Attention Brides – 10 Reasons Why You Need a Wedding Planner

The ACPWC’s own member, Jo Ann of Apropos Creations, who received her certification through the ACPWC, shares with brides why a wedding planner is necessary.

10 Reasonjo-ann-m-grant-apropos-creations-wedding-and-event-planner-200x300s Why You Need a Wedding Planner

You’re engaged. Congrats! Hopefully you already did the 3 things we recommend doing after getting engaged:

1. Create a Vision

2. Select a Date

3. Create a Budget

If not, that’s ok too! We can help!

You have been dreaming about your wedding since you were a little girl!  Thinking about everything that you need to do can cause stress and anxiety once the shock wears off from getting engaged! Breathe. Yes, there is a lot to do BUT you don’t have to do it alone. Hiring a wedding planner will alleviate that stress and will give you more time to   spend enjoying your engagement with your fiance.

10 Reasons You Need a Wedding Planner

In this article, we give 10 reasons why you should hire a wedding planner. Of course we can think of hundreds more, but we thought these would be of most importance to you! We LOVE weddings and helping brides and want to make sure you have the day you’ve dreamed of all your life!

1. We know which vendors to work with that fit your style, budget, and availability. This saves you tons of time researching, reading reviews, making phone calls, etc…!

2. We create a detailed timeline of your wedding day or wedding weekend (depending on the package you select) so that everything runs on time.

3. On your wedding day, we take care of all the behind-the-scene details to wedding-planningmake sure your day is perfect.  Both you AND your guests can enjoy the day and not be worried about when the cake gets delivered!

4. We have lots of experience in the wedding industry and can take your vision from Pinterest and make it a reality!

5. We know all the ins and outs of the wedding venues here in Phoenix and its
surrounding cities…  which is why we can craft you such an outstanding timeline for a seamless day!

6. We will keep your wedding on budget by providing creative recommendations and the right vendors for your budget.

7. You shouldn’t have to stress out before, and especially during your wedding. Last minute hiccups can happen, but when you have a seasoned wedding planner, you’ll never even know.  We handle everything for you!

8. We can save you money due to our buying power and knowledge of competitive pricing!

9. You just don’t have the time to do it all yourself. A lot of today’s brides work, go to school, have kids, pets, obligations, and more! Let us free up your schedule by helping to plan your wedding!

10. You want to spend your wedding day being pampered, worrying only about how handsome your ‘husband to be’ is going to look when you see him for the first time. Hiring a wedding planner will let you be the princess for the day while we make sure the cake has arrived, the DJ is on time, the venue is set up, and everything is in its place! You just worry about getting bride-beautiful!

Sure there are tons of websites out there that will help you plan a wedding. There’s also websites to help you renovate your home or fix your own car. BUT, would you do either of those things on your own? Maybe… maybe NOT. You only get one shot at your wedding and you want to make it perfect. Hiring a seasoned wedding planner will allow you to spend more time enjoying your engagement and your wedding day.

Read more great tips from Jo Ann here:

Thanks for sharing, Jo Ann.  We love your wedding tips.

If you’re looking for a wedding planner in your area, look here.

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Wedding MBA Time – Sneak Peak at What ACPWC is Bringing

Yes, its that time of year again.  The Wedding MBA is holding their 11th Annual Convention in Las Vegas  September 16 – 18, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The ACPWC is excited to be a part of this annual event.

There will be several top-notch speakers there, including the ACPWC’s own Deborah Moody.  Come join us as she shares valuable information on Tactfully Handling Unrealistic Expectations and Unreasonable Requests from “The Difficult Bride”.  Deborah will share tips on how to:

  • Know the signs
  • Calm the Fears
  • Set the Expectations
  • Be Professional

Stop by our booth to get information on training courses, and take a look at the latest rave. Be the first to experience Pastiche Custom Fragrance.  Brand your wedding with a custom fragrance favor.

