6 Things Wedding Planners Wish Brides Would Stop Obsessing About

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We were delighted to be included in the Brides Magazine article, “6 Things Wedding Planners Wish Brides Would Stop Obsessing About.” http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2015/04/things-wedding-planners-wish-brides-would-stop-worrying-about.html – article written by Elizabeth Mitchell.

 

Brides, did you know that the more control you try to exert over your big day, the less in control you’ll actually feel? That’s because certain aspects, such as the weather, are simply out of your hands and nothing, we repeat, nothing is perfect, despite you and your wedding vendors’ best intentions! Instead of setting yourself up to fail, take the advice of these wedding planners, who’ve witnessed firsthand the unhappiness obsessing over things like flowers and colors causes brides.

The Flowers
“Many brides have a tendency to obsess about the flowers, when in actuality, the colors and types available are dictated at the whim of Mother Nature. For example, who would have thought that temperatures on the West Coast would reach record highs in early March of 90 degrees? Those growers hit by the drought may have some damaged crops, and flowers that are shipped from all over the world may not come in the quantities that were originally planned for your wedding. Thus, changes will be necessary.” — Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions

The Day-Of Details
“I’ve seen far too many brides obsess about perfection, to the point where they make themselves miserable on the one day that they should be their happiest. Just like no relationship is perfect, so too are weddings and wedding vendors. Keeping in mind that you are marrying the man of your dreams and having your friends and family there to be a part of that is what the day is really all about. If the timing is a little bit off or if something that isn’t of critical importance should go missing, don’t harp on it. Take everything in stride, and you’ll not only feel the love and admiration of those all around you, but you’ll also be that much happier and healthier.” — Aviva Samuels, founder of Kiss the Planner

See More: 5 Most Common Wedding DIY Mishaps

The Color Scheme
“In my experience, a lot of brides get fixated on needing to pick specific wedding colors. The idea of designing a wedding around one or two random colors is odd to me. I think it’s much better to think of the big picture atmosphere you’re trying to create at your wedding. And then you can start thinking about an overall color palette that supports this look and feel.” — Amy Kaneko, owner of Amy Kaneko Special Events

The Wedding World’s Expectations
“I think brides obsess too much about what the wedding ‘should’ be like versus designing a wedding that authentically represents the couple. They so easily get caught up in every wedding blog, magazine or vendor website. This causes paralysis by analysis. I ask my couples to make a list of what is hugely important to both of them. We focus on the priorities and then supplement where needed. There is no cookie cutter recipe for what a wedding should look like. Brides and grooms should embrace that they have the freedom to design the day they both want.” — Nicole R. Matthews, Founder of The Henley Company

The Weather
“As the wedding nears, brides are often very concerned with the weather and start checking the forecast obsessively. As a planner, I’ve worked on weddings where it rained, where there’s been an unexpected heat wave (108 degrees!) and everything in between. When you book your venue, be sure there’s a backup plan in case of rain, then let whatever happens happen. At my own wedding we moved the ceremony indoors at the last minute due to rain and it was every bit as wonderful as it would have been outside, even though I’d initially hoped for an outdoors wedding.” — Samantha Spector, founder of Milk & Honey Special Events

The Timeline
“More specifically, the bridal party and guests being on time! Remember though, even if everyone’s doing their best, you can’t always account for traffic jams or mixed up directions. We always expect that people will show up late. Real event pros take this into consideration and pad the timeline accordingly so a few ceremony stragglers or slightly tardy groomsmen won’t throw the whole schedule off.” — Erica Taylor, co-founder of Tinsel & Twine

Making Memories in Puerto Rico!

As I typed this blog post,  I was flying over the Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean Sea, having just returned from a glorious week in Puerto Rico. The memories from my time on the island outweigh the fact that the person in the seat in front of me had reclined, so my laptop was shaped like a taco. Good thing I have small limbs and could continue typing; otherwise he might have felt turbulence from my foot.

My parents and I were looking for a new destination to travel to during Spring Break. Although Mexico is at our doorstep, we have explored a lot of that beautiful country so decided to head east. Getting to San Juan, Puerto Rico from San Diego is a long day of travel, so it’s important that you plan 2 full days of travel time for your vacation window. Most flights from the west coast connect in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta or Miami before heading to San Juan. Due to our personal schedules, we had to unfortunately take a red eye from Houston; leaving at midnight and arriving in San Juan at 5:00 a.m. Tired from a long day of travel, the 3-hour time difference and pretending to sleep in an airplane seat, we arrived at San Juan Airport, weary but excited to see what the day would bring once the sun came up. Thankfully we were able to secure an early check-in at our hotel, which allowed us to take a well deserved morning nap!

