W@W News Blog

Suppliers’ Fears
September 8th, 2014

When I was a member of the Weddings at Work Yahoogroup, fellow brides discussed their fears openly – anything from a supplier not showing up to rain on one’s wedding day. While it is not really advisable to dwell on fears and negativity, it’s also good to know the flipside of the coin, i.e. what suppliers fear. This isn’t a “be-all-and-end-all” list. However, the items stated below were culled from an informal survey among suppliers. Thus, the responses aren’t from me, although I tend to agree with majority of the items stated below.

*Cancellation

While suppliers would rather not lose revenue for the day, they would much rather avoid having negative feedback printed about them online. This takes into consideration that the reason for cancelling stems from a negative experience of a particular couple with the said supplier, or the backlash of negative feedback given about a supplier.

Points to Ponder:

1) Take negative feedback with a grain of salt, i.e. ask the supplier about his/her side as well.

2) If something negative transpired between you and the supplier, please hold judgement till after the supplier has given his/her side and made amends.

3) If cancellation is really in order, then advise the supplier in writing, i.e. via email, and let him or her know the real reason (instead of using the oft repeated “somebody gave me a gift” line). This will help the supplier improve as well.

*Bouncing cheques/running out of cash on the day

Definitely, after rendering their services, suppliers would prefer to get paid on the day according to contract stipulations.

Some clients probably wonder why suppliers do not agree with being paid via cheques. Below are the common reasons:

a) Some have to pay their staff on the day; thus, the need for ready cash, especially if the event is out of town.

b) Some have experienced depositing cheques only to be told that there are no funds in the account.

But what if you’d rather not carry cash on the day? Get suppliers you can trust so you can deposit the full payment in advance. (Do not forget to email a copy of the deposit slip and to carry said deposit slip on the day of your wedding.)

*Co-suppliers who ask for referral fees

Most suppliers create their pricing schemes based on actual expenses they will incurr and conservative profit margins. So most do not really have a lot of extra bucks to give other suppliers who ask for referral fees. After all, one should refer because one believes in the said supplier, not because of possible amounts to be earned.

Advice to Couples:

Hire reputable suppliers. Avoid those who seem to promise so many services at very little cost. They might be earning through other means, i.e. pressuring your suppliers to give them extra money or padding said suppliers’ fees.

*Friends/Relatives who offer services and goods

They mean well, but they aren’t part of the industry, so they may not know exactly what they are getting into. In other words, they may offer their services (as coord, emcee, musicians, or photographer) or their goods (projector, cake, sound system) a lot faster than they can analyze if they can do what’s needed.

Some might end up disappointing you by being no-shows on the day or by admitting that they actually “bit off more than what they can chew” so they will have to either backout of the deal or push through with it but end up embarrassing themselves or causing problems for the other suppliers and eventually, the two people they most wanted to please, the bride and groom.

Advice to Couples:

If you have the budget for it anyway, get a professional. Let your guests enjoy the day. You will save yourselves the stress and the after-wedding resentment.

*Late or handwritten guest list (or submitted on time, but with so many revisions on the day)

The guest list is crucial. Emotions can run high when people’s names are not there even if they consider themselves close to the couple or the family members. Of course, the coordinator will bear the brunt of their anger and frustration, and later on, these guests might even give you the cold shoulder for “forgetting” them, even if, in truth, they didn’t RSVP. (Woe to you if they did RSVP but you crammed your guest list and forgot a lot of people.)

Do’s:

1) make your guest list 6 months before your wedding (when you still have time to think and encode using excel)

2) really do RSVP calls and send messages to all the people in the list 2 to 3 weeks before your big day – if you called and they never responded, you have an excuse for not encoding their names

3) sit down together and plot how you will table people a week before (not the wee hours before you walk down the aisle)

4) sort surnames alphabetically and by table then double check if you didn’t forget anyone and if you didn’t assign two groups to one table

*Couples who are detailed and OC, but are also fickle

These are the couples who have pegs for everything concerning their wedding. But these pegs happen to change often, too. Thus, when the big day draws near, suppliers are confused as to which peg will be followed. In the end, details don’t come together and look hodge podge. Worse, suppliers might end up getting too confused to carry out all plans to the letter. (Mind you, the bride and groom might be confused, too, as to which file got named FINAL, FINAL – FINAL, OR FINAL-FINAL-FINAL.)

