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What an amazing and successful webinar we had with award-winning wedding planner, Jamie Lipman. Jamie is the owner of Absolute – the full wedding and event planning service.

If you were unable to join us, listen as Jamie shares her 10 Steps To Become a Wedding Planner.

TAGS: wedding planner

event planning business

Credit alert! …Because this is a great article, we borrowed it right from Preston Bailey’s blog.

Kathy Romero is the Director of Event Planning for Preston Bailey Designs.

“Dear Readers:

One of the things I love most about working in the wedding industry is that it is filled with unbelievable talent and people with remarkable dedication. That said, experience has shown me that most of our talents are not interchangeable. Personally, I find it interesting–and also disappointing– when I hear a prospective bride call in and say she has booked a venue that “comes with a planner”. While I understand that the role of a banquet manager is a very important one, there is a significant difference between a manager and a planner, one that must be well defined.

I find it misleading when roles are not clarified, and the word “planner” is used so loosely. In the spirit of total transparency, I want to use today’s post to help clarify a few misconceptions:

A Planner Works For You, a Banquet Manager Does Not: It’s important for couples to understand that when banquet managers or site coordinators tells them that the venue comes with a coordinator/planner, it’s certainly not a lie, but it’s often very misleading. It’s especially easy to get these confused when you are not in the industry. Most couples do not know the different responsibilities associated with the different job titles. The number one misconception is that banquet managers work for you. The reality is that they are hired by the venue to perform tasks that allow them to make sure that the event runs smoothly on behalf of the venue, but they are not there to assist you in your overall wedding decision process.

Responsibilities Are Different: A site coordinator’s main responsibilities involve keeping track of time during your events, ensuring proper set up as established by the bride or planner, managing the wait staff, catering liaison, and other venue-elated tasks that are pivotal to the success of the event. Planners on the other hand, are there with you every step of the way. From the moment we meet to the moment you walk down the aisle. We orchestrate all of your details, manage your vendors, create and manage budgets and timelines, assist with contract negotiations, manage the venue selection process, and other countless important details.

So many of us give our lives to this industry because we are passionate, but our desire to help or to secure a client ‘s business should never be greater than understanding our limitations. So when faced with the question, what do you bring to the table, it’s better to come from a place of honesty. We will not only be doing the right thing, but we will also be able to set client expectations as well as protect them from disappointments.

We are all unique and valuable in our own way. Let’s use our talents to shine in our areas of expertise.

Please share your own thoughts about this topic below. I am eager to read your replies.

With a happy heart,


Get the inside scoop from Award Winning event planner, Jamie Lipman. Listen in as Jamie shares her industry secrets and must-have skills you need to run a successful event planning business. Event planners thrive on the social aspect of our industry. While other industries are cutthroat, an event planner’s social nature means we not only enjoy talking with our competitors, we can actually learn from them. That’s why I love sitting down with other event planners and hosting these video interviews through the EventPlanning BlueprintTV YouTube channel. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jamie Lipman, BizBash’s Social Event Planner of the Year. She is the owner of absolute-The Full Wedding & Event Planning Service, her own wedding and event planning company in South Florida. What a treat to get to hear how Jamie got started in the business, her most memorable event and where she draws upon her inspiration for transforming every event from an “a-ha!” idea into a reality. You’ve got to hear her story about the blue woman she has in her office! Jamie is truly living her dream and has some great advice for everyone who’s starting an event planning business or even thinking about starting an event planning business. I hope you enjoy the interview with Jamie as much as I enjoyed talking with her!

(In the words of Biz Bash)…Jamie Lipman is the founder of the premiere wedding and event planning company in South Florida: absolute: The Full Wedding & Event Planning Service.

Jamie has planned and designed the most creative, beautiful weddings and events in the industry for nearly a decade. She takes her past in social, corporate and hotel planning and applies it to her own company in unique, never-before-seen ways that leave her brides and clients breathless. Her PASSION, professionalism, attention to detail, work ethic and superior communication skills allow Jamie to navigate the high-stress, high-pressure world of event planning with absolute confidence. Everyone who works with her knows that she is the absolute best.

TAGS: Event Planning Business, jamie lipman

event planning business

My goal with Event Planning Blueprint is to give you the information and inspiration you need to create a successful event. If you have a story idea or question you’d like me to answer in a future article or video, please let me know by commenting below.

TAGS: event Planning

event planning business

Huge thanks to the mega stars at CB Engine from Event Planning Blueprint, an online marketing site that promotes exceptional information products.

We’re very excited at the Event Planning Blueprint office and think it deserves a toast…my preference is champagne!

Happy Friday Event Planners. 🙂

Visit our site at http://www.eventplanningblueprint.com/


TAGS: event planning blueprint

event planning business

The WordPress helper monkeys (that’s what they call themselves!) just let me know that there are people reading our blog from 47 countries around the world. Amazing!

Thanks for sharing our event planning blog posts with your friends.

I really appreciate it…and look forward to reaching 94 countries.