For those uncertain as to how Puerto Rico is affiliated with the US, let me offer a little history and cultural perspective. The short story is that Puerto Rico was under the flag of Spain for over 400 years; until the Spanish-American war, in which time the US took control. Lucky for us! Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the USA, which allows citizens of the islands full rights as American citizens. They travel under US passports, use the US dollar as currency, and can move between US states without limitation. They are technically US citizens of Puerto Rican heritage; but for Puerto Ricans, they are proud to be Puerto Rican! The overall sense we had when talking to the locals is that they welcome the connection to the US and the access and freedoms it provides, but they are very loyal to their Puerto Rican heritage. It’s not uncommon to hear those visiting from the States to make an “us” versus “them” statement; assuming that being in Puerto Rico was really traveling to a foreign land.  This is just ignorance from not understanding the history of the island. We made a point of talking to many locals who were quick to tell us how much they appreciate having the rights of the US but how much they love PR. The hope is that they will one day become an official US state, but for now, they welcome the commonwealth title. US citizens do not need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico. We can come and go to the island just as easy as Puerto Ricans can travel to the states.

I can’t wait to share with you some of the exciting adventures we had during our visit. In future blog posts, I’ll talk about Old San Juan, the rain forest and kayaking in Bio Bay. It’s been such a wonderful trip that I am excited to share with you a million reasons why you should pack your bags and head straight to Puerto Rico.

If you’ve been to PR, share with me your favorite experience by popping down to the comments section below!

 

Playground Chatter with Brett Culp, Award Winning Filmmaker, Brett Culp Films

Welcome to Playground Chatter! Our blog series, where we get to profile and chat with some of the best executives in town! Sure, we could ask about all their fancy business stuff but since we are fun monsters, we want to know how they spend their spare time on the playground of life!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Your Name: Brett Culp

Your nickname? N/A

What is your grown up job? I produce inspirational films

How can we find you?

Facebook: facebook.com/brettculp

Twitter: twitter.com/batmanfilm

Instagram: instragram.com/brettculpfilms

Pinterest: N/A

 

Culp-42

 

Tell us where you spent your childhood years. Is there one year you remember most? I remember spending most of my childhood in imaginary worlds. I loved cartoons – mostly involving superheroes – and if I wasn’t watching these stories, I was re-enacting them or creating new heroic stories of my own.

Favorite part of the playground to hang out in? Definitely the slide. It goes fast and makes me smile.

Lunch pail, brown bag or did you buy lunch? Plastic lunch box with a superhero on it. I had a new one each year.

What would be your ideal recess today? I try to take an outdoor walk in the middle of every day to listen to uplifting music & clear my head. It helps me process the events of the morning and stay focused on the goals for the day. So, I guess I am still having recess as a grown up.

Does your company encourage recess for their employees? I encourage everyone I work with to find time for the things they are passionate about. The things I love most about my working life came from pursuing an idea that was outside of the flow of my normal work… then we found a way to incorporate it into our business. Our most recent film is connected with Batman. Four years ago, nothing in my filmmaking world was superhero focused, but it sounded like something fun to pursue. And it ultimately changed my professional life, for the better. For me, personal passion has consistently driven me to find ideas that keep my work fresh.

If I deemed you Playground Monitor for the next 15 minutes, how would you rally your employees? What activity would everyone participate in? I’m very much about building personal, emotional connection between people. I believe that creating an environment of trust & safely gives people the freedom to bring their best, most unique ideas to the table. Because they aren’t afraid. So, I’d probably organize some version of Show-And-Tell.

What rules did you learn on the playground that you still utilize today? Be nice. Although doing great work and sharing it with lots of people are both essential in business, I think kindness it the cornerstone of my professional life.

When does time disappear for you? Talk about your hobbies. I am blessed to have a profession that is also my hobby. At my core, I am a filmmaker and a storyteller. I am producing films for my clients, and I am also always creating separate projects for myself… something that expresses my heart. Not only does this personal work help energize my client projects, it also leads to opportunities that are aligned with my passions. By continually putting in the world the work and messages that are close to my heart, I attract the greatest clients on the planet and find myself continually falling more in love with the art of film making.

