Friday, May 20, 2005

I saw Star Wars!

So, me and the Boy saw Revenge of the Sith last night. Blew away the first of this trilogy, much better than the second, but still...Look, I'm a huge Star Wars fan. I've been a little disturbed by Lucas' need to screw around with his own mythology (Jedi can't marry? So, how do they make little Jedis? What? What the hell is a midi-chlorian?), but it is his mythology, after all. But why on earth he felt the need to direct these, when he is seriously just, BAD. The only one he seemed to direct to have any type of emotion you can interpret was Ewan McGregor. With everyone else, it was like, "Okay, pretend this is a high school play. No, I changed my mind: Junior High!" And let's not even talk about the dialogue, since everyone else has. Or the plot holes you can drive a truck through: Okay, so Anakin and Padme have been married for awhile, and no one's supposed to know, but no one wonders where he's spending his nights? Nope. Anyone bother to ask Padme before all hell breaks loose who the father of her child is? Nah. And she's pretty much showing for most of the movie. That moment actually busted me up: Obi-Wan, in mid- run to go find Anakin, suddenly turns to a clearly waddling Padme and storms, "Your child is HIS, isn't it?" Um. DUH. Aren't the Jedi supposed to be more tuned into the universe than your average, ordinary bear? No wonder they got killed off so easily.

But there are some really good moments. The light saber fights are amazing. The special effects actually work a lot better this time. And once Anakin goes fully-frontal Sith, it's pretty intense. When things go bad, it happens quick and it's stunning. Sometimes to the point where you think Lucas is somewhere in the back going, "Okay, we gotta wrap this up." But still, I enjoyed it. To the point where I'm tempted to pick up the novel adaptation, because I think the book might just be better than the movie. I'd give the movie a solid B.

And also? The Apprentice? Kendra had that job at "Hello". Trump is a big fat liar when he said that he didn't decide until last night. There is no way in hell he could hire Tana after the way she treated her team, giant backpedal on her part or not. But could you imagine him offering either Bill or Kelly the choice of managing a beauty contest or re-decorating a house? Really? Couldn't have come up with something a little less "girly", huh?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Lessons Learned from Monster-In-Law

Actually, I learned nothing from Monster-In Law, except that I'm blessed to have really cool in laws. I did, however, find J.Lo's pineapple quartz necklace from the movie, but you'll have to email me if you want me to tell you where it is. Only $60 plus shipping! Seriously, I thought it was going to be way more than that. Mostly, I try to keep my compulsive shopping to songs on itunes and the occassional Nine West purchase at Macys, but sometimes things can get out of hand. Like my obsession with finding a reasonably priced treo. Although, now I'm thinking a Blackberry might be better. But these are all what we call "high-end problems."

I've known a couple of brides with difficult Mothers-in-law, and honestly, I don't know what to say. It seems to me that hating the woman your son has chosen to spend the rest of his life with is entirely counter-productive: this is the person who is going to be the future mother of your grandchildren, thereby controlling access to them, and in the meantime, controls access to your kid. And is it going to make your son happy if you're constantly bickering with his wife? Anyway. I really liked the movie, though, as did most of the people around me, if you can count by all the laughter. It wasn't art, or even "Elf", but it was entertaining, which is all you can ask from a movie these days.

In other news, one of my clients, who's trying to plan a wedding in Los Angeles while working in Hong Kong, accidentally dropped her cell phone in a man-made lake. Life? She is never boring.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Apprentice - DOH!

So, I was watching the Apprentice on Thursday, and spent the better part of it cowering on the couch. Although I still believe Tana's task - as shown - was tons harder than Kendra's, the Olympic Event was just...traumatic. From Chris saying that the crooked signs were "Good enough for government work" to the un-proofed brochures, to keeping the Governor's aide waiting (ya gotta get folks like that what they want, because they will never stop bugging you, and they'll talk bad about you, too) to her constantly, constantly ragging on her team, Tana just didn't go over very well. One of the important things about event planning is to not let any seams show, and there were just seams everywhere. Event worker after event worker rolling their eyes as they walked away from her summed everything up. I was totally in Tana's corner before this, but now...Congratulations, Kendra.

