This just in….Wedding Giveaway!!

We just heard from our friends at Jupiter Hotel that they are giving a way a free wedding at their new hotel Jupiter Next!

The @jupiterhotel is gearing up for the opening of their expansion, Jupiter NEXT, and to share the love they are GIVING AWAY A WEDDING! Enter to win by posting an Instagram video using their handle @Jupiterhotel AND the hashtag #loveatnext to tell them WHY you want to get married in Portland and why, specifically at the Jupiter NEXT. Winner will receive a wedding package valued at $8k. The lucky winner will be announced on 3/13. Check the link in their bio for more details!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
Jupiter NEXT Wedding Giveaway!! Enter to win by posting an Instagram video on your profile using the handle @Jupiterhotel AND the hashtag #loveatnext and tell us WHY you want to get married in Portland and why, specifically, at Jupiter NEXT.

Package Value: $8,000
Includes:

  • Entire Second Floor Event space (8 thousand square feet) which includes:
  • Ballroom
  • Garden
  • Cocktail Reception Space
  • Extra Room (used for whatever you see fit including photo booth area etc)
  • Parking
  • 1 night in a Suite
  • Bottle of bubbly in the suite

Beating the heat (and other weather woes) on your wedding day

It's been a wild weather ride these past couple of weeks in Portland, Oregon. We've had a chilly and rainy early June 2017 and now as we approach July we're hitting 100-degree temperatures. This reminds me of the summer we did a wedding at Bridal Veil Lakes for almost 200 people that took us through the full complement of sun, overcast, and finally rain late in the evening. Thankfully, the couple had made weather plans: renting scores of white golf umbrellas from Barclay Event Rentals, providing tent heaters, using the site's two existing covered areas wisely, and checking the weather forecast regularly with the option of adding more tents if necessary.

Bridal-veil-lakes-portland-outdoor-wedding 

Image: EJP Events

 

Most of us often think of rain as the only thing to prepare for when planning an outdoor Portland wedding, but unusually hot temperatures can throw a monkey wrench into the works as well. Here's a hot-weather planning checklist for your outdoor wedding or event:

  • Make sure you have shade and ample drinking water for those warm summer wedding days. Visit the ceremony site around a similar time of day and see where the shade and sun tend to fall; plan your seating configuration accordingly.
  • Offer your guests parasols and hand fans for use during the ceremony.
  • If temperatures approach the 90s or >gasp!< even higher, rent portable A/C units and fans for un-airconditioned indoor spaces; or swamp coolers and spray misters for outdoor events (warning: misters cool well, but they will get your guests wet! So place them carefully). Large fans can also be good for bringing a breeze into a tent. Talk to your venue manager and rental company about the electrical needs of all these appliances and ensure that there are enough power connections and amperage to support this. You'll also want a way to hide all the cords and prevent guests from cord-trip accidents.
  • Have a "chilling station" featuring large tubs of iced washcloths, spray bottles with essential oils like peppermint and lavender, and iced water dispensers.
  • Keep a tent with breathable fabric shadewalls on reserve if you're planning a wedding in the summer months. If the weather is nice and you don't need it, you can always cancel it by the deadline for a nominal fee.

Hot-summer-wedding-weather-parasols-fans 

Image: Blaine and Bethany Photography

Whatever weather you're trying to prepare for, make sure to get your backup arrangements in well in advance, as many rental items sell out and backup venues can get booked up.

Don't forget, that even if your wedding is indoors, weather can affect the drivetime/photo schedule, your hair style, shoes, travel arrangements, and your comfort level. Plan for umbrellas from your favorite rental companies (I like Barclay Events and Bella Umbrella for umbrella rentals; and Luna Bazaar for parasols), perhaps consider valet parking or golf carts, and think about extra shoes and hair touchups.

Is there any possible way to know the wedding weather in advance? I recommend two great tools: The Farmer's Almanac for historical data, and also Accuweather.com for forecasts. If you pay for a premium membership, Accuweather.com will present a detailed, hourly 15-day forecast as well as give graphical historical data. No forecast is perfect, but I've found this one to be really close. On the day itself, the DarkSky app is great for realtime weather updates.

Here's hoping for perfect weather on your special day.