Culp-99-crop3-1What is one area of your life where you need more recess? Because my work is my passion, sometimes I don’t see realize when I am pushing myself too hard. My personal drive keeps me from taking a few days off to clear my head & reset my nerves. But I am getting better at this.

What is your authentic intention (that thing that you really, really want to do or accomplish?) What are you doing to get there? I believe that stories have the power to change us. And I think that uplifting stories have the ability to inspire greatness in us. My most important intention is to capture and share stories that bring out the most heroic part of each person. Each of us have a hero inside… I think compelling stories can be a key to unlock it.

Over the past 3 years, we have shifted our company significantly to allow more opportunity for this. Our recent film Legends of the Knight (www.WEareBATMAN.com) was a gigantic labor of love that screened theatrically in 90 cities around the world, raising over $60,000 for charitable organizations. The film is now on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more. The encouraging message of this film – and the community-focused distribution strategy that went with it – is a true expression of my heart and my beliefs.

To continue moving this journey forward, we started a not-for-profit called The Rising Heroes Project (www.RisingHero.org). We are currently working on our next film, and we will launch it through this new organization.

What can you do to design your life to better incorporate more recess? (Pinky Swear). I have 2 boys. I love watching them play at the park, imagining themselves as superheroes. If you break down the word “recreation”, you find “re” and “creation”. Our playtime is an opportunity to create ourselves again… perhaps by re-imagining ourselves as heroes in the world. I want to continue to spend more time imagining myself as a hero in the world, and then using that story to motivate me to positive action. And I hope many others will pursue the same dream.

 

If you know of an executive, entrepreneur or all-around cool kid that we should feature in Playground Chatter, please email hello@thehenleycompany.com.

 

 

Fifty Shades of Fun!

When something as big as Fifty Shades of Grey is hitting the big screen, we would never miss an opportunity to create an unique experience around the opening of the film! On February 13th, The Henley Co. produced a Fifty Shades of Grey launch party in San Diego.

The evening was fifty ways of fabulous! Guests arrived to a red carpet and photo backdrop thanks to Party Spark. They then were escorted to the private theater to watch Fifty Shades of Grey. I think we can all agree…we smell a sequel! A few lucky winners walked away from the event with official Fifty Shades merchandise, a boudoir session by True Blue Photography, intuitive energy healing certificates by Jeannie Ballard and the grand prize, which was a 2-night stay at The Heathman Hotel, the hotel made famous by the movie.

To continue the evening, all guests were invited to an after party at Side Bar San Diego. Bon Affair was on hand to help guests cool down by enjoying wine spritzers.

A special thanks to all of our partners for helping to make the evening a great success!

Later’s Baby!

 

Here’s the Dirty Little Secret…

…No one is actually working an 8-hour work day!

feet on deskIf you are reading this article, it’s more than likely between the hours of 9-5 and you are sitting at your desk (which is owned by the company), reading this on your computer (which the company provides) and taking a “break” from your “demanding” work (which the company pays you to do). From the outside, you look busy because your eyes are aimed at the screen. This should make your manager happy. The reality is that this virtual “smoke break” will not be just the standard 15-minute break from your workload. Instead, it will morph into 2.09 hours per 8-hour workday, not including your lunch break or allocated break time, according to American Online and Survey.com [1] That’s 2.09 hours PER employee. Now multiply that by the number of employees you see in your immediate eyesight and you realize that there is a whole lot of nothing being done each day. The research by American Online and Survey.com has shined a bright light on the fact that employees are wasting twice as much time as their employers think they are wasting. And to really add salt to the employer’s wounds, Salary.com ran the numbers and found over $750 Billion (yes, with a B!) is spent on salaries (translation= compensation for actual work) for work that was never performed. Who’s pulling a fast one on whom?

Now before the employees start muzzling me for exposing the dirty little secret, it’s important to take a look at why they are spending so much time sitting at their desks without actually producing any relevant work for their employers. Given the current economic climate, it’s easy to justify the feeling of burnout most employees are experiencing and the overwhelming inability to manage work / life balance.

