Do you need to “Break the Bank”?

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piggybankSo the big question when planning your event is how much to spend. This question applies to each and every type of event. Whether you are planning a wedding, bar/bat mitzvah celebration, birthday or just a party for fun, you will ask yourself what the budget should be.

Well, this is always a tough choice. Do I invite less people? Do I get 1 less appetizer or do we eliminate the chair covers and table linens? The answer could be yes or no. Obviously nobody wants to cut corners on their special day, and we understand that. There are many ways to reduce your costs and keep everything you want.

Here are some ideas to consider, not all of them will apply to every situation, so filter out the irrelevant ones.

Bad is an understatementBeing in the event business for over 30 years, I can personally say the most important pieces of any event is food and entertainment. If you serve crummy food, people will remember your event as having crummy food. If your DJ/Band is awful, people will remember that too. Looking back, we have all been to an event that the entertainment was lackluster at best. So make sure to taste the food and listen to the entertainment ahead of time. Do not go based on price alone, you will regret it. On the flip-side, the most expensive does not mean the best either. Word of mouth is the best advertising for any company. Oh, and make sure they dress appropriately.

flowerdisasterDecor can get out of hand sometimes, so sit back and take a look at the whole picture. Do you need to have over the top florals or centerpieces on each and every table? Maybe, maybe not. This is an area where you can trim the fat so to speak. Maybe you integrate some candles and other media into the centerpieces. Think GREEN, Eco-friendly perhaps. Keep in mind, at the end of the event, what will you so with all of the decor? Understand, I am not saying anything negative about Florists or other Decor people. We have many great partners in the industry and they all do great work. When looking for vendors, make sure that they care about your budget and are able to design within any limitations if need be. Don’t skimp, but be realistic!

Photographers and Videographers can range in pricing as well. Don’t get caught up in a situation where a friend of a friend of an uncle 3 times removed just bought a nice digital camera and is now a photographer or videographer. Chances are very high that you will not be happy with the results. Photography and Videography are both arts and as such need to be treated that way. Having a digital camera and shooting a ton of pics does not count. This is like painting a wall without a brush and throwing the paint bucket at the wall. Yes, some of the paint will stick, but much of it will be wasted. Same goes for photos and videos. Just like any other business, you can encounter highs and lows in pricing. Make sure that the company you choose is showing you pictures and/or footage shot by a certain individual. You also need to like his or her personality, you are spending most of the day with them.

badlinensOk, so I waited a few paragraphs to talk about chair covers and linens. Of course, these are a must! What else would I say? Actually, these items are not typically a must have, but a like to have item. It starts with the venue you are at and what, if anything, they are offering you. Many will say that linens are included, but most will not be floor length. You also may get a choice of 5-10 colors for napkins. If you don’t care about linens and you like the look of the chairs, then you are all set. Believe it or not, adding chair covers to an event is not too expensive. This little additional expense can make a huge improvement in the overall look of your event. When we work with clients, our goal is to find the perfect chair cover, linen and napkin selection. Our pay is not affected by the client’s choice. Our goal is to give you a great look on any budget. So the shameless plug here is we have over 500,000 items in inventory, we are sure to have what you want.

Planners and “Day Of” coordinators are great to have, but not always needed. If you are working 80 hours a week and don’t have time to gather up all the things you need, a planner may be the perfect choice. FrazzledPlanners all work on different price points, so do your research and get those referrals. Maybe you have time to run around and hire all your vendors which is great. This is a great way to spend money on other things. Maybe you just need a “Day Of” coordinator to manage the big day. This can take the stress off of you and your family.

I am not going to dive into invitations, gifts for the guests, etc. This would span over pages of banter. What I can say, these areas are places you can save money on.

So before you decide you want a wedding for 500 people and no budget to speak of, think about it. Is everyone on that list important to you on this day? Some choices are hard to make, but Don’t Break the Bank for your event.

If you need some great referrals, please give us a call at 877-200-2424

Have a Fabulous Day,

Lyle Brous
President/CEO
Fabulous Events, Inc.

Wedding Blunders – Don’t do it!

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Tips from Fabulous Events for your weddingI started out in the wedding and event business in 1985, over 30 years ago. I can say that I have seen my fair share of wedding blunders, some worse than others. Many times, people do not even know they are doing something wrong until it blows up in their face. Here are some points to ponder!

1. Is your budget unrealistic?

Find out what things actually cost before solidifying your budget. Many brides and grooms do not know what to expect when it comes to a budget. This is where you need to do your homework. Talk to friends that may have recently married to see what they spent. You also need to set priorities, the must haves and the like to haves! This may be the time where you decide that a wedding for 400 people is ridiculous when you only want 200. People ask me how to save money all the time, I tell them to invite less people. Another thing, can you afford what you want to spend? Maybe your parents are paying, but find out what they are willing to pay. Starting your marriage in debt is not a good idea!