 

A version of this post originally appeared on the blog in July 2010. This post contains links to affiliate shopping sites and EJP Events may be compensated if you make any purchases after following these links.

( Photo of the Day ) – The Nines Hotel, Textural Geometric Centerpiece

50-the-nines-hotel-wedding

Today's photo that I'm loving comes from Evrim Icoz Photography – we recently did a wedding at The Nines Hotel where the client asked for modern, geometric centerpieces to go with the modern, glamorous look of the hotel and the reception. These were designed by Geranium Lake and I just love the mix of textural floral with the sharp lines of the container. Thank you to everyone who worked on this wedding with us!

"Photo of the Day" is our regular blog feature where we pick a quick favorite photo and share it with you. It might be a behind-the-scenes, it might be a wedding detail shot, whatever is catching my fancy that day. If you have worked with EJP Events and would like your photo of the day featured here, please email me.

Steps to Planning a Wedding, or “I just got engaged, where do I start?”

After the initial thrill of getting engaged subsides, you now realize that there's some planning to do! This time can easily feel overwhelming as friends and family barrage you with questions: Have you set a date? Where will the wedding be held? What's the theme? Where should I get a hotel room? !!!

Steps-to-planning-a-wedding-start-here
Fear not, there's actually a pretty organized system for thinking through the steps to planning a wedding that I can share with you in a few sentences. And no, it doesn't start with setting a date! Read on…

Phase One – Design, Budget, and Team  << START HERE!

The first phase of planning is for you to sit down and figure out how much you are willing to spend on the services needed to put on your ceremony and reception. Once that is done, you decide on a "look and feel" for the wedding – the wedding design. Only then can you start looking at venues and dates, and the vendor team who will provide the services and physical elements to make your vision into reality. Phase one is over when you have booked each vendor entity and/or assigned all major services to someone in your group.

Phase Two – Refining the Design

So you successfully completed Phase One and have your venue and vendor team together. Most of them will have had an initial contract that you signed that commits them to appear on the day of, or to provide a service during planning such as making the invitations. But what invitations? Which fonts and colors? What paper type? Detailed decisions must be made all the way down, for every vendor. Your second phase of planning is all about pushing each vendor or entity doing something for your wedding (including friends and DIY!) from the initial idea/contract to a final product or final order. Yes, you selected the florist, but don't stop there. Now it's time to pick out which flowers, which colors, and how many of each. It may seem daunting, but a good vendor will walk you through this process so you definitely won't be on your own.

Phase Three – Wedding Day Coordination

By about 2 months before the wedding, I'm hoping you've completed the first two phases (That's what we do for all of our clients!). At this point you should have everyone hired (or friends selected for any DIY services) to do each and every task needed for the big day. You should have the menu picked out, the flowers selected, the flatware and linens selected, the music picked.

Now is the final phase of making sure to remind everyone of the overall vision and what the big day should look like. You need to put together a contact list of everyone working on the day of and all of their mobile numbers and emails. As well as a schedule of the day, from rehearsal time to setup times/ vendor arrivals all the way through ceremony/reception organized activities, and through cleanup. Finally there should be a checklist of all of your setup items and a description of each. Once you have this document and share it with everyone involved and reconfirm it, you are on your way to a relaxed and smoothly-running day!

 

Where wedding websites fall short

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Photo credit: Madeline Ball, licensed by Creative Commons

Newly engaged? If you've started planning, that likely means heading to the computer. What you’ll come across are many websites that provide some of the same things a coordinator does: a to-do list, a list of vendors, and hundreds of articles about anything and everything wedding related. If you're not sure if wedding coordinator is in your budget, or you want to take on the planning yourself, these websites are amazing resources. However, there are several things a website can’t do:

  1. Tailor a plan unique to you and your partner. A coordinator can sit with you and your partner—and your families if they are involved—and go over each individual detail of what you would (and really wouldn’t) like to see on your big day.
  2. Give you advice from years of experience. A wedding coordinator that has been at this for a while has seen a lot of weddings, and this means they can pass all of this knowledge along to you as a bride or groom.
  3. Provide day-of coordination. This is one thing that couples often forget. While some feel they can handle the preparation ahead of time, it’s easy to overlook how many things need managing on the big day. Hiring a coordinator means someone is assigned to this, and you and your family and friends can focus on enjoying yourselves.