Do’s:

1) sit down and talk before you start sending all your pegs to your suppliers – a lush and lavish peg should match your theme and your budget

2) when you have deciced on three pegs, have them priced

3) meet and negotiate but finalize as well

4) when you have a final document, avoid emailing the supplier on a weekly basis about things you want to change (final means final unless you want the supplier so confused on your wedding day that you won’t get exactly what you want)

5) don’t pick on your supplier and say he/she doesn’t respond if you yourself fail to respond to his/her questions – some are OC like that, expecting suppliers to answer right away but never respond to questions or requirements they need to fulfill

*Timelines adversely affected by people close to the bride and groom, or the bride and groom themselves

Timelines are created so you can move through the motions of the day stress-free. If there are people in your life who refuse to come on time for make-up or pictorials, never mind. Don’t include them. No need to stretch your limits just to accommodate each and every request. There’s a point when you have to say, “It’s my special day, not yours”.

Do’s:

1) Avoid getting entourage members who feel more special than you. You don’t need their emotional baggage on your big day. You don’t need to move your make-up schedule to accommodate them. And yes, you don’t need to run around the metro and deliver entourage gowns.

2) Run through the timeline with your parents – if they are like this one parent I encountered who feels she can arrive anytime she pleases, so be it. No need to include her in all photos. (She did arrive on time, by the way, she just didn’t like being given a schedule.)

3) Follow the timeline as well – you may be the bride and groom of the day but time won’t stop for you. If you’re supposed to wake up, bathe, and eat at a certain time, go and accomplish all the tasks. You will lose pictorial time if you won’t follow the timeline.

*Problematic Sound System and Projector

I once had a sound system supplier who provided more time for microphone feedback than actual band music. I’ve also encountered technicians who don’t want to listen, who listen but can’t absorb what’s needed, and who place the programme on the side thinking they can just play whatever. I’ve had projector suppliers whose machines are so problematic, people turn yellow or blue. Avatar peg?

Think about these:

1) The in-house supplier may be a logical and cheaper choice, but a few thousands may mean the big difference between a successful wedding program and one that annoys more than entertains.

2) If you paid big bucks for your photo and video teams, what’s an additional amount to ensure the showing of the SDE you’ve been dreaming of since before the groom proposed?

3) What’s the point of having a reliable emcee if he/she can’t be heard properly anyway?

*Rainy forecast but couple refuses to hire a tent supplier

While sometimes, the sun does come out. There are also times when the rain dampens one’s parade.

Think about these:

1) A tent will set you back a certain amount but you may not have paid as much as those who got airconditioned venues, so you’re technically not overspending.

2) Having waiters set up, take everything apart when it rains, then put things back when the rain stops is cruel – they will get sick working with wet clothes. They don’t really bring two sets of uniforms on the day so when they get wet, that’s it. They will have to work with wet clothes all throughout the night. Now imagine being wet and working for several hours while experiencing the chilly night air of Tagaytay.

*Couples who haggle to avoid paying for out of town fees/ who tell suppliers their venues are in nearby towns but are actually farther

Suppliers understand that you need to save. However, suppliers do need to get paid for the time they will travel to get to your venue, for the food they will have to eat, the gas they will consume, toll fees, and the like. The simple truth? Do not go for an out of town venue if you do not wish to pay out of town fees, or go for local suppliers.

Please do not…

1) attempt to fool them regarding the real location of your venue – they might underestimate and arrive late

2) make them resent you when they find out you fooled them regarding the real location of your venue

3) tell them you will provide a van then have this van ferry so many people and not just the suppliers – if it’s in exchange for the out of town fee, then it should be for the exclusive use of the supplier (not all relatives and friends) because they have movements they need to do without waiting for guests to board

Why did we write about supplier fears?

Because weddings are collaborations between couples and suppliers – they are never one-way streets. It helps to know both sides of the coin.

