January 2013 archive

The Million Dollar Question…

We LOVE when clients ask us the million dollar question! No…it’s not the price question either. Give up…its when they ask us “what makes you different from other photo booth companies?” We love answering this question because although you may think all photo booth companies are the same and it’s just a matter of how much each company charges, its really the value and quality you get with the company you choose.

You see you can price shop all you want and go with the company that charges the least. But their pictures may not be Top Notch quality. This saying is SO TRUE…“You get what you pay for.”

There are so many ways we can answer this Million Dollar question like, “we offer a level of personal service that you can’t find elsewhere” or “we use a Green Screen Background”. BUT we are a photo booth company and its only right we show you rather than tell you. Isn’t a picture is worth a thousands words…

 

Vendor Spotlight: Danielle Bobish of Curtain Up Events

Meet Wedding & Event Planner Danielle Bobish!

Brides tend to think they can plan their own wedding. This can be done, however, it’s probably best to have someone that could help for coordinating everything, especially the day of the wedding. It would allow you to be way less stressed and enjoy your special day! We interviewed Danielle Bobish of Curtain Up Events and were impressed by her down to earth and bubbly personality. Danielle was recently the recipient of the 2012 BizBash Readers Choice Social Event Planner of the Year and also picked for The Knot Best of Weddings 2013!

1. Please tell us about your business and how you got started as a wedding/event planner?

My first career was as an actress (doing mostly musical theater).  When I decided to leave show business it was extremely emotional for me.  I knew I needed to find something I enjoyed doing just as much as performing (which was my passion).  I took a job as an assistant to an event planner and very quickly became an associate planner.  I grew up with a mother who had her own catering company so it was in my blood. I have always been surrounded by this industry and just needed to focus on finding what was right in front of me.

2. What’s your favorite part of the entire wedding planning process?

I love the design process.  Every couple is so different and we love to help them realize their vision in the venue they’ve chosen.

3. If you could give only one piece of advice to a bride/groom, what would that be?

Prioritize.  Everyone has a budget.  You have to really think about what is most important to you and make some sacrifices along the way.

4. What are some trends you’re seeing this year?

We’re seeing a lot of love for “rustic” weddings.  Mason jars, chalk boards, clusters of small arrangements rather than large floral centerpieces.

5. Name 3 favorite NY Outdoor Venues and Indoor Venues:

NYC venues with Outdoor Space that we love are:

1. The Hudson Hotel

2. Le Parker Meridien, NY

3. 620 Loft and Garden

NYC Indoor Venues that we love are:

1.  Gotham Hall

2.  Trump Soho

3.  24 Fifth

6. Fill in the blanks: I love working with a couple that…

Want their wedding reception to be fun!! So many people are so focused on perfection that they actually impede the fun at their own wedding.  It’s wonderful when a couple wants everyone (including themselves) to have an amazing time and wants us to create something that doesn’t scream “stuffy”.

7. What is the biggest strength that you bring to your clients?

Problem Solving!!

8. What’s the most eccentric or strange request you have ever received from a bride or groom?

You know, I never really find any request to be strange or eccentric.  I’m a big believer that there are no rules.  We pride ourselves on our ability to create something unique and special.  Our job would be pretty dull if we had to do the same wedding over and over again. Eccentric requests keep us on our toes!

9. When you walk a venue, what are the top three things you look for?

1.  If a client has a specific theme or color scheme in mind I want to make sure they’re not “fighting the room” or that they’re not going to have to try to hide pieces of the existing décor.  You want the room to compliment your vision.

2.  Lighting.  What lighting comes with the venue.  Are the existing lights on dimmers?  One of the most important elements of any event is lighting.  You can decorate all you want but if it’s not lit properly it won’t have the right impact.

3.  Flexibility.  How easy is the venue to work with?  Are they going to give me road blocks every step of the way?  If the client wants something is it going to be “no way” before even saying “let’s see what we can do”?

10. What are your top tips for clients watching their budgets closely?

1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Prioritize!!   Set your budget and categorize in a spreadsheet.  If you wind up not spending everything you allocated for that live band that was really important to you, then you can put that left over money toward the photobooth you wanted but didn’t HAVE to have.

2.  Keep track of every purchase for the wedding.  A lot of brides constantly go out and buy random knick knacks that they find and think may work but don’t realize that all of those small purchases add up at the end of the day.

3.  Be realistic.  Not every budget can encompass a full 3 course sit down dinner with a cocktail hour and viennese station.  It’s so hard to have to compromise your dream but it’s also important to be realistic with how far the numbers will stretch.