Of course, in the "Stupidity is remakably evenhanded portion" of tonight's blog, I've had the Star Package linked to the Sterling package on the website for the better part of a week. Note to self: No webmastering after 1:30 in the morning. Doh! Indeed. All better now.

Summing it all up

From Shakespeare in Love:

Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do? Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well. Hugh Fennyman: How? Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.

I love that dialogue.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The New Black

It's official: This year's Beach wedding is last year's backyard wedding. Doesn't anyone want to get married in a non-descript hotel ballroom anymore? No? Three weeks, three requests for beach weddings. Plus a couple more on craigslist. My best friend Dee Dee thinks it might have something to do with the crappy weather we've been having - all everyone wants to do is get married on the beach under the hot, hot son. Could be. It certainly would explain why all my clients are making sure there's a rain contingency for their weddings, though.

My weekend was good, I spent it hanging out with The Boy. Saw "Kingdom of Heaven" which I thought was excellent. Went to the Camarillo outlet and went crazy at Harry and David's. The usual.

Tip of the day: Honeymoons. Make sure the name on your ticket matches the name on your passport. I had this discussion with a client today, and the truth is, your name doesn't officially change until you officially change it through Social Security. Anything else pretty much involves a whole lot of paper you have to carry around.

Friday, May 06, 2005

The Dishes Are Done!

Okay, it's 3:30 in the morning, the advice column is up, the blog is up, and I am going to bed. Tomorrow I'm tracking down a potential site for my future webmistress and trying to find hotels in Santa Barbara. And middling things like changing my car insurance and going to Target. Ah, the glamourous life of a wedding planner. It never ends...

Ode to Craigslist

Okay, so Craigslist is like, the greatest thing ever. I found our house on Craigslist. A great deal of my clients found me on Craigslist, and I've found a few of them there as well. Part-time jobs, DVD players, you name it, I've found it. Right now, I'm trying to find a reasonably priced Treo 600 for Verizon (hello? anyone?) on Craigslist. So, I'm a definitely a fan.

It's funny, because when I started posting about a year ago, the event services section was way less crowded than it is now. For one thing, it was just me and a couple of other coordinators posting regularly, and now it's like, six or seven a day. And what's hysterical is that some of them have started imitating me. I'm not kidding. Just a couple of days ago, I posted, "Actually, You Can Afford a Wedding Planner", which opened up into a description of my services and a link to the website. Not two hours later, I went back and checked the listings, to find that another coordinator had posted, "Finally, A Wedding Planner You Can Afford!" Uh. Okay...And then there's coordinators who've basically riffed off my company's name to create their own names - or, if they haven't, it's an awfully big coincidence. And, you know, the irony is that they all claim to be "creative" and "original". Whatever. There's plenty of business for everyone, I know for a fact that a couple of those guys have lost business to me, and this is the closest I will ever get to confronting them. I have better stuff to do. They have better stuff to do, too, I just hope they get around to realizing it. But I don't know, should I be...flattered?

But seriously? Treo? Anyone? I'd be willing to trade a wedding planning package for it...

Enough of the Trash Cans Already

Seriously.
So, I spent all of today updating my website - I addded new pictures, and a link to this blog. I started out just wanting to put in the new advice column, but then I wanted to add the blog. And I love that picture of Diane and Andrew that my friend and one-time assisstant Winnie took. So I added that. Changed the navigation bars. Tweaked a couple of things. Still haven't gotten to the column, so I expect to be up a little late.

I'm actively working on three weddings now. The first is on the 21st, and it's local, but it's around the time when I need to get all of their vendor names and start putting together a timeline. The second wedding is happening in either September or October. That couple wants to look around a bit more before deciding on a place to get married. This one is actually a lot of fun for me, because it's kind of like a treasure hunt - they have very specific needs, and it's kind of game for me to find a place that can fit all of them. I think I might be getting close, so we'll see what happens. The third couple aren't getting married until next year, which is really cool for me, because it's been a while since I've had the chance to help build a wedding from scratch. I love doing research. In return, the bride is re-doing my website, so stay tuned. I expect great things. Some of the greatest webmasters I've known were women. Present company excluded, of course.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Meanwhile, back in the O.C.