If you have experience with planning your wedding over wedding websites, good or bad, let us know in the comments! 

— Malia Robinson-Exo and Emee Pumarega, May 18, 2016

 

 

 

 

Best of 2016 – hurrah!

We're happy to share the news that two top review websites, Yelp.com and Thumbtack.com recently recognized EJP Events by putting us on their "best of" lists. Thanks to all of our brides and grooms, we love making your day special! Here are a few of the featured weddings and what they said:

Best-portland-wedding-planner-2016

(Photo: Altura Studio)

Best-portland-indian-wedding

(Photo: Powers Studios)

Best-portland-wedding-planner-2016

(Photo: Evrim Icoz)

Wedding issues bugging you? Please contact us to set a time to chat about your wedding and how we can help.

 

Blog Roundup: What Corporate Events Can Learn From Wedding Planners

Spot the meeting planner vs. the wedding planner.

Do wedding planners have anything to offer corporate events? Is the experience that a wedding planner brings to weddings valuable, when staring down the barrel of a large, multi-day, multi-track, executive-level conference?

BizBash, Etouches, WilsonWest and Meetings+Events Magazine, some of the top voices in our industry, all say a resounding YES.

I present the following readings to you that remind us all that for high-level events, whether they have a social or corporate focus, there is always a “bride” (a VIP or group of VIPs), and the details always matter.

Raise the Bar on Your Next Event by Thinking Like a Wedding Planner – Meetings+Events Magazine

What Can a Wedding Planner Teach Us About Strategic Event Planning – WilsonWest

10 Lessons Event Pros Can Learn From Weddings – BizBash

Weddings and Corporate Events: Not So Different After All – See more at: http://blog.etouches.com/tips-and-tools/best-practices/weddings-and-corporate-events-not-so-different-after-all/#sthash.Yqql1fGo.dpuf

Weddings and Corporate Events: Not So Different After All – eTouches

Weddings and Corporate Events: Not So Different After All – See more at: http://blog.etouches.com/tips-and-tools/best-practices/weddings-and-corporate-events-not-so-different-after-all/#sthash.Yqql1fGo.dpuf
What Can a Wedding Planner Teach Us About Strategic Event Planning? – See more at: http://www.wilsonwest.com/what-can-a-wedding-planner-teach-us-about-strategic-event-planning-2/#sthash.xjG4uAiC.dpuf
What Can a Wedding Planner Teach Us About Strategic Event Planning? – See more at: http://www.wilsonwest.com/what-can-a-wedding-planner-teach-us-about-strategic-event-planning-2/#sthash.xjG4uAiC.dpuf
What Can a Wedding Planner Teach Us About Strategic Event Planning? – See more at: http://www.wilsonwest.com/what-can-a-wedding-planner-teach-us-about-strategic-event-planning-2/#sthash.xjG4uAiC.dpuf

The net-net? Don’t conflate wedding planning skills with frivolous knowledge – the skill set is very similar; the major difference is where the money comes from. A veteran wedding planner is merciless with budgets – a skill prized in corporate circles. Someone who knows how to soothe ruffled feathers during the most over-the-top family dramas is the diplomat you want when tensions run high in a conference committee. And an onsite wedding whiz who can think on their feet and handle a million guest and VIP requests simultaneously with aplomb can be a valuable contributor to a corporate event team.

Cool Photobooth Additions and Alternatives {What can I have instead of a photobooth?}

Photo-booth-for-weddings(Yes, this is what your coordinators look like after about 12 hours on site :-)! Image courtesy Evrim Icoz Photography)

The wedding photobooth used to be a fun novelty; now it seems like a wedding must-have, along with regular photography and mini-desserts. So common now, that we're often asked,

"What can I add to my wedding to entertain guests along with, or instead of, a photobooth?"

We are definitely still big fans of the photobooth because not only is it amusing, it serves as a different kind of wedding documentation and also as a party favor. But here are a few ideas if you want to supplement the wedding day with entertainment or amusements that are a little different and sure to be remembered:

GIFbooth: Do you love GIFs on tumblr? Or the fancy cinemagraphs that get passed around every Fashion Week? Animated GIFs (Graphics Interchange Files) are made using a special videocamera setup that translates the captured video or still frames into a moving photo. These can be downloaded from a wedding website after the wedding, and make a fun momento, similar to a flipbook. Among others, GIFFF Booth and Limelight Photo can provide these services.