2. Assuming your Friends will Want to be in Your Wedding Party

Being a Bridesmaid, Groomsman, Maid of Honor or Best Man is not for everyone. Sometimes friends find themselves in a financial situation that won’t allow them to say yes. Sometimes friends find themselves going through something in their lives that will prevent them from playing a role in your wedding. Being in another person’s wedding party is an honor but it is also a commitment in terms of time and money, something we all might not have. The last thing you want is to have someone in your wedding party who says yes to you but really doesn’t want to or feels pressure to say yes. When you ask your friends to be in your wedding party, give them the opportunity to say no – be willing to discuss this with them and don’t judge them if they cannot say yes to your request for whatever reason. Declining your invitation to play a role in your wedding does not mean they don’t love you and care for you.  It does not mean they don’t want the best for you. And it doesn’t mean they won’t come to your wedding. The wedding party does not need to be huge, so think about it before you ask them. Keep in mind, if you are the first of your friends, you may be asked to stand up in 6-8 more weddings. That means 6-8 more dresses to buy and tuxes to rent!

As a side note, the same goes when moving. Don’t ask for help, hire professionals. You will be asked to reciprocate at the worst possible times!

3. Let your vendors do their job!

You sought out and hired professionals, we hope, so let them do their job. If you did not have confidence in them, then why did you hire them. BTW, this does not go for family, we will tackle that next. While it might be tempting to control every last detail yourself, all you’ll do is feel overwhelmed and potentially upset some of your vendors in the process.  They’ve been a part of many more weddings than you have and one of the best ways to thank your vendors is to have confidence in them and let them do their jobs with minimal intervention.

4. Should you hire your friends or family?

Now, this can be a tricky situation if not handled right away.

Hiring friends can be cheap (or free in a lot of cases)! Let’s face it, we all want a deal, right? Weddings can be pricey and it’s understandable that brides and grooms want to do what they can to cut costs.  But asking a friend or family member to be the photographer, DJ or videographer can be a disaster.

Many times, they are not necessarily professional wedding vendors. They may, for instance, take great photos of nature, or when hanging out with friends, but pulling off a wedding is another thing altogether. Same thing with DJs – your friend might have great musical taste and may have a good collection of music, but will he or she understand all of the formalities associated with weddings?  And will he or she really be able to play music that your parents and grandparents will also like? Remember, entertainment can make or break an event. You could and most likely will ruin your relationship if anything goes wrong.

What happens if your friend “the videographer” forgets to take the cap off the video camera during your ceremony or forgets to hit record, will you be able to forgive him or her the oversight? Unfortunately, I have seen this happen and it has resulted in life-long friendships being lost. Don’t take the chance.

You’re putting an extreme amount of pressure on your friend. They’ll want to do their best, but their best might not be good enough. The stress you will put your friend through might be enough to ruin their fun at your wedding too.

Bottom line, avoid hiring friends or family for services that require them to focus the day of the event. If you are renting items, then go ahead. You will know if you are getting good product.

5. Don’t stress over all the little details the day of your Wedding

Seems like common sense, right? Unfortunately all too often, the bride is worried about all the little details. Circle back to #3, let the vendors do their job. Trust me, if you are confident enough to hire them, let them do their job. You on the other hand, need to relax and enjoy your day. The last thing you want is to miss your own wedding only to watch it later on a video or viewing pictures. Who cares if the napkins are folded a different way? If the cocktail hour runs a little long, so be it. If you try to micromanage the day of, you will be very disappointed in yourself.

6. Think about your guests

Yes, this is YOUR big day, but the reception is for your friends and family to join in the celebration. Most times, they will arrive at the location before you. Make sure to plan the reception correctly. Make sure that your guests have some appetizers during cocktail hour even if you have not finished with your pictures. Do you have entertainment for your guests ahead of your arrival? You need to be a good host and let them all know that they are important to you, or you would not have invited them. If you have out of town guests, make sure they know the options for hotels and such, ahead of the big day.

7 – 1,000,000. Yep, a million things could turn into a huge blunder

Bottom line, make the most of this day. Enjoy it, cherish it, remember it. Hopefully you will be blessed to only do this once in your lifetime. Big does not mean better. Lastly, don’t lose sight of the day.

Best Wishes,

 

Lyle Brous
President/CEO
Fabulous Events

Transform any Space with Pipe and Drape

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A couple weeks ago we posted about transforming a room from an ugly duckling to a hidden gem. Wrapping a room in pipe and drape is sometimes the best option to spruce up a room. Below is a perfect example. This is a room for members of a boat club to use for their events. The room has never been transformed like this before, but we hope to do it again!

MarioMax Salon Holiday Party

MarioMax Salon Holiday Party

We have wrapped rooms of all types from a garage to a ballroom in a 5 star hotel. While everything has a costs associated with it, this is one of those expenses that can dramatically change you event. Even adding a backdrop behind the Bride and Groom or the DJ changes thing. The final touch is adding some of our LED Uplighting to set the mood of the room. Prices can start in the hundreds and go up into the thousands depending on what we are doing. Below are just a few examples of rooms that we have transformed.

Schneider Wedding at The Royal Park Hotel in Rochester Michigan

Ethan's Bar Mitzvah Celebration

Chaika Bat Mitzvah at Edgewood Country Club in Commerce Michigan

Mozen Bat Mitzvah at Tam O'Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield Michigan

To get more pictures and learn more about our Pipe and Drape, please call us at 87-200-2424.