11. What advice can you give people who are on the fence about hiring an event/wedding planner?

A planner can bring you so much value.  We know the most reliable and talented vendors suited to different situations.  There’s a lot of information out there.  How can you possibly know where to begin as someone who doesn’t do this on a daily basis.   There are so many little details that people don’t realize have to be done.  It’s not just about making things pretty.  There’s a lot of organization that happens on our end.  Then when it comes to managing the event: Are you going to be the one to cue the music to start the ceremony?  Are you going to be there to load in and double check the rentals for your loft wedding?  Are you going to manage set up while you’re supposed to be in hair and makeup?

12. What’s your current obsession right now?

I really enjoy the idea of bringing the outdoors inside and then inside outdoors.  There’s nothing more amazing then entering a room to find a forest of trees and lanterns. Or to find little living room vignettes at an outdoor event complete with chandeliers hanging from the trees.

13. When you aren’t doing this, what are you doing?

Spending time with my family.  Making time for my daughter and my husband is my number one priority.  I love spending time as a family doing things like pumpkin picking, playing outside or just going to brunch.  I’m a lucky lady that I can be a mom, a wife and an entrepreneur.

14. What is a random, interesting fact about you or your business?

I have a musical theater background.  I was a professional singer/dancer/actress for many years prior to becoming an event planner. My company name and the inspiration for what I do is all based on my theater experience.

15. Please name some vendors you love working with.

I love working with anyone who is a team player.  I never want to hear from any vendor “that’s not my job”.  We all want the same outcome . . . A seamless event.  I work with so many amazing vendors it wouldn’t be fair to name just a few.

 

Curtain Up Events is the brainchild of Danielle Bobish, who discovered that her background in professional theater was the perfect training ground for planning events. The parallels were obvious as theatrical productions and large affairs share the same key elements: costumes, lighting, set design, precision timing, and a multitude of details to coordinate. Why not bring the excitement and expertise of professional theater to the world of event planning?

Since 2005 Danielle has helped her clients stage unforgettably dramatic events — without all the drama. Through Curtain Up Events, Danielle has planned and managed both intimate and large-scale affairs throughout the Tri-State area garnering a number of industry awards along the way. CUE has been recognized as a Bride’s Choice by WeddingWire.com, selected for The Knot’s Best of Weddings, and is a recommended wedding planner by Crystalized Swarovski Elements.

Danielle is a graduate of the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in musical theater. She then forged a successful acting career in the world’s most competitive talent pool, performing on stages from New York City to Los Angeles and points in between.

Danielle is currently Co-Chair of the Event Planners Association, NYC Chapter.  Her work and creative ideas have appeared in numerous print and online media including The New York Times and Brides.com. She also played a key role on the event team for an episode of “My Celebrity Wedding” which aired on The Style Network. Curtain Up Events has also partnered with The Wedding Channel and The Knot in planning some of their most high-profile industry events.

Top 3 Tips for Photo Booth Placement

Having done so many events, we have mastered where to exactly put the photo booth at your event. Here’s our Top 3 tips to maximize visibility and use of your booth.

Visibility

Keep the photo booth in a highly visible area near the action. Having a dance? Serving booze? The photo booth loves being close by. Being near the action is a great photo booth reminder for your guests.

Traffic Flow

Keep the photo booth near the action but out of the way. Stay away (we suggest at least 5 feet) from high traffic areas like doorways and tables. The photo booth is a guest magnet and it’s pretty common to have 10 or so guests frolicking around it. Tip: We’ve most likely been at your venue before. Ask us or your venue contact person where the best place is.

Announcements

If the booth is outside the primary space (like in a hallway or foyer) announcements are a great way to keep the booth rocking all night long. Mention the booth in your welcoming speech and have your DJ make several announcements throughout the evening. We’ve seen some pretty cute table cards that serve as great use-the-booth reminders.

 

About Royal Photo Booth

Royal Photo Booth provides affordable photo booth rentals in NY, NJ & CT. We offer Non-Stop Photo Booth entertainment for Weddings, Sweet 15/16, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Corporate Events, Fundraisers, Trade Shows, Holiday Parties, Marketing Events, Birthdays & Anniversaries, Baby Showers, Reunions, Dances & Proms, & any Other Social Gatherings. You receive a 3-in-1 solution for Photography, Entertainment, and Party Favors, and it’s just as much fun for children and seniors as it is for young adults. We specialize in using Green Screen Technology, where you have thousands of backgrounds to choose from. These instant take-home keepsakes will be treasured for years to come. Remember, you & your guests deserve the BEST! You can learn more about Royal Photo Booth on their WebsiteBlog, on Facebook at Royal Photo Booth, and Twitter @ladaza.

 

Vendor Spotlight: Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist Sabrina Gilbert

Meet Celebrity Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Sabrina Gilbert!

