tracks due dates for all vendor invoices
  • Design Studio to upload photos of event ideas, with the ability to add comments, which limits the need for being inundated with Pinterest
  • Categorized Notes section to house important details
  • My personalized list of vendor referrals and contact list for booked vendors
  • And so much more!
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In short, not only do my clients get to enjoy phone chats, coffee meetings and other forms of traditional communication essential for the planning process, but they also get an enhanced experience through this online tool that I customize for each event. Imagine being able to see the important details I notate and upload in ONE place (instead of searching through tons of emails or papers) on our personalized, password protected site for you to easily access at any time. Talk about a godsend right?! My wedding and event clients have been raving about it so much.

AND FOR MY PLANNER FRIENDS - You know I love sharing my tools and tips with you, so if you haven't already, you can integrate this fabulous tool into your business by signing up here.

Tell me if these new enhancements sound like winners to you in the comments section below.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Ready, Set, Go!

August is here!!

This happens to be my favorite month. Why you ask? Aside from a pretty awesome person being born this month (cough, ME!), I love that August represents new beginnings as the 8th month. For the past few days, I've been compelled to take action on some things to launch me into where I see myself in the future, personally and professionally, and what better month than my birthday month to kick things into high gear.

As many of you know, I'm a woman of faith, so I've been in prayer over some big goals and dreams I have.  With 4 more months left in the year, you may have some goals you haven't reached yet too, so I figure we could all use some motivation to finish the year strong, right?! We can do it! I received this text message and photo from my mom this morning out of the blue that I believe is a testament that August is going to be amazing not just for me, but for you, too:

"It's a brand new month."

"It's a brand new month."

As soon as I read it, I had the biggest smile on my face, and was overwhelmed with such renewed optimism. So let this be encouragement to all of you, whether things are going amazingly well or there's some things you really want to achieve - it's a new month and an opportunity for bigger AND better. As I face this new month, I'm also reminded of the message shared by my youth pastor on Sunday, "I'm Next - Ready, Set, Go"! I used to run track, so I'm channeling the former sprinter in me and my laser focused instinct to push out of the blocks and cross the white line as a champion. We all have our own race to run and dreams to achieve, so I hope you win, too! Even if things aren't happening as fast as you want them to, be confident in knowing you're next :)

What's one goal that you've achieved thus far this year? Share below, so I can celebrate your win and your many wins ahead. I'll go first, one of my goals was to do 2 styled shoots this year, and I'm happy to share I have already done both which were amazing! I may even surpass this goal, as I have more inspiration burning in me that I have to let out in design. Hope you have a great start to the month!

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Inspire Design Workshop

Happy Monday!

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you've likely seen some sneak peeks from my styled shoot at Inspire Design Workshop. I had the opportunity to attend this amazing conference/workshop earlier this year in New Orleans, where wedding planners, designers and florists were given the tools and knowledge to enhance our wedding design skills. At the finale of the workshop, each attendee was able to curate a styled shoot with the help of a team of amazing vendors.

Photo Credit: G. Chapin Studios

Photo Credit: G. Chapin Studios

Project Runway is one of my favorite shows, and during shoot execution I thought of Tim Gunn's famous make it work line to remind me of the importance of being flexible, creative and staying true to your design aesthetic. Well, I'm happy to share that I must've made it work because my styled shoot, and a couple others, were recently selected to be featured on Munaluchi Bride! I was inspired by the many chandeliers that I saw in the French Quarter shops, and wanted to stay true to my love for sophistication and my shoot definitely reflects that. You can check out all the deets and more photos over on Munaluchi's site.

Photo Credit: G. Chapin Studios

Photo Credit: G. Chapin Studios

I really enjoyed the Inspire Design Workshop, and would recommend it for other wedding designers. Lulu Alexander, the workshop visionary, did a great job creating a valuable and interactive design experience. Highlights of what I liked about the workshop were:

  • It was intimate (I think 16 attendees plus speakers), which allowed for me to have conversations and build relationships with the attendees and mentors/speakers, as well as to ask all of my burning questions to the speakers. 
  • The speakers were hands-on during the design process, and the information they provided during their individual sessions was extremely valuable and things I hadn't heard before at other conferences.
  • Each attendee got to produce a styled shoot, and although it was for our own individual credit, we all pulled together in the spirit of community over competition when needed.
  • New Orleans is amazing in general, and the food was the best ever! The hotel was also excellent.
  • The details, swag, and overall planning in general was well thought out and intentional. 
Photo Credit: G. Chapin Studios

Photo Credit: G. Chapin Studios

As I often say, the more you know the more you grow, so I'm grateful for the opportunity this workshop provided in expanding my design knowledge. In addition, this was such a great group of ladies to spend 3 days with! It was definitely a great mix of laughter and learning!

