Thursday, January 12, 2017

Knot Your Average Events... Finding My Passion

INTRODUCTION

In Fall 2015, I transferred to The University Of North Carolina Greensboro from North Carolina Central University still in search for a career path I wanted to pursue. I became a student of the Community Recreation and Event Planning program unsure of my commitment to this department until I was enrolled in a class that gave me a vision of my career. I was enrolled and quickly engaged in Jennifer Ball’s (Event Planning/Event Management CTR 423) course. In this course I found that helping others plan and coordinate special events was my niche. I once was told “Build your own dreams, then someone else will hire you to build theirs.” Discovering what ignites my passion instantly drives me to find a way to share it with others.

Photo by: Kayla Jean Photography


As I begin my last semester at The University Of North Carolina Greensboro. I have been awarded the opportunity to Intern for Jennifer Ball and her (Knot Your Average Events) company. I look to use this professional guidance to learn the day by day steps it takes in becoming a successful event planner.

 Student Learning Outcomes
By the end of the Internship, I will be able to:

 ● Plan/Design a Special Event
● Implement a Special Event
● Conduct a Program or Special Event with Limited Budget
● Manage KYAE Website
● Promote KYAE and Special Events
● Communicate Professionally with Vendors and Agencies
● Manage Staff and Lead to Event Setup ● Provide Quality Customer Service to Participants of KYAE 
To Be Continued:

 ~Riddim Hackett (KYAE  Intern)


Friday, December 30, 2016

Trends Heading Our Way


We had so much fun attending the WeddingMBA in Vegas this fall.  If you already follow us on social media you received several sneak peeks at what’s heading our way.  The craziest part is everything we learn last week truly won’t hit NC for another few years.  So if you want to be a trend-setter keep reading…



The color green is going to be HUGE!!! This includes lush greenery in your floral, centerpieces, ceremony d├ęcor, and wedding party flowers.  Linens will showcase this color and add pops of accents throughout your event space.



BOLD colors will be the other options…think 80’s without the neon tints.  Fun patterns and textures will be embraced more than ever before. 

 

Flower walls as backdrops to ceremony alters, escort card displays, photo booth areas, cake tables and even your sweetheart space makes for a great spot to add this amazing show piece to bring in your event colors.



Floral crowns will embrace not only bride’s heads but their entire wedding party including the cute flower girls and even moms.  How amazing would it be to have your florist stay onsite and create floral crowns for guests as a party favor.  The experience alone will have your guests talking for years to come…



Gold isn’t going anywhere…if anything it’s going to take over!  The more sparkly the better!  (super excited about this!)



Customized bars and drink stations are going to be a great way to add design elements and your personality to your party.  Bars are going to be moving away from the plain boring 2 8-foot banquet tables and black linens.  We’ve got several local builders that will custom make a bar for your event and rental companies that supply fun bars your guests will talk about way after the dance party has ended.



Speaking of bars….create a lounge vibe for your event.  Guests leave events because they are bored.  Create areas for them to people watch, engage with the action by just sitting on a couch by the dance floor, or satellite areas they can sneak off for conversation with family they haven’t seen in a while.



Seating is another huge game changer! This is one area I think I’m most excited about because I’ve been trying to talk couples into out of the box seating further than a 5-round table with 6-10 guests.  Mix up you tables by having some tables be smaller and intimate with 4-6 seats and then have others be family tables with larger groupings.  Think of different types/styles of tables.  Ask if your venue has larger rounds,  different size of banquet tables, serpentine tables.   We’re currently looking to showcase these ideas during our next few designing meetings with upcoming events.



Menus are another area you can put a spin on your event by adding creativity.  If your budget allows do more than just chicken, a starch and vegetable.  Do action stations or even consider bringing in food trucks to showcase your favorite meal.



I know we are currently shifting to more of a design partial planning service for our clients.  Don’t worry we’ll still offer the other packages but we are ready to bring your wedding into the future.   Be a game changer…trust us!  Your guests will think you were a genius planning your event from all of the details and before this area’s time for the latest trends….

(Thanks to Pinterest for the photos)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Keys to a weekend venue


So you’ve booked a venue for an entire weekend...that sounds too good to be true but
it’s not.  Several local venues hand over their keys for 2-4 days and as long as you don’t burn the place down and leave it like you found it you can pretty much do anything you want.  While this sounds like a lovely idea…it’s not if you don’t have a production team to handle all of the logistics, delivers, set-up, tear-down, clean up and traditional venue responsibilities.  It’s great to have extra time to set up and take down everything but it’s a very long weekend and you will want to save all of your energy for the dancefloor (we hope).