Sabrina Gilbert exemplifies the true meaning of a consummate Beauty Expert. Not only is she a seasoned professional makeup up artist, but an extraordinary hair stylist as well! We know because she’s has done our hair MANY times and always receive compliments on it…true story! Being great at both is definitely a plus in this business to be able to develop AND excel in both the worlds of hair and makeup! That dual ability really gives Sabrina a unique edge in the industry, as she is hired “equally” for makeup and hair assignments! We LOVE Sabrina and everything about her! Not only is she a ROCKSTAR she is also down to earth and funny too! Her style and technique speaks for itself! We believe  that she always brings out the best in a person’s look and are really timeless.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

I moved to New York with no money and not really knowing what I wanted to do in life. A born fine artist I always looked for ways to make money doing what I loved. Makeup and hairstyling came naturally for me because its another form of art, so shortly after moving here I got my cosmetology license and started working numerous bridal companies in New York. After a while I decided to go into business for myself and things just took off for me.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is when people look in the mirror after I have worked on them and they say how amazing they look and feel, they seem to instantly glow from the inside out.  I also LOVE reading sweet reviews from my clients without my knowledge or even me asking them to. I really love that feeling:)

What are the top trends you see for 2013?

 Well as hairstylist I’m still seeing more effortless hairstyles. Messy buns, tendrils, romantic bed head hair that seems to be quickly pinned up and not forced.

How do you incorporate the latest trends into your work?

 Well its really not up to me, I listen to what the client wants always and if they are unsure I give my input. I would probably stay away from “Trends” on the wedding day because you dont want to look at your wedding pictures in 10-15 years and say “OMG, what was I thinking.” Instead I suggest a style or look that more timeless but not too “safe” as well.

What inspires you?

 I get inspired by the client herself, her dress, her energy, her story, her vision for her wedding day. I get inspired by classic beauties of old Hollywood as well. They have a beauty that never goes out of style. You can see those women on the street today and they would still be stunning.

How would you describe your signature style in five words?

Clean, Relaxed, Polished, Classic and Aesthetic. 

Today’s woman is busier than ever. What is the easiest/quickest way to turn a day/work look into something that works for night out?

Let’s say you have a simple light natural day look for work. If your going straight to the club after the office you want to have a fun vibrant lipstick or gloss on hand along with maybe a dark liner or darker shade shadow so you can amp up the eyes. That way you can add some color to your lips and contour or define the eye a bit for a fun flirty night look!

What are some Wedding Day Beauty tips you can offer our brides to be?

Good makeup and hair starts with pre-wedding day regimen. Drink lots of water, stay on top of your skin issues, see a dermatologist if necessary and really give your skin the attention it needs for it to behave itself the day of. Trust me your makeup artist will thank you. As far as hair, pick a style you can move and dance in. Its your big day! You need to be able to be free that day after all the stress but you still need to look glam at the same time. Choose a hairstyle that is both pretty and practical.

Do you have a link to your online portfolio from past clients?

Yes to view my work you can visit http://www.sabrinagilbertnyc.com 

What are some questions we can ask a make-up artist to see if they are the right fit for us?

Make sure you do some research before booking them, check their online reviews etc. The truth is they should be asking you all the questions like what’s your skin type? What are your biggest problem areas? Do you have a reference pictures or a specific look in mind? Are there any colors or products you want to stay away from? are you allergic to anything? These are all questions that the artist should be asking you while at your consultation or trial. If they don’t ask these questions you both can become a little confused about the vision and you may not be happy with the outcome.

What three makeup items should no woman leave home without?

Awww only three? Okay I will try to narrow it down lol. Concealer ( Revives and brightens the eyes), Mascara ( opens eyes and makes them look bigger)  and last but not least BLUSH! ( This could possibly be the most important beauty product. It instantly makes you look younger, warmer and more “alive”) 

What’s your current obsession right now?

High messy top knot buns with a dark plum/burgundy vampire-like lipstick.

What’s your “secret sauce” for success as an entrepreneur?

First and foremost as an entrepreneur I feel the most important element to running a successful business is networking and pushing yourself one step ahead of the competition.  I feel another “not so secret”, secret is to truly try to make your client happy on the most important day of her life. Put yourself in her shoes, know what she would want and expect from you and deliver. 

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

 I ‘d probably be painting, sewing, designing, and creating something. I am a creator of beautiful things first and foremost even before hair and makeup.

Tell us something we don’t know about Sabrina Gilbert NYC.
hmmm… I would have to say as an artist and business owner I never do anything I am not passionate about. I have to be fully invested and fully alive in what I do. That is how you create a great brand. 

About Sabrina Gilbert

Sabrina Gilbert is a New York based celebrity makeup artist and hairstylist servicing the Tri-State area. She specializes in Bridal, Special Event and TV/Film hair and makeup. With a keen aesthetic eye and down to earth demeanor, it’s her personal and professional goal to make every client feel like a celebrity for their special day. Well skilled in makeup artistry and hairstyling, Sabrina is a unique artist with a gift and vision to execute any style desired. You can visit her Website HERE, LIKE her on Facebook, Follow her on Twitter.

