Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brides for the Cure Deadline Today!

Today is your last day to join our team! Please visit www.bridesforthecure.net for more info. You can also view the instructions in yesterday's post as well.

Pardon the quick instructions, but I am running out the door to be with my dear friends Tiffany & Kevin as they are about to welcome their first baby boy (see shower pictures & ideas below) this afternoon! Say a prayer for his safe arrival for both mom & baby! I appreciate your patience as I am out of the office for part of the afternoon.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Brides for the Cure Deadline is TOMORROW

Don't forget to register for Brides for the Cure by TOMORROW, MARCH 31ST! Visit our Brides for the Cure Team Website for more info.

To register now, click here and click "Join the Team" at the top of our Team Roster. Follow the prompts accordingly!

If you want to be a part of our team, but cannot Race with us on April 25th you can still support Brides for the Cure! Click here to make a donation to support our team and the Komen Foundation! Any donation from $1 to, well...as much as you'd like is welcome!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Wedding Planner Workshop: A Recap

My most sincere thanks go out to the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. for a great turnout and being a great group to visit with last night. We had a lot of fun, and I hope I didn't bore them to death! I just thought I would share some photos that I got to snap.

The hit of the night was the wedding planning activity. The girls & guys were asked to find a partner or form a group of 3. I then passed around 2 envelopes. One envelope had a number of guests, ranging from 2-1000 guests. The other envelope had a budget, ranging from $0-$1 million and even one slip that said UNLIMITED! Each pair or team drew a slip from each envelope. One pair pulled out 200 guests and the $0 budget, and another group pulled 75 guests and the UNLIMITED budget. (Trust me, you want to go to theirs on a private island via private jet with Jay Z and Beyonce performing and Louis Vuitton luggage favors and a first class ticket to Rome for the 1 year anniversary party.) They all did a wonderful job, and had to come up front and present the wedding that they planned to the group. I brought along magazines, invitations, color swatches, and lots of other goodies that they could use for inspiration. Luckily, most of them said that I would get to plan their weddings, especially that one on the private island! Here are some pics of them filling their roles as wedding planners & problem solvers:

We talked about the roles of a wedding planner and the realities of being an entrepreneur. It was a privilege to get to talk with such a fun group and hear how some of them would love to start their own businesses. As a former U of A staff member, it was also encouraging to see some men and some women from other organizations roll out to support the AKA's this week. Here I am (in a pretty terrible picture) with my girl Sade at the end of the night. Can you tell this is the end of a 12 hour work day? :)

And here are a couple of pics of the CLASSY ladies of AKA. Thank you again! It was so much fun and I hope you learned a few new things through it all. CONGRATULATIONS to their new line of 17 wonderful women. Aren't they cute??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wedding Planner Workshop Tonight

I am honored to have the opportunity to speak tonight for the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. For their AKA Week, themed Access AKAwood, I will be speaking on non-traditional entrepreneurship and being a wedding planner.

This 'talk' is open to anyone who would like to attend. We are going to have a lot of fun! Here are the details:

WHO: Anyone!
WHAT: "The Wedding Planner" Workshop
WHERE: The University of Arkansas Campus, Business Building Room 202

We'll be playing some games, learning the ups & downs of entrepreneurship, and some tips on being an effective wedding coordinator. I will also be speaking about the internship opportunities I have available. I plan on answering lots of questions, so come on out and have a great time with us tonight!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Baby Boy Baby Shower

This weekend I had the opportunity to host a baby shower for our dear friends Kevin & Tiffany. Five other couples, along with my hubby and I, put together a shower to welcome K&T's third baby, but their first BOY! Talk about a happy dad! The most impressive hostess was definitely Katie, who had the shower at her house when she is about to have her first baby, Sawyer! Yes, she did all of this work 9 months pregnant. What a trooper! So, here are the details...

The theme was certainly all about the boy. This shower was definitely more of a party, and we invited guys & gals. Our invitation shared how they already have 2 girls, so we need to prepare these parents for their first little guy. K&T already have the "necessities" like swings, strollers, cribs, bottles, & pacifiers so we asked the guys to bring diapers or toys and girls to bring clothes or anything cute! This invitation paper is by The Inviting Co. out of LR. You can check out their blog at Inside IC. I did the wording and the printing myself, but they designed the fun paper!

Our color scheme was orange, green, yellow, and chocolate brown. When guests entered they were greeted by our display of "boy toys." We also included lizards, snakes, and dinosaurs! Also, instead of a guest book we provided a photo frame & mat for the guets to leave a blessing for the baby boy. K&T are going to add the scripture that they choose for little Josephy Henry, put his sweet baby picture in the frame, and hang it in his nursery as a reminder of all the people who love him before he even arrives!

We decorated with green Bells of Ireland, orange gerbera daisies, green poms, white and green spider mums, white hydrangea, and yellow daisies. All of the flowers were in green, yellow, and orange vases and we utilized the brightly colored tablecloths from Katie's wedding.