10151808_10152042346994366_1141075830_n.jpg
/darlenetansalazar 

(W@Wie in 2009; married Emman and forayed into the world of weddings in 2010, and has since been blessed with two W@W Top 10 stints — first, as wedding planner in 2010 and second, as event host in 2013)


68 W@Wies (Part 2) - W@W Chat (repost)
September 5th, 2014

FYI: W@W Chat is our wedding podcast. Its first airing was in July 2011; it went on until Episode 79 last October 2013. Yes, we just might bring it back, but for now, enjoy our past episodes. We are randomly posting past episodes weekly, so we asked listeners/ readers/ W@Wies/ Supplier Friends to pick their fave and write an intro. This one is by W@Wie Ren (W@W addict since March 2013. Then she shared her love and logic last June 12, 2014 when she said I do to her geek IT husband Carmelo.) Let us know which is your fave! ~W@W Team

wawpodcast.jpg

FAVE EPISODE – W@Wies I was just a newbie in W@W when my husband and I discovered and listened to this Podcast. The invited guests here are what we called w@wies (couples from the Weddings at Work Community). The W@Wies tackled their love story, how the Weddings at Work started, and how they prepared their actual wedding. As a newbie that time, I felt so giddy and ‘kilig’ hearing their story. It also made me an instant fan of their partnership; thus, I wanted to see and meet them in person. I can say that listening to this chat as a newbie made me more addicted to W@W. There were points when I said, “ah ganun pala yun”! I also took note all of the pieces of advice they gave. Now that we are done with our wedding, I can definitely tell everyone that this podcast really helped us a lot in preparing for our wedding — on what to expect from the preparations to the actual event.

68 W@Wies (Part 2) - W@W Chat
posted May 1, 2013

You may listen to the episode by clicking (play) on the embedded audio player above. You may also right-click this link to save the MP3 and transfer it to your phone, ipod, tablet, and the like. If you’d like to download previous episodes of W@W Chat, please go to iTunes and look for W@W Chat or click on the links of previous episodes. :)


Layout Matters Matter
September 1st, 2014

When I was still teaching, I often went around the room while discussing and asking questions. As I walked around, I noticed how some heads were twisting and turning to follow my path. They were the visual learners of the lot, and they needed “to see” in order “to understand”.

Check out this fact: Approximately 65 percent of the population are visual learners. - Mind Tools, 1998

Given that percentage and how it could mean that more than half of the guests at a wedding are visual, we need to take their needs into consideration. They will need eye contact with the emcee and the couple in order to understand what’s going on and to feel that they
belong.

Having huge centerpieces that block their view of the program area might not be feasible. Likewise, using a horizontal type of layout where the emcee and couple face basically a blank wall, a projector screen, or 2 VIP tables might not be a good idea also.

A horizontal layout places some tables on the far right and the far left. In order to make eye contact, the emcee and couple will have to turn their heads from side to side as much as their “dizzy threshold” will allow. Sometimes because one side is noisier, the emcee and couple could inevitably focus on them more; thereby alienating the other side. So yes, the other side might leave because they might end up feeling excluded.

A vertical layout, on the other hand, is easier to manage for visual people since the couple and emcee can see everyone in just one glance. Everyone is within their peripheral vision. No need to really turn their heads left and right just to make eye contact with the guests. After all, they are facing almost everyone — not a blank wall, not a projector screen, and not just two VIP tables. The program area will also be in front, not in the middle of the VIP tables where other guests won’t see what’s going on unless they stand up and block the view of the VIPs.

It’s so important to give guests access to and a good view of the program area. It makes a difference in how they will understand and enjoy what’s going on. Give yourself a chance to see everyone — go for a vertical layout. It doesn’t matter that the guests are far from your couple’s area on paper. What matters is that you can see them in front of you and you can enjoy the program together without having to turn left and right every 5 minutes just to see if your guests are still there or if they’ve left already, given that you won’t see them leave anyway.

10151808_10152042346994366_1141075830_n.jpg
/darlenetansalazar 

(W@Wie in 2009; married Emman and forayed into the world of weddings in 2010, and has since been blessed with two W@W Top 10 stints — first, as wedding planner in 2010 and second, as event host in 2013)