Vendor Spotlight: CK of Love Ink

We met CK when we first started our business 2 years ago. We instantly connected and have been in touch ever since! CK is the owner of Love Ink, a full service writing service, and LOVE her work! Check out her interview with us below.

Please tell us where the idea of your full service special occasions writing service business came from and how you got started? 

I’ve always love romance and writing! Those are two of my favorite things and everyone the knows me knows this. So, when my friends started getting married, I became the go to person to assist with helping everyone write their vows, speeches, toasts… you name it, I was helping to write it. So a friend of mine told me that I should start a business and I did!

What type of services do you provide your clients?

Love Ink offers a variety of services. We offer vow/ speech coaching services where we assist you in writing your own words. We also have custom writing services where we interview you and create the words for you. We also write love stories, best man/ maid of honor speeches, thank you cards, custom invitations poems and so much more. We help you create the perfect words for any occasion

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is working with a client who thought they didn’t have the words or the ability to express themselves in the way they wanted to and then seeing them rock their vows on their wedding day! It’s extremely rewarding to help people do what they thought they couldn’t do.

Why should people consider hiring a professional to write their vows or speeches?

People hire professionals for every aspect of their lives. You have a life coach if your seeking a new direction in life, you’d hire a resume writer if you really want a make an impression at your job interview, you hire a caterer for an event where you want the food to be exceptional… Hiring a professional vow writer is no different. These are the most important words you will ever say. These words will govern your marriage, when you have words that mean as much as these do, you want to get it right and you want it to be special. I help people do that.

What requests do you hear most from your clients?

I get a lot of clients who have written their own vows but need help revamping them and making them sound amazing and that falls under my vow coaching sessions where I will take what you wrote and help you maximize your own words! I also have gotten more requests for love story writing! I love writing love stories because they are all so different and special and it really helps me to get to know the couple.

How do you help ease clients who are shy or scared to speak in front of people?

During my vow coaching sessions we go over a number of ways to alleviate stress while public speaking. The number one way to alleviate stress while speaking in front of people is to be prepared. I help my clients to be confident in their words and prepared for their big moment!

How are you able to convey the message the person wants to communicate?

I get this question all the time. Everyone wants to know if their vows will ” sound like them”. My answer is yes, it will sound like you never thought you could sound! I do an extensive interview with my clients where I get to know them and i dig deep into their relationships so I can really get an understanding of how they feel and what they want to say.  My job is to make you sound like the better version of yourself. You’ll be able to express your feelings in a way you never thought you could and it will all come from your heart!

What inspires you to write?

Love is my number one inspiration! I love love and I am a hopeless romantic. I love being able to capture that feeling in words.

What is your obsession right now?

Right now I am obsessed with the holidays! I love the holiday season. So much cheer and so much inspiration for love and writing. I love this time of year and I’m really excited about spending time with my family and friends.

When you aren’t doing this, what are you doing?

When I’m not working on wedding vows and meeting with clients I enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends. I love cooking! That’s one of my favorite things to do and another expression of love! We cook for those we love so I always like to make my dishes extra special!

What new project are you working on right now?

I have currently collaborated with awesome wedding professionals including Royale Amethyst Invitations , where we have developed The Love Story Project, a line of custom save the dates, invitations and programs that include custom written love stories by Love Ink!  We currently have a love story contest going on right now where one lucky couple will win a free professionally written love story by me! I have also partnered with a Vow Art company called Her Blue Eyes , that specializes in turning your wedding vows into works of art! Lastly, I am hosting my first Wedding Vow Workshop in Atlanta with Blackbride.com at the Black Bride Bridal Showcase on Jan. 13, 2013. I’ll be teaching a group of couples how to capture their love stories and write beautiful wedding vows!

Love Ink is a full service special occasions writing service that is based in New York and founded in 2008. We offer one-on-one custom consultations to assist clients with all of their writing needs. No job is considered too small or too large. We strive to create custom written works with a personalized approach that is distinctly yours. We work directly with our clients to produce custom creations for their special day. Love ink offers coaching and writing services that include  custom written wedding vows, speeches, toasts, thank you cards and more!  Love ink has been featured in Black Bridal Bliss, Website, Black Bride, Website, David Tutera, Blog, Ebony Magazine, Single of the Year, The Hill, Newspaper, Spliced by Appy Couple, Website

C.K. Bio:
C.K. has always had a passion for writing and romance. This ambitious writer, born in Los Angeles and raised in New York, studied Journalism at Howard University in Washington D.C. and received her master’s in Journalism at Columbia University in New York. She is a news assistant and contributing writer for The New York Times and a freelance reporter for various publications. This is not a hobby for the young entrepreneur. Writing is her passion and love is her purpose.

 

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