View more after the cut:

Continue reading “Cool Photobooth Additions and Alternatives {What can I have instead of a photobooth?}”

There’s no such thing as “just” when it comes to Wedding Day Coordination

I get a lot of requests for Wedding Day Coordination that begin: "We just really want someone that can keep the flow going and keep us on schedule."

Let's break this down:

Keep the flow going.

What is "flow" when it comes to a wedding, anyway? I interpret it as that magical mix of timing and logistics that makes your wedding feel joyful and unplanned, while at the same time using every moment allotted to you by the venue and your vendors to the best possible advantage.

How does flow happen? Well, it doesn't "just" happen. A wedding day coordinator will normally put in 20-30 hours of preparation before appearing at your wedding. This includes collecting all of your contracts and paperwork and reviewing all policies to ensure understanding of everything you have arranged and what you are entitled to; research into your wedding design; confirmation of venue and vendor policies; and understanding you and your families' preferences and decisions about what you want to achieve on the day. Often the coordinator will condense this information into an event plan. Twenty to thirty hours. And that's just pre-event.

Keep us on schedule.

On the day of the event, in order to keep the flow going if it gets hung up or stops, a wedding planner may have to deal with a multitude of issues behind the scenes. Here are the most common ones:

prep time, especially hair and makeup, not going as scheduled
transportation and parking woes
decor issues: wrong color, wrong piece or fit
missing items and going back for them
lateness of vendors or bridal party

Even if everything goes 100% perfectly (and the reality is, it doesn't) a wedding day coordinator still must be constantly available to act as a surrogate host, direction-giver, traffic controller, scheduler, and people-mover. They must be on site well before you or any guests or vendors arrive, and stay on site long after everyone has departed. These duties will take 12-16 hours to complete on the wedding day itself. Not to mention 1-2 hours of rehearsal time explaining the procedures to the wedding party and family; and the little post-rehearsal errands that always seem to come up.

In sum, while your wedding day planner's job is to "just keeping the flow going and keeping everything on schedule", in order to do that, they and their staff must put in upwards of 48+ hours of solid on- and off-site work that culminates in your well-run wedding day.

{Destination Weddings 101} Traveling with a wedding gown

Destination-weddings-hawaii-oregonPhoto by Ewen Roberts

Although the bulk of outdoor Oregon weddings have not yet begun, winter lovebirds are still heading out to beachy climates to get married. The question of how to pack your wedding gown comes up a lot!

Always check with your airline first for specific packing restrictions.  Here are some tips from one of our gown specialists: 

"You will not be able to use the standard length bridal gown bag as carry on luggage. It is too long, and too easily torn. Place your gown inside an FAA-approved garment bag instead. For instance, US Airways states that wedding gowns must be in garment bags no longer than 54" long. You are then expected to fold that bag in half to fit it into the overhead compartment. If you are lucky, the flight attendant might allow you to hang the garment bag in the first class closet (cross your fingers that your flight attendant has a soft spot for brides). But don't count on it.

It is not only your wedding gown that you should make plans for – your accessories are also very important. Pack your shoes, headpiece/veil/or tiara, and other accoutrements into a carry-on bag. With all the limitations these days, you may have to ask your partner to take your bag as their one carry-on item (remember, you also have the garment bag). Another option is to pack your gown and accessories together into one carry-on bag. I know it is terrible to think of cramming your beloved dress into a tiny bag, but you will need to have it professionally pressed when you arrive at your destination anyway. Be sure to keep your wedding jewelry in your purse."

If you have a wedding planner or coordinator, you could ask them to make arrangements to have your gown pressed or steamed (the seamstress will look at each item's fabric type, and decide the best way).  In Portland, we do this through our partners at The Bridal Loft. If you are heading straight to your wedding location from the airport, your destination wedding planner or coordinator should offer the service of meeting you on your arrival day at the airport and getting the bridal gown, bridesmaids gowns, tuxedos or suits from you at that time and taking them to be pressed or steamed.