I haven't blogged in an eternity (sorry!) and while I wanted to focus as many of my blog posts on my design work as possible, I have been so caught up in developing new designs that I haven't had much time to ruminate on old ones. In any case, as I was plugging away on my new website content (stay tuned - coming next month!) and in an effort to streamline the copy (since you all know I talk/write too much) I am realizing how little space there is to tell my site visitors about me. And for some reason... inquiring minds want to know! So, here are the answers to the top 20 REAL questions I get about myself (in no particular order):
1. Where did you get married? The Inn at Penn in Philadelphia. My husband and I met our freshman year at Penn and since neither of us wanted to get married in our hometowns, it was a natural choice.
2. What were your colors? Silver and gold. And all of my flowers were white. Yup - you heard it right. The designer who has convinced even the most traditional bride that she absolutely cannot go wrong with aqua and amethyst (or fill in any two bold colors here) had a mostly colorless wedding. At the time (2001), I thought it was very cutting edge. This is not an FAQ, but I'll tell you anyway that the inspiration for my color palette and the entire design of my wedding were these amazing silver and gold pillar candles that were on clearance at Bloomingdales right after I got engaged. I bought the entire stock from the stores in NYC, Philadelphia and Short Hills. They really were beautiful...
3. Who made your wedding dress? The dress I wore down the aisle was by Vera Wang and was the most fabulous dress ever. The dress I custom designed from scratch for 9 months because I was too creative and original to just buy a wedding dress like a normal person went unworn and is now hanging in my two year-old's closet. And it is just absolutely awful. I have thanked God countless times over the past eight years for my Vera Wang redemption.
4. Were you planning weddings before you got married? Yes and no. I had been planning events for a number of years professionally and right around the time I got engaged I had decided to move into social events. So, by the time my wedding came around I had already been hired to plan other weddings.
5. If you could change anything about your own wedding, what would it be? I would have splurged on extra musicians for the ceremony. Hear me out - this is not to say that I think that this is the best investment or most important thing at A wedding - it is just what I would have changed at MY wedding. My husband and I picked very special, meaningful (and I think creative) music and I wished it would have had a fuller sound.
6. Did you plan your own wedding? Yes. And if I could turn back the clock I definitely would have hired someone to at least help me on the day of the wedding, but maybe even throughout. Sometimes you need to have the guidance of someone who is not emotionally vested in the wedding to tell you that doing three different program covers and "zoning" them on the ceremony seats to create a pattern is not a good idea.
7. What did you study in school? English and Art History. Or as I like to say... nothing in particular.
8. How did you learn to plan weddings? I have a pretty astute sensory and visual memory, so I mentally logged every experience I had with parties and weddings, then evaluated the data and decided how I personally wanted to approach the events that I did.
9. How did you learn to design events? I learned a tremendous amount by watching my industry peers. But I learned the most from taking risks and trying new things - color combinations, materials, layouts, etc. I prepare my designs by visualizing the end result and then working backwards to break down the elements and figure out how to make them. After knowing most clients for just a few hours, I can usually envision their entire event in my mind right down to the napkin fold!
10. What is your favorite flower? The tulip. I love how they crane their "necks" toward the sunlight. It makes me feel like they have little personalities.
11. How did you decide to start your own business? I didn't ever really decide - it just happened. My mom, my dad and my step-dad are all small business owners, so I didn't think it was that much of a big deal, honestly.
12. What is your favorite NYC venue? I couldn't pick just one. I love different places for different reasons.... but if you are a client, I'll definitely tell you my favorite place for YOU.
13. What was your favorite wedding you've ever done? I'll never tell! But I will say that the re-launch of my "brand" (coming next month with my updated website) is based on a model I developed from my favorite wedding.
14. What was the worst thing that ever happened at one of your weddings? I find that telling people scares them and gives them fodder for worrying about similar scenarios unfolding at their own weddings. So, mum's the word except to say that the debacles had nothing to do with me nor could they have been prevented by me. That being said, I give a shout-out to two rock-star brides who share the title in my mind. Meghan and Jessica - you made your wedding days perfect despite the drama!
15. Have you ever had a "bridezilla?" Who, in any line of work, hasn't had a client-zilla of some sort? Well, there's your answer!
16. When you are invited to a wedding as a guest, can you enjoy yourself or are you always watching everything with a critical eye? I love going to weddings as a guest. I absolutely live it up and put my work aside. I might even enjoy weddings more than the average guest since I am usually spending my Saturday nights jealous of the wedding guests who can enjoy the fabulous parties that I've planned. But, no matter what, I always carry at least 6 safety pins in my clutch in case the bride's bustle breaks 'cuz when that happens, everyone starts looking my way!
17. What's the hardest part of your job? Functioning on Sunday morning after standing in heels for 14 hours on Saturday.
18. Does your husband mind that you are at events until all hours of the night and that you travel to foreign lands for weeks at a time without him? Ummmm.... probably. But no one in the world could be more supportive of my love of my work than he, so he grins and bears it like a champ.
19. How do you balance your unusual schedule with having a family? By remembering a few important mantras that I repeat to myself often: 1.) You can have it all, but you can't do it all, 2.) Happy mommies make happy kiddies, and 3.) Sleep isn't really all it's cracked up to be.
20. "OMG... You're a wedding planner? Have you ever seen that movie with Jennifer Lopez?" Are you serious, random cocktail party stranger? Of course I have seen it. And Father of the Bride, too. I get TBS just like you do. :-)
Now you know all of my deep, dark secrets. Did I miss anything?