Thinking of booking one of these weekend getaway retreats? Here are some great questions to ask:

·         If an emergency happens, how close is the nearest staff member?

·         What all does the rental come with?

o   Does it come with tables, chairs, dancefloor, etc?

o   Does it come with sheets and towels?

§  Do you have to wash prior to leaving?

·         What are the rules for cleaning up?

o   Does the venue supply toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags?

§  Where is the plunger located?

o   Do they have mops, brooms, dustpans, etc?

o   Are there trashcans on the property, if yes, how many?

§  Is there a dumpster on site?

§  What are the rules regarding trash?

§  Do they recycle?

·         Make sure to know where all of the water and power sources are located.

·         How close are the neighbors?

·         What is the noise restrictions?

·         Are there any parking restrictions?

o   Have you thought about parking attendants to make sure there is order in the parking area so you can get as many cars parked closer to the venue?  And so that their cars/trucks are not all in the back of your photos?



We highly recommend bringing in a professional team to make sure to come in and assist with the set-up of tables and chairs for safety and proper set-up.  The worst
thing to have happen is have a fire marshal check out the venue and shut your event down or worst someone gets hurt during an emergency.  Plus you want to make sure all of your tables are properly secured and locked in place…you don’t want your cake falling or a table falling on a guest.   Not to mention having extra hands on deck the day of the event allows you to be a fully rested guest at your event and you can relax knowing you don’t have to clean up either.  It’s great having true unlimited hours but remember although you have the venue for unlimited hours, you might not have your vendors for unlimited hours.  Read all of your contracts and negotiate timelines that work best for you, your vision and your venue.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Don't leave your guests bored and in the dark



Have you ever been to a party and felt like it was dragging and lacked pizzazz?  People don’t leave weddings because they have somewhere else to be…they leave because they were BORED!  Don’t let that be your event!

In the South, we’ve all been taught that’s it’s okay or polite to leave after the couple has cut the cake.  Now I understand most elderly do not wish to drive in the dark but still if you are at a 50% guest count by the halfway mark of your reception, we failed somewhere in the entertainment area.  Here are some ways to keeping them “thirsty” for more…

·         Lighting will set the tone for the event.  Not just up lights and market lights… Lighting is one area you shouldn’t skimp on!  Have a healthy budget when it comes to lighting and fabric draping.  Even better request the lighting team stay onsite to change the mood from dinner to 
     dance party.

·         Seating…don’t encourage people to take a seat at the dinner table in the back of the room and feel not connected to the event.  Placement of dance floor is critical when looking at layout.  If room doesn’t allow for a centered dance floor, offer lounge seating and/or cocktail tables close by for people to hang out and people watch.

    ·         Late night snacks…let people know there’s more than “just dinner.”  Use signage and/or menu cards to let people know the best is just getting started.

    ·         Offer games, photo booths and other fun activities for people to interact with one another throughout the night, not just cocktail hour.  Great creative here! 

    ·         Offer a glam area for ladies to primp and touch up make-up (outside of the restrooms).  You could even have your hair and make-up team onsite doing lashes, offer mini-makeovers, mini manicures, etc… you could even create event temporary tattoos for the guests.


·        
Offer late night entertainment.  If you have a theme bring out dancers or characters for guests to interact with.  They photos they will be posting will have not only your guests talking for weeks after the glitter and confetti has settled but also all of their friends following them on social wishing they were a part of it all. 


·         At the end have your love story over take your final dance…remember your whys, your vows, your toasts, family and friends’ kind words… Create an emotional atmosphere to reminisce on the day…then switch it to a final party… one last dance (upbeat) can’t miss favorite song of the night to end on the highest of highs and having your guests wish you would plan parties like this every weekend!


You don’t have to do all of the above to throw a kick-*X# party but if you want to do more than just intros, dances, and traditions…add a few to create a different level of memories…and of course be a little “Knot Average.”

~Who’s ready to start the game changing planning?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Trust Your Vendors


Your dream guy or gal just asked for your hand in marriage, you said YES without any hesitation because you TRUST that he/she is the right person for you and your forever… Take that same approach with your vendors.  Take your time in researching vendors in your area and even surrounding areas to see who is the BEST of the BEST.  We’ve got plenty of blogs about what to ask each one and how to pick the best ones…but this blog is going to take it to the next level

(Congrats to one of our very own who just popped the question this week!!!)

BUILD THAT TRUST!!!!

