The past few weeks have been very busy for Barbara-Jo Saler Events. We have been preparing for an important event; Women’s Campaign International’s annual gala at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. As with any event, there were some challenges. We were kept on a strict budget which meant we had to be resourceful in our decorating. By digging through the storage unit for vases, napkins, candle holders and anything else that could be useful, then shopping around for the best priced flowers and linens, we were able to take the Metropolitan Club’s gorgeous space and create a soft, intimate mood for the event. Once the linens were laid, the tables set and the candles lit, it was finally time to sit back and enjoy a wonderful evening. After weeks of trying to pull together all the details of an event, it is always a great feeling to watch the guests arrive and enjoy the night as it unfolds. Our keynote speaker was Cherie Blair and it was a privilege to be in the presence of a woman who has spent so much time dedicating her life to bettering the lives of women around the world. We had a delicious dinner followed by an auction to raise money for Women’s Campaign International. The entire evening was fabulous. Women’s Campaign International does such great work all over the world and it is an honor to be a part of the work they are doing.
The wedding at Merion Tribute House went off without a hitch. From the ceremony to the food to the music it was truly an event to remember. Although the reports were calling for rain, we did not let the potential bad weather ruin our plans. Sunday morning the skies were clear and the ground was dry, which allowed us to have the ceremony outdoors as planned. It was a gorgeous day and everything was going according to plan. The grand piano was set on the stage, the food stations were ready to serve and the ceremony was coming to a close when the clouds started to roll in. Fortunately, every guest was so engrossed in the ceremony that they hardly seemed to notice the few sprinkles that fell. Following the ceremony, several food stations and bars, set up both in and outside the Merion Tribute House, invited guests to casually mingle while munching on some delicious foods. There was a sushi bar, meat cooked over hot rocks, red peppers stuffed with potatoes and sausage, almost anything you could ask for. Trays of seafood surrounded a magnificent ice sculpture. Of course, the evening did not end there. A friend of the bride happened to be a world renowned pianist and offered to play a short concert as his gift to the couple. He played three wonderful pieces that brought the crowd to their feet in applause. Stacks of red velvet and carrot cake cupcakes along with tiramisu shakes awaited the guests upon conclusion of the concert. The evening ended with chatter and dancing, and everyone left with a smile on their face. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
It is hard to believe that August is just around the corner. The office has been very busy working on upcoming events and designing new marketing concepts. I’ll be heading to the Hamptons in two weeks for a fabulous 70th birthday party at the Paumanok Vineyard. I’ve just connected with a local, wholesale florist putting together beautiful centerpieces of garden roses, hydrangeas and lots of interesting greens.
I’m off to New York City next week for appointments and to see the fabulous Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met. I hear it is a not to-be missed!
People always ask me why you need a wedding planner. With venues offering to “help you out” and other sources claiming wedding expertise you never know who to believe. I have an intern this summer who has a sister getting married in a couple weeks in August. She’s one of those, “do it yourself,” kind of women. She bought into the venues services and is under the influence that there is no need for a planner when she could do it herself and that the venue can handle anything. Because as they told her, nothing ever goes wrong at a wedding so why spend money when you can save it, right? Wrong.
So far she has an August wedding with over 200 guests and an outside venue with the starting at 4:30pm. We already have a few concerns (4:30 being the heat of the day). So my intern decided to tell me this story. They went for a walkthrough the day before another wedding that would be having their ceremony also at 4:30. My intern’s family went to check out the site to get a feel for what their day would hold for them. Everything seemed to be accounted for, running smoothly, and optimistic. However, feelings would be very different the next day. The facility’s air conditioning and cooling unit failed during the wedding. Cold water was in limited supply, food preparation was at a holt, and everyone was miserable. Guests began to leave even before the dinner was finally ready … after 9:00pm. The venue apoligized for the misfortune and said that sometimes these things just happen.
Imagine if this was your wedding and the only thing someone could do for you or say was, “bad luck.” Now you would be wishing you had a wedding planner, right? Let’s just say most people don’t realize what they are missing until it is too late.
I had a great day today! I finished a lot of my new promotional pieces and sent it off to the printer. Last night, my assistant and I attended an event at the Franklin Institute for wedding planners and potential clients. The FI did a great job organizing the event. There were lots of vendors scattered throughout the building. There was terrific food by Frog, some fresh new ideas for decor, and Eddie Bruce was there with his orchestra sounding marvelous as always. Bumped into Harry Spivak, which is always a treat. I’m excited to share with you his new blog about cutting edge news in the event industry. The blog is called Catering and Me, and can be accessed by this link:http://cateringandme.blogspot.com/.
Eileen and I got to experience the new Mummy exhibit while we were there. It was a little freaky, but very interesting!
Headed to the Battleship New Jersey tonight. I hope the weather holds out!
Sorry I have been MII for a long time. I’ve been so busy, I keep forgetting to write.
I did the rehearsal dinner Friday night at the Philadelphia Raquet Club. Such a great Philadelphia institution! What a beautiful event!
Saturday was at the Four Seasons, which is always a gorgeous venue!
Peonies, peonies, peonies! They really do say Spring!
Unfortunately the Spring shower we had at 6 o’clock prevented the wedding to be in the garden. We were quickly able to set up the event in the Washington room with lots of candlelight!
Bride and family were thrilled. I feel like lucky to be in this wonderful business!
Last week I was treated to a cabaret performance by Eddie Bruce. Eddie sang the Anthony Newley Songbook – Once in A Lifetime! “A simply marvelous show!” Held at the Prince Theater,I hope this Philadelphia treasure can hold out through these tough economic times.
WOW! July was the Hamptons and Rhinebeck, August was Longport, and now it’s September. Labor Day weekend will be spent locally in Philadelphia. Being amongst friends, catching up on cinema and getting prepared for a fabulous fall. Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday!
As I was watching the Today Show this morning, a topic about weddings favors caught my attention. They were saying that every bride gives a favor to thank their guest for attending their wedding, whether it is a simple candle or something similar. But, do we truly need to give favors at a wedding? Should we maybe spend those extra dollars for favors in some other aspect of our weddings? Isn’t being present to see two people start their lives together special enough? I would really love to hear what everyone thinks about this topic.