Photo Credit: Southern Amore

What conferences or workshops have you been to this year? Share below in the comments.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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Styled Shoot Vendors:
Designer: Shalyce Tyson of Sensational Soirees
Event: Inspire Design Workshop
Photographer: Gabby Chapin Cowsert of G. Chapin Studios
Bouquet: CeCe Designs
Centerpieces: Dawn Hubbard
Bridal Gown: Pedram Couture
Cake: Bittersweet Confections
Stationery: Kristen Leigh Lettering + Design
Beauty: Just Face It, LLC
Model: Bianca Finch of Launch Model & Talent
Venue: Il Mercato
Furniture & Linens: Event Rental
Calligraphy: Melissa Benhoff

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Summer of Greenery

Happy First Day of Summer! Bring on the vacations, tans, poolside parties, backyard barbecues and of course bright and beautiful 'I dos'! Whether you have your summer line-up all squared away or maybe you're just planning to go wherever the wind takes you, I hope you enjoy some fun in the sun.

Source:Β Pantone

Source: Pantone

As you may already know, the Pantone color of the year is greenery! While this color trend showed up throughout the winter and spring in wedding and event world, I totally predict it's going to takeover the summer. Garden parties, tropical soirees, whimsical weddings, and definitely an array of outdoor events are sure to be incorporating greenery...and I'm so here for it!

Whether you are hosting an upcoming event or plan on attending one, today I'm sharing 3 tips for incorporating greenery in your summer!

1. INCLUDE GREEN IN YOUR EVENT COLOR PALETTE AND ATTIRE

Green is such a beautiful hue that pairs so well with an array of colors from ivory to gold to pink and orange. If you've been afraid to play with colors like green, this summer is definitely the season to give it a try, and I promise you'll be pleasantly surprised! I for one had a great time using green for 2 events this year - a tropical bridal shower and a backyard graduation party. Incorporating green brought some outdoor charm to the events, which was such a nice touch. Green can also be totally glam and upscale, so perhaps you may want to consider going more luxe with your event decor selections.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Green is also a great addition to your wedding party's attire or for those summer soirees you plan on attending. I'm totally loving the tan suit from the Black Tux that would pair perfectly with a green bowtie and boutonniere accented in greenery for the fellas. For us ladies, we can never go wrong with dresses from long and flowy numbers to short and flirty, and with the right pop of green, you'll be a knock out!

Source: The Black Tux

Source: The Black Tux

Gown: Christian Pellizzari via Rent the Runway

Gown: Christian Pellizzari via Rent the Runway

2. ACCENT FLORALS AND DECOR BY ADDING GREENERY

Y'all know I'm a flower lover, and adding greenery to florals never hurt anybody! Whether you like greenery slightly accenting your flowers or if you are a big fan of the garden inspired arrangements overflowing with greens, hiring a florist who enjoys working with greenery is sure to help you achieve the look you're going for. There are so many types of greens that enhance arrangements, so the options are endless in terms of design. From greenery garlands cascading down estate tables to greenery walls that make the perfect backdrop for a sweetheart table or escort card display, be sure to get creative and have fun with your event decor and florals.

Source: Inside Weddings

Source: Inside Weddings

Source: Ruffled Blog

Source: Ruffled Blog

Source: The Knot

Source: The Knot

3. GET OUTDOORS

Last but not least, you can easily take advantage of the naturally beautiful scenery that hosting an outdoor event offers. Gardens, manicured lawns and more serve as great event backdrops that already have greenery all around.

Source: Green Wedding Shoes

Source: Green Wedding Shoes

Photography: Rhea Whitney Photography | Planning: Sensational Soirees

Photography: Rhea Whitney Photography | Planning: Sensational Soirees

I hope you love this summer greenery inspiration! What other ways do you think greenery can be incorporated in events? Share below in the comments section.

Sensationally yours,

Shalyce

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