The 25-year rule

25-years-from-now-older-couple-wedding-marriage 

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kayugee/CC BY-ND 2.0

As we get into the early part of the wedding planning process for many of our 2010 clients, we hear a lot of "Do I really need to…?" (insert X, Y, or Z element here) This may relate to a a vendor decision (to have a videographer or not?) or a tradition decision (to see each other before the wedding ceremony or not), or maybe a design decision (to rent those chivari chairs or not).

Thing is, no wedding planner or magazine or blog can truly help you answer these dilemmas until you've explored your own feelings. One method I recommend is what I've been calling the "25-year rule". How will you feel about this decision 25 years from now? When you look back at your wedding album, when you celebrate your silver anniversary, will you say to yourself, "I wish I had ____________, after all"?

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To automate or not to automate?


(Image thanks to D’Arcy Norman via Flickr.com

With the escalating popularity of social media sites, I hear a lot of advice, especially in the wedding and event biz, about automating your social media feed.
This can consist of pre-scheduling tweets on Twitter, or scheduling blog posts in advance, or linking accounts with ping.fm or other services, so one status update can show across several services, just to name a very few. Many of these services are great timesavers and used wisely, can make the task of social media for business more of a pleasure.
However, I would caution business owners to remember the “social” aspect of social media. Those whose only contribution to Twitter is the RSS feed of their blog, for example, run the risk of looking like they’re only in it for themselves. Especially when said blog is simply a roster of products or services for sale and contains little real advice or education for prospective readers. If you’re wondering why you have few followers, no blog comments, low blog stats, and little interaction, take a hard look at what you’re putting out there and ask yourself, “Is this interesting to the type of people I’d like to interact with, and is it worth a response?”
Whether you choose to automate or not, make sure you keep the social in social media by interacting, reposting/retweeting, and assisting; the same as any good business owner would do in non-online life.

Event Planning, Wedding Planning, and High School Job Shadows

At this time of year, I also get a lot of calls from high schoolers desiring job shadows. I think this is a great idea and can be a worthwhile experience for the student, but for a busy planner it can almost be overwhelming to try and convey the concept of who we are and what we do in a one-day experience, which is what a lot of students are asking for. I even have schools asking for a one-hour job shadow. Unfortunately, it would take ten times the amount of hours to prepare a useful curriculum, than what the student and I would actually spend together, based on what schools and students are asking.  So I usually decline.

One thing that I think would make high school job shadows more appealing to event planners would be if, rather than a one-hour or one-day event, students would treat their job shadow just as importantly as a varsity sport or other extracurricular activity such as Debate, Math Club, etc., and plan on signing up for at least a 90-day experience, perhaps with four to ten hours per week spent on working for their job mentor.  This way, both the student and the mentor can benefit from the experience.  And event planners would be more likely to accept more students.