PasticheView the video here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Attitude + Thoughts + Words = Opportunity

Once again the ACPWC is happy to share words of wisdom from Renee Daggett, from  This is a fun and quick read to help us be successful in the business world by making just a few adjustments if necessary.  Thanks for sharing, Renee.

ATTITUDE: How’s Yours?

Renee Daggett, President

Renee Daggett, President

By: Renee Daggett

I recently read the book, “Attitude is Everything: Change Your Attitude…Change Your Life!” by Jeff Keller. At first I thought it was just going to be a corny book that I could not identify with, but I found that it had some deep truths that I could possibly implement. Here are five key points I learned.

#1 Have a Positive Attitude
When someone asks you, “How are you?” how do you respond?
Negatively – I’m terrible; I’m tired; don’t ask; as good as can be expected.
Positively – I’m excellent; I’m terrific; it’s a great day.
I would rather hang around someone who is positive, wouldn’t you? Positive comments are energizing; you can attract people with a positive attitude. Truthfully, people who don’t complain are a joy to be around.
Our attitude is a choice.

The author tells a story of Sally. She comes home exhausted from a day of work. As she is sitting in her favorite chair, she realizes she is holding the $10 million winning lottery ticket. She became so excited, jumping up and down. Remember, she was exhausted minutes prior. What was the difference? It was entirely mental. If we tell ourselves we are tired, we will be tired. If we tell ourselves we’re terrific, then we are energized. Sounds logical!

#2 Thoughts Become Reality
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”  The book reminded me to evaluate my dominant thoughts. Are they positive to motivate me to accomplish good things or are my thoughts negative? What about you – are your thoughts helping you or holding you back?  The book mentions that you should have strong mental images. He says that Jim Carrey postdated a bonus check early in his career to help motivate him to actualize a goal. I liked this example…what physical sign will you create to motivate your thoughts to action?
One suggestion the book gave was to repeat positive thoughts. I recently started playing music on my computer – positive songs. I like when a song sticks with me for hours. Try it and see if helps to keep you in a good mood!

#3 Watch the Words
Words have incredible power. Do you believe this? I do.  I enjoyed the story the author told.  Kent Cullers has a physical challenge, “a trivial affliction that is barely an inconvenience.” Mr. Cullers is a NASA scientist with a doctorate in physics. So what is his minor affliction? He is blind. Wow, I did not expect that. What did his parents say to him when he was growing up? What did he say to himself when he was in college?  With this key takeaway, it reminded me to be careful of the words I speak. I don’t think I will get tired of this reminder.

#4 Look At Problems as Opportunitiespossible
When faced with a difficulty, many people can feel devastated and overwhelmed. Depending on the topic, I know I have felt this way. However, the book reminds us to look at problems as opportunities.
These stressful situations can motivate us to make adjustments in our personal or business life to make things better. I know I have personally experienced this; after the initial hit to the face, I try to ask myself what I can do to improve (or if it has to do with my business, I’ll inquire suggestions from my staff).
Did you know…?

• Hank Aaron, hit 755 home runs, but struck out 1,383 times?
• Michael Jordan had a career-shooting percentage of 50%?
• Authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul were told NO by 33 publishers?

The author says, “What has started as an adversity has become a golden opportunity.” I have had a few situations that I thought were terrible, but in hindsight, they pushed me out of a situation that I would not have moved from and into a better opportunity. Has this ever happened to you?

#5 Associate with Positive People
“A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.”  While I recently mentioned to my son he needs to evaluate who he hangs out with, I think as an adult, I look at who I hang out with as well. What I mean by this is I want to rub shoulders with people who are smarter than I am. I want to be motivated and challenged to better myself. We easily notice people who are toxic, but do we consciously seek those who energize us? Who do you hang out with? Do they inspire you to greatness?

Have a great week! Be positive, think good things, watch your words, turn a challenge into an opportunity and rub shoulders with smart people!

