Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Perfect Wedding Guide Guild Luncheon

Today I attended the Perfect Wedding Guides Guild Luncheon at "Raleigh Country Club" I networked with the who's who of the industry and had a wonderful time. Gail the facilitator of the event was awesome, she made sure everyone mingled and felt comfortable. We had an lunch feast fit for a King. I had fillet Mignon with a side of mashed potatoes and asparagus that was delicious. Besides the food the discourse on wedding ceremonies for interfaith couples was very informative and intriguing. They touched on new trends and the traditions that aren't so custom any more. I met plenty of vendors that I can't wait to work with. I am anxiously awaiting the next luncheon. Checkout if you are an industry professional and would like to attend a luncheon all you have to do is sign up and tell "KME" sent you. If you are a Bride to Be then you will enjoy the loads of information provided for you on the website.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Budget Brides 101-How to save on Photography

I thought I would start putting together a few short lessons for all the brides out there on a budget and even if you're not save where you can and splurge on some awesome extras that will really wow your guests. So this week a client of mine Cicely just created her Wedding Website ( and instead of putting up a traditional site she decided to go with a blog which lead me to this first lesson. She spoke of her experience with a student photographer. Here is a few creative ways to cut costs without sacrificing class for your big day!

Photography. Your photographer can be the single most important assest of your wedding and next to the food the most costly. I do not recommend just going with the cheapest photographer you can find by any means, and IF you can afford it stick to someone with a good reputation and portfolio. Do your research. There are lots of affordable options out there, just be careful when choosing which one will work best for you. If you are having engagement photos taken or an engagement party photographed why not try out a photographer at one of these smaller events first before booking them for your wedding that way you will be able to see how they will work out for you, and going with one of the below options will not be so risky.

1. Look for photography students. Everyone has to start somewhere even the most talented professionals. You might luck up with a very talented student looking to build a portfolio to get into the business. Cicely and I researched a craigslist posting for a free photography session by an aspiring student (, we scheduled her to take their engagement photos and the session was a blast! No complaints so far, she said the student was creative and professional.

2. Post a free ad for aspiring photographers to take your pictures and set a price or simply offer them full usage of the photos for their portfolio.
The most popular free advertising for services being
The trick to this is to schedule more than one photographer, you don't want lots of people running around your event being disruptive but you do want to go with more than one to ensure that you will have a few shots that you are completely satisfied with. A client tried this method and it worked out for her, she scheduled four free photographers and had given each of them very specific assignments for her wedding photos. You will also be able to capture lots of shots that a traditional photographer wouldn't be able to capture. Lots of times the traditional photographer has to give so much attention to the wedding couple that you don't get lots of pictures of your guests.

3. Order the prints yourself.
You may have fallen in love with a very expensive or well known photographers work, but think you simply can't afford their services. Wrong! Most photographers have set package rates for you to choose from but many are open to customizing something for you if you request it. Be specific in what services you are interested in. Cut out the middle man and order the prints yourself, you can even publish your own professional wedding book for a fairly reasonable rate, my favorite company being (

These are just a few places to start. The key is to give yourself ample time to research. Start planning your wedding/event from the moment you know you are going to have one even if you haven't set a date yet. Research everything and everyone, the more knowledgeable you are the better. Look into to all options to ensure you are picking the best one for you. Lastly never under estimate the power of friends and family. If you know someone attending is pretty handy with the camera encourage them to step in and take pictures of your event. Don't be afraid to provide cameras for the guest to use to take pictures, be creative and attach a note card to the camera with instruction.
Keep an eye out for more Budget Bride lessons to come. Keep me posted on your photography stories.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Personalizing a Perfectly Posh Venue

Have you ever stepped into a place and thought to yourself..."This place is perfect!"? Well it's places like Mansion 462 that make my job easy and hard all at the same time. Rarely you find a venue location that has everything: luxurious lighting, awesome ambiance, and dazzling decor.

My latest event is an Engagement Party taking place at Mansion 462 in Chapel Hill, NC, a lounge fit for a King and his Queen. Its features swanky decor, oversized rich furniture, and grand framed art. This venue has lots of chic items that give it such an opulent feeling: 5ft vases, beautiful oak flooring and beautiful lighting fixtures. So what CAN you do to personalize the perfectly posh venue? Add lots of small subtle touches with flowers, an assortment of framed pix, fabulous fabric, and signature cocktails.

1. Flowers - Opt for a flower display instead of balloons or large centerpieces if there are tables. This venue features a large bar area, a stage and lounge area with comfortable lounge seating and a few coffee tables.

2. Pictures - Place a 10x13 matted engagement picture of the couple at the front entrance and a bouquet of peonies the couples chosen wedding flower. On each of the cocktail tables, place a 4x6 framed engagement photo. These should be scattered throughout the venue.

3. Fabric - Create bar menu cards from animal print fabric with fuchsia accents as a perfect way to bring out a little flair and personal touch. I made the bar menu cards using cardboard and fabric and specialty paper.

4. Signature Drinks - Create a signature cocktail menu as a chic, sophisticated way to personalize your event. Below are a few examples...

The Duke Blue Devil- the groom's favorite basketball team

Pretty in Pink-the bride is an AKA and loves to wear pink

I hope these tips can help you add your personal flair to the perfect, posh venue.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Building my Business, From Dreams to Reality

This is my first official blog which I hope to be first of many as I explore this marvelous world of event planning as a profession. Allow me to introduce myself and my business. I am an ambitious, charismatic, walking to my own off beat fun loving 26 year old woman with a flair, rather gene for event planning. I am no newbie to events, it's my first love to throw parties from an early age I was having lavish slumber parties, game nights, craft parties and the list goes on. I had a standard all my own to compete with before I was a preteen. As an adult I have planned countless corporate events from conferences, to seminars and luncheons. I have worked on two weddings and planned one from start to finish. I have planned a host of other events to include Baby Showers, Graduation parties and one of my favorites Family Reunions. The list goes on but you get the idea.
I am an expert at saving money and know just how to create the perfect event on a limited budget. I don't cut corners or sacrifice class or style to save money, but I do find ways to effectively reduce the cost. Why spend money that you don't have to or simply can't afford to spend.
So that's my story. Keep a look out for my future blogs. I intend to update them frequently with topics stemming from money saving tips, trends, DIY info, and hot offbeat venues and the day and life of an event planner. You can look forward to lots of pictures and originality. Feel free to contact me for information about anything you see posted or to inquire more about Kaden Maddox Events services.