Showing posts from 2008


We have all heard horror stories about bridezillas and mom-zillas, but a recent trend is the maid of honor-zilla. This is the person who is so focused on helping her friend/sister/cousin have a wonderful wedding that she bends all the rules of etiquette, courtesy, and even common sense to accomplish things her way, no matter how many people she alienates or whose feelings she hurts. She plans an extravagant shower that she can’t afford, then bills the bridesmaids and anyone else she finds handy to help cover the cost. She plans a bachelorette party, perhaps at a destination location, then expects the members of the wedding party to foot the bills. She orders people around, steps on toes, and generally turns into a monster, all in the name of helping the bride. Then, when the wedding is over, she wonders why her friends no longer speak to her.
Perhaps maid of honor-zillas are a sign of the times. We are now seeing a generation of self-focused individuals who grew up without knowledge …

Event Planning and the Current Economic Woes

The recent downturn in the economy will have an affect on event planning and on the business of merchants who depend on special events for their livlihood. People still get married, have parties and business events no matter what the economy, but many scale back on the size of the event and on spending in general. As we have seen in past economic downturns, they will choose a less expensive location, less expensive food, and cut back on serving alcohol (a budget breaker at most events). Unfortunately, they may also eliminate the “luxury” services that can add to the uniqueness of an event.

What can we as vendors do to keep clients coming through the door? First, look at your customer service. If it isn’t top notch, customers will either choose one of your competitors or they will forgo your service entirely. You need to add value in some way that makes you stand out from your competitors. In recent months we have seen vendors who arrived late, who had a poor attitude, and those who f…

Poorly Trained Catering Employees

We asked the caterer to provide tray-passed hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hour, assuming that anyone in the catering industry knows how to serve hors d’oeuvres in that manner. Wrong!! Imagine our horror when the servers walked into the room (at an upscale venue) carrying large plastic trays used to clear tables. On each tray they had placed paper plates with one each of the four hors d’oeuves. A plastic fork was placed pitchfork-style in each plate. The servers walked around handing out their concoctions to the guests' horror. To make matters worse, later in the evening one of the servers, who had been carving prime rib, took off his chef’s coat and walked around in his undershirt.
Less than a month later a different caterer sent only one employee to handle an event for nearly 100 people. The employee set three trays of hors d’oeuvres on a table then exited. When I asked him where the plates were, he said “They can use their fingers.” I then asked if he had brought plates fo…

Wedding in a Rural Community

I just returned from a wedding reception held in Joseph, Oregon, a picturesque community in the Wallowa Mountains four hours from Boise. Planning an event to be held in a rural community four hours from the nearest rental center and three hours from the nearest caterer can be a challenge. It requires creativity and the assistance of numerous friends and family.

The couple married at the court house several months ago. This was their "official" reception for family and friends from Illinois, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California. About 125 guests attended. The reception was held at a retreat center located next to the city park and along the Wallowa River. The center included a large two story lodge with two kitchens and sleeping space for 32, large lawn, and an area away from the main building for a campfire.

The couple and their friends erected a "tent" by placing an orange Forest Service parachute on metal poles. Tables and chairs were borrowed from the comm…

Ramblings and Time to Catch Up

It has been awhile, quite awhile in fact, since I last posted. During that time my computer's mother board crashed, necessitating the purchase of a new computer. Of course, it came with a newer operating system which isn't compatible with anything, so that meant replacing much of my software and my printer/scanner.

To complicate the situation, Microsoft has stopped supporting FrontPage, which is what I used to update my web site. They now offer Expression Web2, which is not as user friendly as FrontPage, so another learning curve.

As if enough wasn't going on, I took two weeks out of the busy month of June to take my granddaughter to Alaska and the Yukon. It was a fantastic trip and well worth missing a couple of weeks of work.

Now I am finding myself running in several directions at once. Suddenly a myriad of calls have come in for events in 2009 - woo hoo! I am also working with a local hotel to test the market for a new kind of week-end event package. Hopefully more in…

Want to get Married by Proxy? It's Legal in Montana

Are you on active duty with the military and want to get married? Your fiance/fiancee can't be present either? That's okay in Montana, the only U.S. state that allows double proxy marriages, but only in a few counties. For a fee, you can hire someone to stand in for both the bride and groom.

To qualify for such a marriage, both the bride and groom must be U.S. citizens. In addition, either the bride or groom must be a Montana resident or be on active duty with the military. Several legal steps must be satisfied and the fee for a proxy marriage can be hefty. Double proxy marriages are recognized by all states except Iowa.
Single proxy marriages can be performed in California, Texas, and Colorado, usually for active duty military personnnel. Colorado law, however, also allows for proxy marriages for those who are incarcerated. So, if you are in the military and really want to get married, you might consider a proxy marriage. But a proxy honeymoon - I don't think so.

Winter Wedding at Tamarack Ski Resort

This past weekend I had my first winter wedding at Tamarack Resort in the mountains about 70 miles north of Boise. The ceremony was held in the Arling Chapel with the reception in the Arling Grange Hall across a cobblestone courtyard. There was at least 3 feet of snow on the ground and much more piled around where the roads had been cleared.

For the photos, the bride skied the bunny hill in her gown. The groom and groomsmen wore kilts and they skied with her. The photographer secured some awesome shots.

The ceremony was standing room only. We had a bagpiper hidden away to play for the wedding party's recessional. After they exited, he re-entered and piped the guests out and across to the reception center where a sit-down dinner was served followed by dancing. During the course of the evening we received many comments about the facility and how lovely everything was.
Unfortunately, Tamarack Resort is now closed, so events like this will exist only in memory.

An Outdoor Wedding in December

Every year between Thanksgiving and New Years our local botanical garden hosts Winter Garden Aglow, an evening event during which the trees, bushes, fences and other areas are decked in twinkle lights, totally transforming the look of the garden. This year on December 22 I had the opportunity to coordinate a wedding for a couple who created their own version of Winter Garden Aglow in the backyard of a private home. A grape arbor runs between the back door and the garage. It was covered in lights, as was the fence and the deck cover. Lights hung from the trees. The ceremony occurred in a small courtyard to one side of the arbor where a fire pit helped dispel the cold.

The 60 guests walked out the front door of the home, around the corner, and through the gate into the backyard where they formed two lines under the grape arbor. Each held a battery-operated candle. The bride then walked through the line of guests and collected flowers for her bouquet from eight ladies. It began to snow …