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How to Attract More Customers through Community

The wedding industry is growing every day.  With that in mind, how do you help couples choose you from the smorgasbord of other wedding vendors in the buffet of choices?   How can you make your services look tempting, satisfying and fulfilling?

It wasn’t too long ago that creating your own website was the answer.  Then websites became “the norm”, so creating a unique website made you stand out.  Then online social media made its debut.  Today, pick me crop 010social media has become one of the most effective ways to reach your target market.  By providing good content online for your clientele, and being personally active in developing relationships, you can attract couples directly and indirectly through word-of-mouth recommendations.  The problem is the same thing is happening with social media that happened with websites. It’s becoming inundated with information.

As small business owners, how can we compete and stand out?

In an article entitled Size isn’t everything: How to Create Niche Online Communities, Adrienne Sheares points out that: “We are in the age of the “craft culture”.  People are shying away from mass produced products and gravitating towards companies that serve a niche.”  With social media becoming ever more popular, page views are not always the answer anymore.  She goes on to say: “Bottom line, people love personalization; they don’t want to feel like a number.”  In the article, one of her sources, Stacey Ferguson says: “In 2014, there’s so much noise out there and so many people communicating, people will miss you.  You have to target your message.”

One great way to do this is by taking advantage of communities.  Adrienne goes on to say: “Take the time to segment your message on social media and email blasts and watch your success rates rise.  You may have several communities in your audience.  Make sure your content is targeted to them.” How dWedding Planner Do'so you do this?  You must first become familiar with “what your community wants, how they want to interact and then deliver”.

Learn more about how to do this by reading Adrienne’s article here.

The ACPWC has a great Membership Partner program designed to help you become a part of a community of wedding vendors that work together to reach our target market.  Learn more at

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The Natural Way to Relieve Your Wedding Day Stress

As Wedding Planners, our goal is to make sure this special day runs smoothly and is filled with beautiful memories for our dear couples.  At times, the wedding day jitters can take their toll, especially on the bride-to-be.  What can we do to help her stay calm?  I have the perfect solution.

Recently, I was introduced to doTERRA certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils.  I love them!  I have incorporated them into my life everywhere from drinking citrus oils in my water for cleansing, to using peppermint and doTERRA’s special tension blend for my headaches.

Why should you be interested in this?  Because Lavender oil and doTERRA’s special blends called Serenity and Balance are wonderful natural alternatives in helping to calm the nerves of our brides-to-be when they have anxiety on their wedding day… and they smell heavenly!  Your brides will love you for sharing this little secret to help them stay calm.

sj-0689Here’s the recipe:  Place 4-6 drops of Serenity or Balance on a cotton ball and hide it in the top center of your bride-to-be’s wedding bouquet.  When she begins to get anxious or nervous, you can remind her to smell the bouquet and inhale deeply.  DoTERRA’s  naturally calming oils will help to calm her down and create a relaxed environment.

For more information on doTERRA’s calming oils, click here .  Serenity and Balance
Find out how to get your free A to Z guide to essential oils by emailing Deborah and Peggy here:

Please let us know if you have any other wellness concerns you would like to consider supporting with  all natural 100% organic doTERRA essential oils or if you would like to learn more about the essential oils as a wellness alternative.

Posted in Bride Advice, Business Tips, Uncategorized, Wedding Planner Advice, Wedding Planning Tips | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACPWC Welcomes Pebble Beach as Our Newest Member Partner

The ACPWC welcomes our newest Member Partner, Pebble Beach.  If you’re looking for an outstanding venue, this is one you will absolutely want to share with your couples.  Here is an article written by one of our own members, Crystal Lequang of Amazae Special Events entitled:

The Pebble Beach Experience

TheLodge at Pebble Beach Pebble Beach is known for their fantastic golf courses, spas, and resorts, with breathtaking views of the Pacific, and they are celebrating their 100th anniversary in a few years. And the best part is, is their team. Contact them today for your special event. Read more about The Pebble Beach Experience in our blog post, here!

