We need to talk. Thank you notes are not only not dead, they are more essential than ever. If you think it’s just “not necessary”, or that they are “outdated”, “too formal”, are a form of snobbery or worse: “take too much time”, then you are contributing directly to the world’s increasing lack of grace, malaise, misunderstandings and cry for connection. Plus it is ultimately a statement about you to all around you. Sound a bit too dramatic? Think again and wake up.
I recently saw an event professional post a photo of themselves on vacation all lounged out in a tropical location on their cell phone with the caption, “can’t stop working”, as though that were a Badge of Honor or credit to their success.
What? Did she really just say that? What kind of professional is she? I can literally hear the gasps (and did hear the gasps in the room at an event at which I was speaking) when I said this.
Look, after 20+ years, 600+ weddings, 1,000+ corporate events, I’ve had my share of crisis-addicted, control-freak moments obsessing about “what if” that call was something that could make or break the event and I generally answered every single call (with or without Caller ID). I mean, what if not answering that one call doomed the event, an event partner, my client, and /or my entire branding and reputation? Let me tell you right now: amateurs dwell in fear from lack of experience and insecurity. World-class professional leaders dwell in experience, confidence, trust and the big picture. Continue reading “Why I Don’t Answer My Cell Phone On Event Days”→
While this has little to do with wedding business, it does fall under the category of hospitality, under another sub-category of “manners” with a focus on being a good guest. In our industry we are so focused on hosting the perfect event and party, but sometimes forget that being the perfect guest is equally important. Manners are not some elitist act of snobbery. Manners are based on consideration, respect and ultimately love for those around as well as oneself. I have seen too many examples of lack of awareness at private events over the last several years (a few in my own private entertaining), making it awkward for everyone, and worst of all, many hosts (including myself) do not re-invite repeat offenders, as it’s just too exhausting to have them and takes out much of the joy of entertaining. And I’m not just talking about dinner parties and large parties – I’m including many of those gatherings with one or two friends in one’s private home. Continue reading “How To Know When It’s Time To Leave a Party: 7 Subtle Hints From Your Host”→
Are courage and vulnerability at opposite ends of the spectrum? No, they are one and the same, according to Brené Brown, Author, PhD , LMSW and a long-time favorite mentor of mine (in writing only). And not just according to her, but real-life history heroes and heroines have proven this time and time again. But Dr. Brown was the one who articulated it and gave it power, and for me: motivation to dare a bit bigger in my life, step by step.
From “professional” event planners yelling at the top of their lungs to other event partners who are not performing; wedding planners taking off their shoes and running barefoot throughout the rest of the event because “that’s what they do” when their feet hurt; joining guests in drinking alcohol during the event, to a more recent jaw-dropper: a venue who invited me to host a workshop at their private location so they could promote it and not only did they not have the equipment they said they would so when I arrived I had to call my assistant who was in Los Angeles to drive up and bring me what I needed, the location had not cleaned up from guests who stayed the night before with beds unmade, trash still in place and … wait for it: dirty underwear and used feminine hygiene products left out that I had to frantically pick up before my guests arrived.
As the Farmer’s Insurance commercial says, “we know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.”
Many wedding planners (or their clients) may have seen (thank you, Pinterest) how charming it is to place the general event timeline for guests to see – either on custom-crafted framed signs, in the wedding program, or on the couple’s wedding website. While many ideas are charming in photos, they do not translate well in reality. For the inexperienced wedding planner and couple who is triply more inexperienced, this can look like a charming touch – or if really naive – a way to keep guests “informed”, or a way to keep the event on track because “everyone” will now know the timeline and be in sync. Continue reading “Why You Should Never List the Event Timeline for Wedding Guests (Not Even On Cute Signs and Programs)”→