In gratitude,

TAGS: event planning blueprint

event planning business

If this describes you, I’d love to hear from you:

Are you an aspiring event planner, a planner who is in the process of starting your own event business, or an executive/administrative/marketing assistant who plans company functions?

If you are, I’m looking for YOU!

We’re creating some new tools that will help you plan your events and/or start your business and I’d like to get your opinion. It’s simple and requires very little time: If you’re able to answer 5-10 questions via email, just send me an email to melanie@eventplanningblueprint.com and I’ll get in touch.

If you know other event planners, feel free to pass this on cause the more-the-merrier!

Thanks, in advance.

TAGS: ciao event solutions, event management, event marketing, event objective, event planner, event Planning, event planning manual, event solutions, how to event plan, How To Get Started In Event Planning, Melanie Woodward

event planning business

Can you believe it’s nearly the end of 2012?

It’s time to start thinking about what’s new and what’s not for 2013…

The most obvious (and important) trend to look for is color. This past year Pantone predicted lots of tangerine, and it was seen on runways, at weddings, and splashed around other events. For 2013, Pantone’s color predictions can be seen here: http://media.dexigner.com/article/22815/Pantone_Fashion_Color_Report_Spring_2013.jpg

For your events in 2013, use classic shades of blue and ranges of tan to deep browns, which can be used separately or together. Add in some fashionable (and trendy) feathers and you’ve got yourself a party!

Insider Tip

Feathers don’t have to be white. There are many variations that can be used including Peacock feathers which incorporate browns and blues.

Get buzzed with a coffee bar at your next event. The smell of coffee is one of the most inviting sensory details you can provide. Add in a smiling barista, high-quality beans and chocolate sprinkles, and it’s sure to be a hit at your next wedding, conference or party.

Shaken, not stirred: Instead of having a wine tasting why not try a vodka tasting party. Tasting parties are all the rage right now! Dim the lights or have colored bulbs, add shakers, chocolate shavings, olives, lemon rind and great Bond-style music. Oh, and don’t forget the vodka!

We’d love to hear from you, using the comment box below, let us know what other trends you like for 2013. And be sure to “like” our Facebook page for daily inspiration: https://www.facebook.com/EventPlanningBlueprint

Get started today with at http://www.eventplanningblueprint.com

Entrepreneur and event planner, Melanie Woodward, has reinvented her life many times—building multiple businesses around her passion – and she’ll teach you how to do it too! Providing hands-on, practical steps, here is what other event planners say about their experience with Event Planning Blueprint.

Happy Decorating!

TAGS: event planning trends

event planning business


Every industry has its own set of lingo, and conference and event planning is no exception. Here are just a few of the terms you should be aware of or brush up on. So it’s not the most exciting post but it’s one of the most important cause if you don’t know what you’re talking about nobody will take you seriously!

DMC (Destination Management Company): a term used to describe a professional services company that specializes in local knowledge (i.e. hotels, restaurants, bars, local speciality shops, etc). They can be travel agent, event planner/manager, tour operator, and conference bureau all-in-one.


Attrition Clause: The fees that must be paid to a hotel should the room block commitment not be met.

Drayage: The costs a venue charges for receiving and moving your shipments.

Force Majeure: Circumstances beyond control that prevent the fulfillment of the terms of the contract. This typically includes natural disasters, war, and outbreaks of disease.

RFP: Request For Proposal. A formal request to a vendor to provide a bid for services for your event.

Rider: An addendum to the contract which details additional requirements. These are often used when contracting entertainment services or speakers and can include the brand of beverages required in their suite or the colour of the napkins required to be on the tables.

A/V Services

Lavaliere: A small microphone that can be clipped onto a presenter’s shirt or lapel, allowing for freedom of movement on the stage or around the room. You may also hear it referred to as a lav.

Load In / Load Out: These terms refer to the amount of time required by your provider to unload their equipment. It can also refer to the time and date a venue will allow the unloading. Load In / Load Out times should always be considered when contracting a venue.

Podcast: Recording a presentation in a format that will enable attendees, or those who could not attend, to listen to sessions at a later date using their computer, MP3 player or mobile device.

Riser: A platform used to create a stage. Risers come in various dimensions and can often be joined together to create a larger stage.

Roving Microphone: A wireless microphone that can be passed around an audience, enabling attendees to ask questions of the presenter, creating an opportunity for audience participation.

Simultaneous Translation: A service that allows attendees to listen to a live presentation in their native language using a headset. For example, if the presentation is in English, a translator sits in a booth and repeats the presentation in French, broadcasting it to the headsets of the French-speaking attendees.

Webcast: The live streaming of a presentation over the internet to viewers who could not attend the event in person.

Food and Beverage

Action Station: A table or area where guests can interact with the Chef and watch their meal being prepared.

BEO: Banquet Event Order. These documents detail everything from the set-up of the room, to the menu and wine selections, to any special dietary requirements of your attendees.

Corkage: A charge per bottle for the opening and service of wine brought into the event by a sponsor or your client (with advance arrangements and permissions).