You, too, can become one of our Member Partners.

The Member Partners Program was designed to strengthen the wedding industry, by bringing together a community of exclusive wedding professionals to provide tools and services for couples.  Becoming a member will help:

  • develop exclusive relationships with wedding planners, partners and couples;
  • help build a greater, stronger, and more professional wedding community;
  • enhance offerings and open the lines of communication;
  • provide support to our members and partners; and
  • elevate the wedding industry to new heights.

(Read more here) Here are some of our Member Partners:

Posted in Favorite Vendors, Recommended Wedding Venues, Uncategorized, Wedding Planner Advice | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What Is the Average Wedding Budget?

Each year The Knot sends out a survey to over 10,000 brides that have married during the year and figures out the national average spending on a wedding budget.  Here are the results for last year:


While this may be the national average, in many cities across the –United States it is much higher.  Take a look at the results from The Knot’s survey on the 25 most expensive places to get married:


Guess who gets the award for most expensive weddings?  That’s right…Manhatten, New York takes the ribbon for most expensive place to get married in 2013. How about you?  Do you have a budget for your wedding?  The ACPWC recommends hiring a professional Wedding Planner.  Being experts in their field, a Certified Wedding Consultant can help you design a budget that is right for you, and then help you stick to it.  They also have wedding resources and contacts to assist you in finding the best choices for your signature wedding.  Having relationships with wedding professionals, helps planners to recognize value and negotiate great prices, saving you time and money.  Are you in need of a reputable Wedding Consultant?  Here is a list of our recommendations:  click here


Summer Specials - Are you dreaming of becoming a Wedding Planner?  The deadline for the $150 off pricing is just around the corner.  Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Application and full payment of must be made by:

July 15 for $150 off.  Extended to July 30

August 15 for $100 off.


Upcoming Events:

WEP Cruise workshop for wedding professionals 
“Learning How To Do Business Better” November 2-9, 2014

ISS Workshop
ISSE Riviera Cancun – Nov 4-7, 2014

WeddingMBA 11th Annual Convention
September 16 – 18, 2014
Las Vegas Convention Center

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Join ACPWC for a Cruise on the Bay!

Join ACPWC as we Cruise the Bay! 

cruise the Bay

Experience a Gourmet Dining Cruise on the Bay

Hosted by Hornblower Cruises and Events

Take a little time out from your busy schedule.

Come and enjoy a great meal, singing, dancing and lots of fun!

        Join ACPWC as we Cruise the Bay!

RSVP by Friday, July 18

Dress for Success!

Spouses and Partners are Welcome to Join!

Invite a fellow graduate, friend, colleague or wedding pro!

Feel free to forward this information.


Upcoming Events:

WEP Cruise workshop for wedding professionals 
“Learning How To Do Business Better” November 2-9, 2014

ISS Workshop
ISSE Riviera Cancun – Nov 4-7, 2014

WeddingMBA 11th Annual Convention
September 16 – 18, 2014
Las Vegas Convention Center


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Professional Wedding Consultant Spotlight: A Day Like No Other

We’d like you to meet one of our Members, Jutta Lammerts, Professional Wedding Consultant and Owner of A Day Like No Other.

Portrait-Jutta-200x300What got you into the business, Jutta?  When our son and his wonderful fiancee announced their wedding plans, we were “over the moon,” and even more so when the two promoted me to exclusive wedding planner. I immediately jumped into planning mode, and I loved every minute of the year-long endeavor! The wedding grew to a 3-day affair in 4 different places and with guests from 3 continents – and I just had to live up to the occasion. In the end, it was a big success, and I was hooked, because wedding planning has proved positively addictive! I had, in fact, found my new vocation, and that was the starting point for A Day Like No Other – Wedding Coordination and Design. Several years and many weddings later, I am still as thrilled and as enthusiastic about wedding planning as ever – just ask my brides and the colleagues with whom I am collaborating for my events.