2016 Couples’ Choice Awards

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A couple days ago we were notified by WeddingWire that we had received their 2016 Couples’ Choice Award. This is not the first time, but we are always flattered to received accolades for the hard work we do.

The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016 recognizes the top 5% of local Wedding Professionals from the WeddingWire Network throughout the United States and abroad that demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® are awarded solely based on the reviews from over 1.2 million newlyweds. Awards are determined by a combination of excellence in four factors: overall rating (quality), total number of reviews (quantity), review performance from 2015 (recency), and consistency of reviews from year to year (consistency).

We hope you take a moment to read some of the reviews. If you have worked with us before, please take a moment to leave us a review!

 

Stealing Photos – When is it ever going to stop?

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Over the years we have invested a substantial amount of money to build a professional grade photo studio. You might ask why a linen company would do that. The answer is actually quite simple, to get quality, color correct images of our products. We do this so our clients across the country can see true colors, textures and designs of our products. To track our photos, we have invested in Digimarc technology to digitally watermark all of our images.

Fabulous Events Digimarc Sample

Unfortunately, this does not stop people from stealing our images. What do they do with them? They use them on their website to advertise products that they don’t even take the time to photograph. Now I understand that our images are all over websites like Pinterest, but those show where they came from. But to blatantly steal photos that potentially give you financial gain is not only wrong, it is illegal. If you are unclear on why, click here for US Copyright laws.

Fabulous Events Digimarc Example

The irony is they all say the same thing when we call them out on it. “We had a web designer create the site and THEY must have taken the pictures”. We also get “We just told the web designer what the names of the items were and again, THEY took your pictures”. Well, that may be plausible, but not probable. I tend to point out that the product name is usually different from what we call it. So, if I told you that we had a product called “ORANGE” and you found a picture and used it, but you called it “APPLE”. That does not make it legal. Stealing is stealing. They also say “I DON’T SEE ANY WATERMARK”. Yes, that is because it is digital.

Think about this:

  • Why would a company not even care to consider where the images came from? Because they are taking the easy way out.
  • Did they think they magically appeared from the sky? Yup!
  • Here they have great photos that help to sell a product and to representing their company, but they have no idea where the images came from? They know what they are doing.
  • Do they consider the work that goes in to taking these pictures? Nope!
  • Did they think they were free? Yup!
  • Why would any company think they could get things like that for free? Many think that anything on the internet must be free for all. Wrong! 

Now, many people say “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Yes, many times this is true. We know why they take our images, because they look great. How about this? Pay for the rights to use our images. Think about that!

Now, I strongly debated listing the names of the offending companies, but I will not. At least not right now. Let’s see if they remove them as promised.

A look back at 2015

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For the past week I have been thinking about 2015 and the year as a whole. All in all, it was a great year. We had our standard road blocks and hurdles to deal with, but we toppled them and moved on.
We surpassed the 2 year mark on our Event Rental Gallery in West Bloomfield, Michigan. It took a lot for me to leave that location in the hands of an employee, but I did it. We hired Kim Steele, aka Happy Day, to run the location. Kim came to us with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Kim brings a great vibe to the location and clients love her. I do work there a day here or there, but I am now focused on other aspects of the business.

In September, I traveled to New York to begin exploration on a new location. I found what I think is going to be an awesome location. As I am typing this, I am also thinking about the fact that the office opens tomorrow! Yes, January 6th will be a new day in New York. Nervous? Yes! I have a great sales rep in the city and I know she will help bring us to the next level with customer service. The location in the Dumbo Heights district of Brooklyn. The views of the city are incredible to say the least. I believe that our amazing customer service and the impeccable quality of our products will win over the clientele. No more reasons to deal with companies that act like you are bothering them. Dumbo Heights Office View
We have built many great relationships this past year as well as building on our current client base. I had a chance to visit many of our clients this past year and every visit was amazing. I saw some amazing facilities and staff, and hope to visit even more locations this year. I truly love what I do and working with our customers. Without these awesome customers, we wouldn’t be where we are today. So a huge thanks to all of our great clients.
We have more than doubled our staffing over the past year. Most of them have been great, a few not so good, but they are not with us anymore. So a big shout out to our Fabulous Staff, thank you!

With the opening of our New York location, we will be introducing a handful of new product lines. These will be sure to peak the interest of clients who want something new and not seen all over the place. So check back often to see what we are releasing. If you are not on our mailing you, you need to be. This way you can get the latest news and promotions that go on throughout the year.

Another large undertaking this past year is our brand new website. We have been working on it for the past 8 months and hope that once it is fully operational, you will love it. It will have a bunch of new features and it will be 100% mobile friendly.

Honestly, I could type on and on, but it may turn into repetition. I just thank all of you for helping to make Fabulous Events one of the nations finest in Chair Cover and Linen rentals. I know that 2016 will be an even better year for Fabulous Events.

Sincerely,

Lyle Brous
President/CEO
Fabulous Events, Inc.

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