Make it a White Friday instead, and set your wedding planning intentions

Wait! Before you make one more Black Friday purchase, stop for a minute! If you're recently engaged and hoping to have your wedding in 2010, why not take a little time this holiday weekend to set your intentions around what's really important for your celebration? A little pre-planning before the plunge of wedding shopping can go a long way.

1. Have your families met yet? Ideally, your families will meet before the wedding day. FIgure out a way to make this happen if it hasn't already.

2. Have you set your budget yet? There are many budget planning tools online, or you can email me with the subject line "I read your 11/27 blog" and I'll send you the one I use for my full-service clients — free!

3. Have you started on your guest list? Your budget will give you an idea of how many guests you can have. It's not a perfect rule of thumb, but just to get you started, consider on the casual end (in the Portland, Oregon area), a budget of $50-100 per person; then, a more elaborate celebration will have a budget from $100-500 per person. Reducing your guest list is the easiest way to reduce your budget.

(Of course, all you really need is your intended and the witnesses, but these guidelines should work for anyone hoping to host a celebration with more than a dinner-party number of guests and some kind of food, drink, and entertainment.)

Another way to think about budget is to consider a favorite restaurant whose food you would love to have at your wedding. What did you pay per person the last time you went there on a date and had appetizers, dinner, and a few drinks? Take that number and double it (in order to budget 50% on catering and 50% on the other things like planning, venue rental, entertainment, documentation, printing, etc) and that can be a rough budget for you.

4. Have you discussed your shared vision with your fiance(e)? On The 2000 Dollar Wedding Blog, Sara Cotner discusses how she and her fiance "started with the end in mind". No matter what your wedding budget might be, this is great advice.

So take a few moments during this holiday weekend to be thankful for this exciting time, and to set your intentions and get your wedding planning started right. Who knows–maybe eliminating one Black Friday impulse purchase will allow you to get something you really hoped for for the wedding.

From Oregon Bride Magazine – “The cutest wedding favors” – A Loterìa-inspired wedding favor

Did you catch our feature in the most recent Oregon Bride Magazine? We were asked to put together a unique favor with uniquely Northwestern local ingredients and design. Working with Roopal Shah of 1st Comes Love, we had a ton of fun creating this Loteria-inspired wedding favor with a tattoo/rock-n-roll twist.


“Put a spin on the usual symbol of love with these chocolates in the shape of a bleeding heart, brushed in 23K gold leaf from Alma Chocolate. The Mexican Loteria design spices up the 100% recyclable package. Produced by Emee Pumarega of EJP Events (503.284.6756;; graphic design by Roopal Shah of 1st Comes Love. $14 each; $5 with less expensive Alma truffles. (Photo by Jeremy Dunham)”


Email etiquette tip: the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) field

Here’s an email etiquette tip some may not know: when you CC: (Carbon Copy) an email to a list of unrelated contacts from your regular account, it is considered to be poor etiquette. This is because all who receive the email will then be able to view each other’s private email addresses. Your contacts may or may not wish to have their personal or work email broadcast far and wide, and it’s safer to assume that they would rather not.

Next time, use the “BCC:” (Blind Carbon Copy) function to send an email like this. Put your own email address in the TO: field, which  sends it to yourself. Put the list of email addresses that you’re sending to in the BCC: field to keep everyone’s email private.

Technorati short code: 6PRGAEPTKZCY

Need a deal on event space? Ecotrust is offering Community Grants to nonprofits

 I am often contacted by non-profit groups looking for a planner to help them find affordable meeting and event space. Community groups should note that Ecotrust is offering Community Grants for just this purpose.

I love that one of the preferential criteria is “Events that are unabashedly hopeful in nature”!

Note that Community Grants cover the cost of space rental only, but not support services such as catering or rentals.

Deadline is January 21, 2010, so get cracking.