Please tell us a bit about your skills and training.  I am not only the author of Wedding Woof, I am also planning and designing elegant, personalized weddings at the most beautiful venues in the San Francisco Bay Area and all of Northern California. My business is “A Day Like No Other,” and that’s what I design for my couples – a dream Wedding Day! As a Professional Wedding Consultant,  trained and certified by the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants, and as the Events Committee Chair, Northern California, of the Wedding Industry Professionals Association, I bring experience, expertise and enthusiasm to my wedding projects 

Will you please tell us a little bit about your business?  My business, A Day Like No Other – Wedding Coordination and Design, is a boutique full-service wedding planning company located on the San Francisco Peninsula, offering services throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area, but also down the Peninsula as far south as Monterey/Carmel and up north to the Napa/Sonoma Wine Country.

It’s a true labor of love: I absolutely love every moment of my work, I enjoy jumping into the excitement of planning with my brides (and grooms), of brainstorming ideas, developing a design scheme, and of making their Great Day into something totally personal, totally unheard-of, A Day Like No Other, in short!

I create totally unique weddings reflecting the personality and style of the couple, be it simple and elegant, or over-the-top glamorous, or nostalgic and whimsical, or cutting-edge urban chic – I’ll come up with design and décor ideas to express my couple’s individuality.  My goal is to create wonderful memories for a lifetime both for the couple and for their families, friends and all guests.

In my work, I am not only creative – I am also exceptionally well-organized with great attention to detail. I have superior social skills, I work hard, I am a team player with all the other vendors at a wedding, and that way I achieve seamless events and flawless execution. Five-star reviews on yelp and on Wedding Wire are proof of my success in the field.

My company’s unique specialty are dog-friendly weddings from Rehearsal Dinner to ceremony, reception and wedding dinner (I can even offer a five-star hotel with Michelin-starred restaurant among the choices!) right to planning a dog-inclusive Honeymoon.

A Day Like No Other is growing fast, now requiring the help of assistants to handle the growing number of weddings, professional and corporate events currently “in the works.” In addition to my dedication to my company, I am also an active blog-writer (my blog, Wedding Woof, enjoys 300 to 500 site visits per day) and contributor to wedding-related publications. What’s next? I am hoping to expand my business to clients overseas (Europe, East Asia) and to offer elopement and destination SF packages including 24/7 travel guides and interpreters – but that’s still in the planning stages!

Thank you for sharing with us Jutta.  We are very proud to have you as a Member of the ACPWC and would highly recommend you as a top notch Professional Wedding Consultant.

Check out this beautiful wedding put on by A Day Like No Other:









dining-table (1)





For full story and photos of this wedding, click here.


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Small Business Tip: Travel – What Can You Deduct While Traveling? Part 2

Continuing on from last week, Renee Daggett from Admin Books keeps us updated on important deductions we can use when traveling on business

Can I Pay Family or Friends for Business Lodging?

by Renee Daggett

Renee Daggett, President

Renee Daggett, President

Yes, deduction for business travel lodging expenses when staying with a relative or friend for less than 15 days is deductible to the business.  For example, will you be taking a business travel trip to a city where your mom and dad live?  If so, you could pay fair rent for staying at their home and the rent you pay mom and dad could be tax-free to them.

1.You need to pay a commercial (fair) rent to mom and dad.
2.You need to get a receipt; tax law requires receipts for all lodging tax deductions.
3.Your mom and dad collect the rent as tax-free income because they rented their home for less than 15 days during the tax year.
4.If you pay rent of more than $600 to an individual during a tax year, you must give them (and the IRS) a Form 1099.
5. Mom and dad get no deductions for the expenses of renting their guest room to you.  Under the less-than-15-day rule, tax law completely ignores both income and expenses.  Mom and dad report the rental income from the Form 1099 on their Schedule E for the year, then, because the amount is not taxable, they should subtract that amount in the expense section of Schedule E and add a supporting statement:  “Taxpayers rented their personal residence for less than 15 days during the tax year.  Such rent is exempt from tax under IRS Section 280A.”