We also added baby touches where we could, including a clothesline of onesies in our color scheme and pacifiers tied to the candle holders. We always try to decorate with items that the parents can keep, so the decorations can turn into a small hostess gift at the end of the night.

We had a BBQ dinner from a local favorite, Penguin Ed's BBQ, who provides very yummy food at very low prices for our large group! We picked up beer and sodas, and of course personalized Orange Crush drinks for everyone to enjoy.

The shower was a lot of fun! Here are some tips I can offer on throwing a co-ed baby shower for a young crowd, and a medium sized group.

1. If you want guys to come, don't make the invitation too baby-ish! Our invitation looked hip and incorporated the "baby" with the wording. We were specific that it was a BBQ dinner so the guys knew that it wouldn't be too mushy-gushy. We also included the guys' names who were the hosts with the hostesses.

2. A younger crowd usually does not appreciate the traditional baby shower games. If you want to play a baby shower game with a co-ed crowd, it had better be cool and creative and relevant to them. Otherwise it will be a big flop!

3. Do not structure the shower on a schedule. With a co-ed crowd, you usually want the shower to feel more like a party or a bunch of friends getting together to hang out. We made an announcement when the BBQ was ready to be served, but let the crowd mix and mingle until they were ready to eat. As a host, be ready to just go with the flow.

4. Again, to save on cost use things that you already have. When you choose a theme or an invitation, think about what items you already have that you can contribute first. For instance, I own the green & orange vases, Katie had the green, orange & yellow tablecloths, etc... This saves you a lot of money on decor! Choose things that will make a fun impact, like the orange sodas. We were able to use paper & ribbon we already had to personalize them. (The sodas cost us under $10!)

5. Turn your decorations into a gift. As I mentioned earlier, we gifted the decorations to K&T, including the onesies, the pacifiers, and all of those boy toys that were at the entry of the party. The parents-to-be always love taking home extra goodies!

6. And, last but not least, if you are inviting guys...always have beer! They are much more comfortable with a Bud Light in their hand than a sippy cup of fruity punch.

Those are a few tips about making a shower for the younger, co-ed crowd a success. Now for a few paparazzi shots...

I almost forgot! Kevin & Tiffany gave us the greatest hostess gifts! Each couple that hosted received a basket full of yummy-goodness from Mama Z's!!!! (This is one of our favorite local dinner spots!) Thanks for the pasta, the bread, and the jam. I know what we're having for dinner tonight!

Kevin & Tiff, we had so much fun throwing this party to help you get ready for Joseph Henry's arrival! You all are wonderful, Godly parents who we all look up to and love. Gabbi & Grace are going to be the best big sisters too! Now, we just hope he makes his arrival THIS WEEK!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sale TODAY ONLY at For Your Party

ForYourParty.com is one of my favorite resources for cocktail napkins and many other fun party things! Today, they are having a Friends and Family Sale, so go to their site and check it out.

Spend $75 and receive 10% Off
Spend $75-$100 and receive 15% Off
Spend Over $100 and receive 20% Off

Use the Discount Code SPRING at checkout to apply your savings!

Click here to check it out!

Availability Update

Bring on the brides! We are excited to welcome a couple of new couples for 2009!

Pamela and Jim will be getting married in September in Little Rock. We are excited to work with them on this Central Arkansas wedding!

We have also recently added Mollie and Stephen to the family. The just bumped their date up by about 7 months and will be getting married in Fort Smith on November 21st.

We only have 7 Saturdays still available to be booked for 2009. If you scroll to the VERY BOTTOM of the blog you can see the availability. We have many more Fridays available, and would love to talk to you about all of the PERKS of a Friday evening wedding.

Don't forget that you can win a FREE Month of the Wedding Coordinating package from us by joining Brides for the Cure. This is a $1000 package and we promise it can make your wedding day the day of your dreams!!! Visit www.bridesforthecure.net to register!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Barbie Birthday Party...To The Max!

Are you kidding me? This might be one of the favorite parties I have seen this year! Talk about making a theme work! I am going to skip posting the details and let you read the blog post I have linked to below. If you are looking for a theme party, please call! We have SO MANY fun ideas that won't break the Barbie Bank!

Check out Barbie's Birthday Party by clicking HERE! Way to go Colin Cowie!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Brides for the Cure: Less than 2 Weeks to Register!



Wedding Pianist

I want to introduce you all to a new vendor on the scene that I recently enjoyed working with. Her name is Carolyn McGinnis and her business is Keyboard Koncepts. Carolyn provides beautiful music for your wedding ceremony either on the piano or organ, and has been playing since she was 6 years old.

Here are some of the details about the services she can provide for you...

Carolyn charges $150 for ceremony music without a soloist, or $200 if she will be accompanying a soloist. The additional charge is to allow for practice time with the soloist to ensure they are ready to impress on your wedding day.