So, Saturday and Sunday I was in Orange County. Like, DEEP Orange County. Two hours round-trip from my humble little abode in the San Fernando Valley. What I love about this gig is that every wedding is different. Sunday's wedding was at the clubhouse of a planned community - Ladera Ranch. This place was pretty posh - two swimming pools, three different lawns, a full kitchen with a double-fridge any restaurant would be proud of. There was a living room, and a great room, and the place was like a resort in and of itself. ANYWAY. Color me impressed. So, I worked mostly with the bride's mother, who was wonderful, and presented me with a four page excel timeline that started on Thursday, and went all the way to Sunday at 10pm. She'd asked about 20 friends and relatives to help set-up the morning of the wedding, so this determined group of people descended on the clubhouse, and had pretty much everything all set-up in a couple of hours. Wow. And then, at the end of the night, the same group of people broke down everything in a couple of hours. Everything was absolutely perfect, except...they forgot to get extra trash cans. Dun dun dun! Trust me, it's always something.

Trash cans are one of those things where you really don't miss them until you don't have them. And then, you REALLY miss them. Someone ran out and got four of them an hour before the wedding, and, luckily, we already had trash bags. And you're sitting here thinking, "Wait, she's talking about trash cans?" Yes, I am, and if youre stuck at a wedding or reception site that doesn't have enough trash cans for the garbage of 20 floral displays, 200 guests, and like, 400 cupcakes and ice cream containers, than you, too, will be be talking about their absence. I'm just saying. Especially if you have a friend of the family's constantly saying to you, "Where are the trash cans? We need to throw out the trash before the wedding! Don't forget to throw out the trash before the wedding!" I KNOW. I know, already!

Also learned about quake wax, this sticky stuff that museums use to keep displays in place. Which I really could have used at last week's wedding, when the orchids kept falling over on the tables.

The Bride and Groom didn't really know anything about these problems. Which is as it should be.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Oh, you're a wedding planner? (Head tilt)Like J.Lo?
A: Like J.Lo in the movie, yes. And, if you think about it, like J.Lo in real life, as well.

Q: Is being a wedding planner just like the movie?
A: It's not far off. I wish I had her supersuit with all the bottles. Instead, I carry around a purse that has everything I'll need during the wedding, and a larger bag that has everything I'll need before and after the wedding. And I'm constantly adding things. Last week, I added a can opener. Because the week before that, neither the caterer nor the reception site had a can opener. Believe it or not. This week, I'm adding Quake wax. Also, the question, "Are there enough trash cans on site?"

It is like the movie in that it can be hectic, but there's a great payoff. I always get this stupid grin on my face when the bride finally walks down the aisle.

Q: Who's the most difficult bride you've ever had to deal with?
A: Yeah, right. Like I'd ever tell on a public blog. Although, honestly, I've been really lucky on that front. No real bridezilla stories. No, seriously. Other people, on the other hand...

Q: What's the worst thing that's gone wrong at a wedding you've coordinated?
A: Well, once, a bridesmaid forgot her dress. In Burbank. And the wedding was in Malibu. Another time, the Bride forgot to bring the marriage license. And another time, I cut my foot three hours before a wedding. That kind of sucked. I went anyway, because that's just the type of person I am .

Q:What's your number one rule as a wedding planner?
A: Don't panic, there's a solution to everything. The number two rule is to keep any problems OBR - Off the Bride's Radar.

Q: Any advice for potential Brides and Grooms?
A: No matter what happens, at the end of the day you're going to be married, and that's what its all about. That's why all the people who care about you are there, to celebrate that fact. Make sure you get the chance to speak to everyone who came. Before you walk down the aisle, take a deep breath and look around, so you can remember everything.