67 W@Wies (Part 1) - W@W Chat (repost)
August 29th, 2014

FYI: W@W Chat is our wedding podcast. Its first airing was in July 2011; it went on until Episode 79 last October 2013. Yes, we just might bring it back, but for now, enjoy our past episodes. We are randomly posting past episodes weekly, so we asked listeners/ readers/ W@Wies/ Supplier Friends to pick their fave and write an intro. This one is by W@Wie Ren (W@W addict since March 2013. Then she shared her love and logic last June 12, 2014 when she said I do to her geek IT husband Carmelo.) Let us know which is your fave! ~W@W Team

wawpodcast.jpg

FAVE EPISODE – W@Wies

I was just a newbie in W@W when my husband and I discovered and listened to this Podcast. The invited guests here are what we called w@wies (couples from the Weddings at Work Community).
The W@Wies tackled their love story, how the Weddings at Work started, and how they prepared their actual wedding. As a newbie that time, I felt so giddy and ‘kilig’ hearing their story. It also made me an instant fan of their partnership; thus, I wanted to see and meet them in person.
I can say that listening to this chat as a newbie made me more addicted to W@W. There were points when I said, “ah ganun pala yun”! I also took note all of the pieces of advice they gave. Now that we are done with our wedding, I can definitely tell everyone that this podcast really helped us a lot in preparing for our wedding — on what to expect from the preparations to the actual event.

67 W@Wies (Part 1) - W@W Chat

posted April 17, 2013

You may listen to the episode by clicking (play) on the embedded audio player above. You may also right-click this link to save the MP3 and transfer it to your phone, ipod, tablet, and the like. If you’d like to download previous episodes of W@W Chat, please go to iTunes and look for W@W Chat or click on the links of previous episodes. :)


Dispensing hope, pursuing dreams: The MCC Way
August 25th, 2014

She’s the chief planner of MCC Events, yet in the hurried hustle and bustle of several wedding preparations happening within the same period of time, she finds moments to worship along with her husband, sons, family, and friends, to minister to those who come to her for advice, and to “mother” 97 Tawi kids along with her own two boys. Although we would like to call her a superwoman, she will most likely prefer to just be called Mayette.

Her advocacy to educate the less fortunate is truly admirable. Knowing that sometimes parents themselves oppose sending the kids to school, preferring instead for these kids to work, I asked her how she got the kids to go to school daily. Mayette said that she really talked to the parents to get their buy-in. She explained to them how these children will not be able to improve their lives if they won’t get educated, i.e. the continuing circle of poverty. Besides, the children can still work after school. Fortunately, the parents agreed with her; thus, they all have a long standing agreement — parents will do their best to provide for their children, but if they can’t make both ends meet, Ms. Mayette and her friends will step in. Daily, students hie off to her garage to get their “baon packs”. Why daily? So that Ms. Mayette and her husband can also talk to them and check on how they are doing. The students are also free to go to the converted garage to work on their projects, research, print, and the like. Ms. Mayette wants to make sure they don’t have any excuse to avoid going to school — they have baon so they won’t go hungry, and they have materials to comply with assignments and other school requirements. All they really need to do in return is to study hard. Grades are computed every grading period, and the top 10 get rewards for their hard work and diligence — anything from going to a special buffet to new clothes.

Although it seems like she is giving dole-outs at first glance, she is actually dispensing hope and inspiration. She wants the children to hope for a brighter future, but she doesn’t stop there. She feeds that hope by giving them extra tools and nudges to keep them focused on the goal to eventually rise out of the quagmire of poverty through education. She wants them to learn to fish but knows that as children, they can’t learn to fish if no one will support them in the pursuit of their dreams. Their parents can’t do it all for them; thus, she has become a surrogate parent to all 97 of them — along with all the people who silently support the advocacy with donations and prayers. Mind you, she only accepts donations from people she knows personally. Why? Because she does not want the children to capitalize on poverty and have a feeling of entitlement for dole-outs. The goal of the advocacy is not to make them dependent, rather to keep them in school so she gives just enough for them to get a good education — enough to eat so they won’t go hungry while trying to learn and enough to make their requirements so they can get good grades.

It was but fitting for T3 Enforced, a show of TV5, to feature her and salute her efforts to keep all these children in school. Watch the segment:

10151808_10152042346994366_1141075830_n.jpg
/darlenetansalazar 

(W@Wie in 2009; married Emman and forayed into the world of weddings in 2010, and has since been blessed with two W@W Top 10 stints — first, as wedding planner in 2010 and second, as event host in 2013)


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    this blog by Abet Benz Rana
    husband & wife tag team behind WeddingsAtWork.com (W@W).
    friends since '91 • married in '98
    built W@W & turned parents by '99
    been blogging here since 2004
    stuck with each other forever! ;)
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