Included in the $150 service is:
*A consultation prior to the wedding at which Carolyn will assist you with music selections
*Attendance at your rehearsal to make sure we get the timing right for your processional and that there are no surprises on the Big Day
*Carolyn will arrive 30 minutes prior to begin playing prelude music for your guests to enjoy while they are waiting for the ceremony to begin
*And, of course, Carolyn will provide the lovely music for your ceremony

If you would like to talk with Carolyn about playing for your wedding, please visit her website at www.musicplusmore.com for more information.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Brides for the Cure Update

After the amazing outpouring of support for Brides for the Cure from local professionals, I have to give this a post of its own!

We currently have $6500 worth of prizes to give away to our team members!!! Can you believe it?

The buzz is out there! People want to be a part of this team, and you should too! Remember that ANYONE can join this team, and that we will have prizes for those of us who are not brides-to-be as well. (Like Dale Benfield's Anniversary Photo Shoot, a Marketplace Gift Card, or tickets to see the NWA Naturals!)

Please check out our team website and join the team today! WWW.BRIDESFORTHECURE.NET

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Internships Posted!

I am so excited to have the 2 New Internship Positions posted on my website! Visit the brand new "NEWS" section at J.Bailey Occasions and look for the Career Opportunities page.

Follow the instructions listed on the website and click the links to each document that you will need to apply. Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2009. All correspondence regarding the application process must be done via the website or email. No phone calls will be accepted or returned regarding the hiring process.

The two positions differ quite a bit. Both provide real experience in the office, so you can gain a grasp on the business side of things. Each intern will also fill the role of Assistant Event Director to aid in the execution of wedding and event days.

I can't wait to receive your application in the mail! It gives me butterflies thinking about all that we can accomplish with a full team!

We will also be posting a volunteer application soon. Volunteers will be those individuals who are looking for hands on experience executing an event. These applications will be accepted at all times, and you will be notified if you are needed for an event. Look for this application soon!

Check it out today! Don't forget to watch our interview on KFSM TV5 tonight at 10:00!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wedding Planning Internships

I get asked a lot of questions as a wedding coordinator. On wedding days, I am often called J.Lo (which is fine by me, as my nickname is Jenny from the Block) and asked where my fanny pack and earpiece are.

Even more often than that question, I get emails and phone calls from eager students interested in internships and part-time jobs. They want to be just like J.Lo, too! Good news to all of you...J.Bailey Occasions is closing in on posting 2 internships! Please stay tuned to the blog & website this week for the postings, how to apply, the hiring process, and the timeline for getting your paperwork in and your interview complete.

Until then, sit tight on your emails and phone calls and enjoy the rest of your week!

Also, if you have a moment today, please send up a prayer for my dear friend Lauren and her hubby Corby as they become parents of sweet baby Harper today!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Money Saving Tips on TV 5

I had the fun treat this morning of meeting with Ashley Ketz, one of the favorite local TV news anchors in Northwest Arkansas. Ashley is producing a story for Channel 5 on planning a wedding with cost saving ideas and tips. We talked about some of my favorite strategies for saving money without cutting style.

Ashley is also interviewing a local couple who is planning a wedding on a tight budget. It should be great to hear their ideas for a financially smart celebration!

Mark your calendars for the airing of this piece for Thursday evening at 10:00 PM on KFSM, Channel 5. The story will also post online afterward, and of course I will provide you with the link.

Thank you to Ashley for taking the time to interview me! It was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Out of the Office this Thursday & Friday

I am excited to be out of the office for a couple of days this week to work on becoming an even better wedding coordinator for you!

I will be in Little Rock attending a workshop for my Association. I am super excited to meet other coordinators from Arkansas, especially the Little Rock area. I will be coming back with some new tips on rehearsal, the ceremony, and much more! I will be leaving tomorrow {Thursday} morning and will return to the office on Monday. Please call me on my cell phone if you have an urgent need.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Southern Sippin'

I came across this idea that was recently posted on Brides.com, and thought I would share since the warmth of spring is slowly sneaking in on us...I am tickled to pull out my peep toes and sun dresses!

My brides are true Southern ladies, and when I think of a sunny afternoon with Southern girls, I think of lemonade on the patio! I love this cute idea for a sunny outdoor spring or summer wedding, a cute bridal luncheon, or even a baby shower! The great thing about this project is that it is so inexpensive, I can't imagine passing it up.

After doing a little research on these jars & lids at Candle Soylutions, I figured up some pricing for you. To have 120 of these simple, sweet signature drinks you would come in at under $120!!! Yes, that is less than $1 each! You would still need the lemonade and the straws, but the containers are so great and a perfect bang for your budget!

One other item to point out is that a signature drink does not necessarily have to be an alcoholic beverage. I would love to attend a wedding reception with some yummy raspberry tea, strawberry or blueberry lemonade! A non-alcoholic signature drink is another budget saver and something that your caterer might include at no additional cost.

Let me know if you use this idea for your party or wedding! I would love to post some photos!