53% of employees would opt for a personal assistant rather than a personal trainer. [2]

Only 14% of Americans take two weeks or more at a time for vacation. The average American spends more time in the bathroom than on vacation. [3]

88% of employees say they have a hard time juggling work and life. [4]

70% of working fathers and working mothers report they don’t have enough time for their children. [5]

64% of Americans report that time pressures on working families are getting worse, not better. [6]

Work is inevitable but does it mean we have to give up our personal life for the sake of a paycheck? Not at all. It just means that employers should recognize that work / life balance is a huge motivator for employees. So if you can’t beat ‘em, why not join ‘em? A corporate concierge program can bring sanity to an otherwise scattered workplace filled with unsuspecting managers overseeing unproductive workers.

Texas Instruments is a perfect example of a company that understands happy, stress-free employees make for profitable champions for the business. According to the Texas Instruments website, in 2010, their concierge program served more than 2,900 U.S. employees and fulfilled more than 8,000 requests. They also expanded on-site services, providing 1,276 employees an opportunity to save a trip away from the work site during business hours. [7]

Implementing a corporate concierge program equates to:

  • The ability to retain and recruit quality talent
  • A far more productive and engaged workforce
  • A reduction in absenteeism
  • A lower level of stress within the workplace

Corporate concierge programs can be operated either virtually, with employees having access to the concierge through email or a dedicated website, or on-site, where employees can interact with the concierge in a face-to-face engagement. The concierge is retained to provide a solution to the employee’s work/life balance problem.

Frequent requests include:

  • travel coordination
  • errand running,
  • household management
  • personal shopping
  • personal assistance and
  • event planning

Imagine stopping by the concierge desk in the morning on your way into work with a request for designing and planning tonight’s dinner party; only to leave the office 8 hours later armed with the necessary groceries, a customized cd for background music, a paired wine selection and personalized favors for each guest. A corporate concierge becomes the one-stop solution for the time strapped employees. Without a concierge, the employee must manage this to-do list from their own desk and their lunch hour is spent running the errands.

As the workforce begins to shift from retiring Baby Boomers to Generation X & Y prodigies, employers need to evolve. What worked “back in the day” in terms of designing a workplace is completely foreign to today’s up and comers. Gen X & Y demand instant gratification because they have grown up in a world of access.

Although this might seem extravagant to those over the age of 45, the “children are the future.” (cue Whitney Houston).  I think this is what Darwin would call “survival of the fittest.” The strongest employee benefits package will become King of the Jungle. If you don’t make their life easier, I’m sure your competitor would be glad to invite them over. Now is the time to be a trailblazer and create a workplace that can be a place for a Gen X / Y’er to park themselves for a while because their work/life balance needs are met, versus just being a hop, skip and a jump on their resume.

Sangri-Yum!

I need little convincing to enjoy a glass of Sangria – or as I like to say – sangri-yum!  For the holiday parties we produced in 2014, we loved this recipe for Winter Sangria. It is the perfect mix of fruit and spice. Our clients raved about this festive cocktail. Check out the recipe below from Food Network, although it takes a little prep time, it’s worth the work!

Ingredients

2 cups no-pulp orange juice
3 to 6 ounces orange liqueur
2 tablespoons honey
1 cinnamon stick
2 blood oranges or clementines, supremed
1 Anjou (red) pear, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
2 liters sweet sparkling red wine, chilled (recommended: Rosa Regale)
1 liter lemon lime soda, chilled

Directions

1 Granny Smith apple (or other tart apple), cored and chopped into 1/4-inch cubes

In a large pitcher or punch bowl, whisk together orange juice, orange liqueur and honey. Add cinnamon stick, blood oranges, apple and pears, stir to combine. Set aside at room temperature to macerate, at least 1 hour, until ready to serve. Add wine and soda, stir gently to combine, and serve immediately over ice.

Recipe courtesy Sunny Anderson, 2009
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Sangria

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Marsala – Pantone Color of the Year

Designers, event planners and creatives alike wait patiently at the end of each year for the announcement of Pantone’s Color of the Year. For 2015, the folks at Pantone have chosen Marsala. With it’s rich, hearty and natural earthiness, Marsala will translate through all areas of design, fashion and event production.

The Versatility of Marsala

  • Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
  • An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury.

Pantone_Introducing_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_bannerThe event world will start to incorporate Marsala in design elements, flowers, menus and wine pairings. Be on the look out! This beautiful color will reign in 2015!