While family and friends are great and DIY has its place…if you really want to enjoy your day 100% hire a full team of professionals!  Remember you are hiring them on their experienced, their education, their talents and their ability to provide amazing services. 

We know giving up all of the power of the “baby” (your event that you’ve slaved hours and hours planning) on your wedding day is going to be the hardest part of the planning process but WE promise it will be the most rewarding part too!  Because remember you want to enjoy it! 

But first you have to build that circle of trust with your vendors.  You already know you have enlisted a phenomenal team to create that day but how do you really just hand over all of your thoughts, ideas and visions and know it’s really all going to happen the way you have it mapped out in your head?

·         First you’ve got to have meeting with all of your vendors (and lots of them).  Some meetings will need to be one on one so you can focus on the details and others are great to pull the team together to make sure the overall vision is being thought out in a logistical way.  Sometimes those great ideas you have in your head won’t work in your venue, outside or budget.  Trust your vendors to make the best decisions based on your overall vision.


·         Second STOP comparing yourself to others!  Don’t worry what your friend or your cousin did last year or even last week.  Once you have a game plan get off of Pinterest (you sholdn’t be pinning anything new 1-3 months out from your wedding unless you are getting married in that timeframe of starting plan.  By that time your plans are already set in motion and changing invoices and contracts late in the game can add hefty fees. 


·      
          Remember you can’t do everything!  Pick a few things, traditions, ideas, not every single DIY project on Pinterest.  Cut any of those projects that are not completed 30 days out.  Waiting until the last minute will just stress you out and you can’t TRUST someone will be able to do them the night prior or the day of.  Sometimes you just have to let things go…




·         Keep family and friends out of your ear!  Family and friends will try to persuade you from using professionals because they have a “friend” that will save you money.  Well unless I, your wedding planner has officially worked with them I can’t guarantee their product and services.  If several of your vendors have worked together multiple times, then you can TRUST that they already have a system in doing things on event day.


   
 Be organized and prepared.  If a vendor asks you to fill out paperwork, make sure to have it turned in on time and that it is fill out completely.  Make sure to have all of your personal items labeled with great descriptions of how they should be placed and where (photos and written information is best).  

·         Make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.  If you establish this early on, you’ll already set yourself up for greatness!


·         Last but not least… COMMUNICATION is the #1 to build TRUST!  Have conversations with vendors and their staff prior to the day.  Make sure they have a clear understanding of your expectations, ideas, thought and needs. 

 The last thing a vendor needs is to have a client show up late on their rehearsal/wedding day and not have completed the items/tasks they are responsible for because they attempted to save money on the front end by saying they would handle it.  Or have a client show up unorganized and frantic on wedding without giving vendors guidance or directions.  Although we do events every weekend, remember we can’t officially read your mind and we want to create your special day not recreate the one from last week. 

Last but not least is my biggest way to know you have officially given trust to your vendors… DO NOT MICROMANAGE on the wedding day.  Remember you’ve hired your creative partners to create an amazing event, once they started working don’t second guess their every move.  Please don’t question their every change or opinion.  I promise we as a team have you and your guests’ interests in our hands and our intentions are for logistical reasons for something else that will most likely happen or take placed later.  Most vendors have their own way of setting up and breaking down….TRUST THEM that’s why you hired them!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Honeymoon Ideas

One of the highlights of a wedding for a couple is picking the perfect honeymoon to top everything off. There are various places all around the world that are fit for any couple's personality. Here are a few favorites:

One for the romantics: Santorini
Santorini is well known for its romantic and beautiful sunsets, rich Greek food, and the most charming restaurants. Visiting a beach the color of love will get you and your partner in an amorous mood. Santorini's Red Beach is accessible by a short hike over some rocks, making it a bit more secluded, with a wide cove to swim in.

One for the adventurous: Maui


Maui is all for the adventurous couples. Maui offers impressive wildlife and rich culture and history for everyone to see. While on a visit there, you can dance with professional hula dancers, golf along coastal fairways, snorkel alongside five different types of sea turtles or just lounge on some of Hawaii's most notable beaches. Travel along the Road to Hana to experience East Maui's scenic coastline, explore Haleakala- the world's largest dormant volcano- in the Upcountry, and explore the former tribal battlegrounds of Central Maui's Iao Valley State Park.


No matter what type of vacation you want, there are plenty of options for everyone and their tastes. Whether it be in the United States or abroad, the world have plenty to offer! So make sure to do your research to find an unforgettable destination for you and your partner.
(*Photos all courtesy of Pinterest)