Can I deduct travel for my spouse?

Travel expenses can be deducted for a spouse (or person accompanying the taxpayer) if:
1. The individual is an employee of the taxpayer
2. Has a bona fide (genuine) purpose in traveling with the taxpayer
You can still take your spouse on the trip even if they are not an employee, but the expenses related to their travel are NOT deductible.

How can I deduct international travel?Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from

All expenses for travel outside the U.S. are deductible if the trip is entirely devoted to business activities.  If the reason for the trip is primarily for non-business reasons, such as a vacation, NONE of the travel costs are deductible.  If the primary purpose of the trip is for business, but some time is spent on personal activities, travel costs generally must be prorated by dividing the number of business days by the total number of travel days.  But, even if time is spent on non-business activities, the trip is considered entirely for business if one of the following conditions is met:

1. The taxpayer does not have substantial control over arranging the trip. A self-employed person generally has substantial control over the arrangement of a trip.
2. The taxpayer was outside the U.S. on a business trip for a week or less.  Do not count the day of departure from the U.S., but count the day of return.
3. Less than 25% of the total time spent during the trip was spent on non-business activities.  For this purpose, count both the days of departure and return.
4. The taxpayer can establish that a vacation was not a major consideration for the trip.

Cruise Ship Conventions

You can deduct up to $2000 per person per year if you take a cruise and there is a business convention held.  The seminar must be directly related to the taxpayers trade or business and the ship must be a US ship and all the ports traveled are within the U.S.
If the expenses listed on your receipt show for meals or entertainment, the deduction is only 50%.  However, if the expenses are not stated separately, the cost is 100% deductible.

Actual costs Versus Per Diem

In some situations, it is more advantageous to take advantage of using the IRS’ per diem rates for your travel expenses.  These are IRS published rates for meals, travel and lodging by area (See IRS Publication 1542).  For example, if you find that you don’t spend much on meals, the per diem rate might get you a higher deduction per day than taking actual costs.  If you file your tax return as a proprietor or as a corporation in which you own more than 10 percent, you may not use the per diem allowance for lodging, actual receipts are required.

Needed Proof of Travel

In every case, it’s important to remember to always keep your receipts so that you are able to justify an expense should you ever get audited.  Taxpayers are required to maintain a diary, log trip sheet or similar records, as well as documentary evidence (for example, receipts, canceled checks) to substantiate the amount, time, place and business purpose of the expenditures.  For travel and entertainment expenses (other than lodging), receipts are not required for expenses below $75.  However, your credibility increases if you have all documentation of your trip.  It is also important to keep books, brochures, or handouts for conferences attended.  Records must be kept showing the time, place, business purposes and amount of each separate expenses.

As you can see, travel deductions can be confusing.  If you have a specific travel situation you would like to discuss, call Admin Books for assistance.

Download pdf copy

Thank you, Renee for sharing your timely expertise.


Summer Specials – Are you dreaming of becoming a Wedding Planner?  Take advantage of our Summer Specials.  Register for course before deadline to take advantage of special offer:

July 15 – $150 off

August 15 – $100 off

Click here for more information.


Member Partner Program – Join our Member Partner Program. Strengthen the wedding community, build relationships, provide services and resources for couples, and gain exposure for you business. How will you benefit from this membership? As a Member Partner, you will receive… (read more here) .

Upcoming Events 

ISS Workshop ISSE Riviera Cancun – Nov 4-7, 2014

WeddingMBA 11th Annual Convention September 16 – 18, 2014
Las Vegas Convention Center

AfWPI Conference Monday, July 14, 2014 | 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
2200 Harvard St, Sacramento, CA 95815

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