Guest Blogging Gig for My Fitness Pal! And caterer LOVE.

Hi!  I am so excited (and so late!) to announce that I am officially a guest blogger for a My Fitness Pal!  Just call me the resident wedding planning expert!  My first post (Healthy Wedding Food Trends) went live a couple weeks ago and I'm eagerly awaiting my next post - 'Why Starving on the Big Day is a Big NO!'  I'll make sure to announce the post via Facebook and Twitter.  Hey!  Do you follow Allure on those platforms?  I hereby invite you to!  Click on those links and let's connect! I'm going to take this opportunity to rave about the catering company that I mentioned in my first post for My Fitness Pal: Culinary Eye.  John Silva, one of the owners, was kind enough to send me a list of some of his Spring and Summer menu items so I could feature them in my post.  Culinary Eye caters events, big and small, with amazing food and service.  I wanted to give specific examples of organic, beautiful food that couples can serve at their receptions and I new CE would fit the bill splendidly.  I love working with John (lead designer) and Collins (the executive chef) and I LOVE eating their food.  This is my blog and I'll rave if I want to!

Below are some of the items on the Culinary Eye menu this season.  The photo is of the deviled quail eggs - I can personally vouch for their deliciousness.  I'm hungry!

- Canape of Heirloom Melon, Thai Basil, Torn Burrata, and Balsamic Reduction
- Petite Deviled Quail Eggs with Caper and Pickled Jalapeno
- Blanched Summer Shelling Pea Tartar with Mint, Organic Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, and Shaved Manchego
- Compressed Cucumber in Pear Vinaigrette, Smoked Salmon, and Chive  on Silver Spoons
Keep following along and I'll keep posting!  Deal?

2014!

Hello Lovelies!  Happy New Year!  I have taken a bit of time off…my last blog post was August!  2013 was a very busy year. I had my second son, Thomas James, in May, and planning weddings while being a full time mom to two was a whirlwind!  The holidays brought a much needed break, and now I am back to the office (during kids' naps and weekly set aside hours) and I'm thrilled to also be back online - blogging, pinning, tweeting and generally trying to keep up with the wedding industry's crazy social media scene.  On one hand, I feel like shouting, "I'm back!" from the proverbial rooftops.  On the other, I feel like I wasn't ever really gone.  Like all working moms, I have a lot of balls in the air and I'm just doing the best I can to keep juggling!

Later this week, I'll be posting an Allure wedding shot by Mary McHenry.  Here is a sneak peek of Joanna and Patrick's SF wedding:

This year, I am looking forward to planning weddings at the Fort Mason Center, the W Hotel and the Presidio in San Francisco.  So far, so good!  Keep up with me here:  Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Yelp.  Seriously, say hi!  Let's comment, share and link away in 2014-- together, we'll stay connected and stay inspired!

 

Photos above by Ashley Paige and Mary McHenry.  Click on the photo for the link!

What We Do: Month of Wedding Coordination

Day of Wedding Coordination.  Month of Coordination.  Partial Planning, Full Planning, Custom Proposals and Agreements, Wedding Designer, Wedding Planner, Wedding Consultant...  What's what?! Allure is here to help.  Literally, that's the business of Allure...helping couples have amazing weddings, and doing the work so they can enjoy every second of them!

I don't believe in "Day of Wedding Coordination".  The whole concept is flawed...it sounds nice, but it's a unicorn as far as I'm concerned...not real.  Not possible.  Not a good idea.  To simply show up at a wedding and 'take over' is unrealistic.  I am getting anxious just thinking about how unprepared I would feel in that case.  Sure, I can direct vendors and I know the most basic timeline for the average wedding...but there would still be a lot of guess work involved.  And who wants an average wedding??  There are so many boxes that need to be checked in order for an event to run well and look effortless in the process.      If a planner is willing to show up on the day-of with little or no work before hand, those boxes are not getting checked, bottom line.  It's a risk to hire someone offering this service and I question that planner's training and experience if they are willing to take on a true "Day-of" job. What we do for you: Allure's "Month of Coordination" package is our version of the Day-of deal.  Allure specializes in Month-of packages, and custom drafts each proposal for each and every inquiring potential client.  The proposals start with this:  The Month-of Breakdown.  From here, we add in other services such as design assistance, vendor research and referrals, and production--which can all add up to a Partial or even Full Planning package.  We start working with you, at the very latest, 1 month before your wedding.  We take over at this point as the main vendor and venue contact, and act as a liaison between you and your wedding 'team' from this point forward.  40-50 hours on average go into a Month-of package on our end.  We create a full day-of schedule and do all the prep necessary to execute it on your wedding day.  Allure has been in business for 9 years; we have systems and templates in place so that our weddings are coordinated and come together in that last month to ensure a flawless day.

Here is what Bernadette of 14 Stories in NYC posted about Day-of/Month-of service.  Allure is recommended on her page of national wedding planners that specialize in Month of Wedding Coordination (and are educated in LGBT weddings).

Basically, Allure is an event planning firm.  I am a Certified Wedding Consultant.  I specialize in Month of Wedding packages.  I can be hired to plan your wedding from the very beginning of the planning process, to coordinate your wedding day, and to assist with design ideas and implementation.  I call myself a wedding planner, that term seems most recognizable and more all-encompassing than the others for what I do.

Hiring a wedding planner is a huge part of wedding planning.  A wedding planner can save a couple lots of money by negotiating with vendors and by working with vendors they know and trust.  A wedding planner is an expert in the industry--who to hire, and for what exactly, is an important decision for couples.  Here is an article from Sunday's Style section of the SF Chronicle--Allure is mentioned because we are professionals certified by the program featured.  Finding a planner that is experienced, professional, certified, connected and awesome to work with* may not be easy, but is absolutely worth it.  I'm not just saying that because I am a wedding planner!  I wish every couple could hire a "Month of" planner, I hate that it's often a cost-prohibitive decision.  It truly does make the process easier and more enjoyable.

* This is important.   I always tell couples inquiring about Allure that they should like (if not love!) their wedding planner.  We work so closely on such an important day, and the days leading up to it.  Being friends makes the whole thing a better deal for all of us!