Gluten Free: Often requested by guests with Celiac Disease, a gluten free meal contains no wheat products or products derived from any foods containing gluten.

Kosher: A meal that conforms to the dietary guidelines of Jewish law. A Kosher meal not only requires the proper foods to be served, but also dictates the manner in which the food is prepared, including the use of proper cooking utensils.

Vegetarian: Most of us know that a vegetarian does not eat meat, however this tends to be a rather broad term. Some vegetarians do eat fish, eggs or dairy. Regardless, it is important to ensure that their meal be more than just a plate of salad or steamed vegetables.

Vegan: A diet which excludes any foods derived from animals or animal products including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey.

Insider Tip: At events where attendees will be served many meals, such as a multi-day conference, it is good practice to contact those with special dietary requirements and have a conversation regarding their specific needs. Not only will this make the guest feel cared for and catered to, it will also avoid potential issues at mealtimes.

If a term or acronym is not familiar to you, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It’s far better to know up front what you are getting into than to find out the service does not fit the needs of your event.

Use this post as a reference by printing it and keeping it in your office.

If you have other terms to share, please use the comment box below.

TAGS: BEO, event management, event marketing, event planner, event Planning, Event Planning Business, event planning language, event planning lingo, event planning manual, event solutions, hire an event planner, Melanie Woodward

event planning business


Highly stylized, decidedly personal and meticulously detailed, themed dessert buffets are taking the sweet table to whole new heights.

“We saw a void in the market for high-end custom dessert buffets, specifically on the West Coast,” says Ashley Capra, vice president of sales and marketing for Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, Emeryville, Calif. “We knew that something so stylized would sell to the client who wants something truly extraordinary.”

On the corporate side, Chicago’s Blue Plate Catering has seen a growing interest in the high-end dessert buffet. For an upcoming holiday event for retailer Nordstrom, the company is set to create several different dessert buffets, each themed around a current food trend—bacon, herbal, retro and doughnuts among them.


Mini versions of childhood treats with a decidedly grownup twist (read: booze-infused) continue to top dessert menus, according to Blue Plate’s executive pastry chef Louella Ann Caringal. Equal parts dessert and cocktail, Blue Plate’s “PB&J Jell-o shot,” a gelee made with vodka and dusted with peanut butter, packs a punch, as do its tiny liqueur-spiked cupcake “tops” and mini bourbon-bacon crumb cakes with apple-cheddar streusel.

On cooler side, Jon Wool, head of Chicago’s Finesse Cuisine, favors house-made ices combining fresh fruits, flavored whipped creams and wine. “Consider a lavender blossom and rosé sorbet with blueberry essence,” he suggests.

Sometimes, however, the original treat you remember from childhood is best left dry.

“The most popular dessert in my catalogue would probably be the ‘Take Five,’ which is an ode to my favorite candy bar,” says Caringal, who combines chocolate cheesecake, pretzel crust, peanut butter ganache, peanuts, salted caramel and a dark chocolate shell in her re-creation. Another twist on an old favorite: “push-cakes,” in which push-pop vessels hold mini layer cakes in grownup flavors such as lemon-lavender and chocolate-cappuccino.

House-made ice cream, she says, is another big seller. “When it comes to flavors, the sky is the limit,” she says, noting that Cracker Jacks and buttered popcorn are just as tasty—if not more so—frozen.

As far as “it” ingredients go, good old-fashioned cotton candy has given bacon a run for its money, appearing atop everything from foie gras to Cosmopolitans. Finesse Cuisine brings it closer to its confectionary roots with a sweet-savory dessert bite of bubblegum flavored cotton candy wrapped around a bleu cheese-filled cherry.


As guests’ palettes grow more sophisticated, herbs, spices and savory condiments become commonplace in the pastry chef’s kitchen.

Pastry chef Marilyne Mitani of Paula LeDuc Fine Catering finds that desserts enhanced with savory and/or bitter additions pair especially well with wine. “Kalamata olives, candied and stuffed with orange zest, are a welcome surprise when you find them in the middle of a traditional walnut cookie,” she says.

Another favorite for wine tasting: rosemary-pine nut chocolate dipped twigs sprinkled with Himalayan sea salt. On the spicy side, Mitani blends chiles, Indian curries and Middle Eastern spices into house-made caramel corn, while miso, bacon and duck prosciutto usurp salt in recipes for caramel and toffee. “It’s the little touches that elevate the ordinary,” she says.

Fresh herbs—and even vegetables—are a big part of Caringal’s dessert repertoire as well. Blue Plate’s basil peach short cake pairs a sweet basil-flecked scone with vanilla-infused stewed peaches and pastry cream, while the “Farmer’s Market Cake” combines a green tomato cake with avocado mousse, lime-cucumber sorbet and cilantro.

– Written by Susan Cuadrado

What do you think about these tasty treats for your next event?

You don’t need a background in event planning to become an expert. If you have a knack for organizing and planning, you have the basic skills required to plan (and get paid) your own events. Get started at www.eventplanningblueprint.com

TAGS: dessert trends