What Our Members Are Doing Part 3


This month we’ve been featuring our members and their accommplishments, successes and challenges.  Here are just a few more that we think will inspire you!  We’ve had such an overwhleming response that we haven’t been able to post them all!

Juanita Colbert – My name is Juanita Colbert and I am the owner and CEO of Marvelous Weddings & Events and I would love to be featured in the ABC Blog. Since the beginning of COVID-19 and having to be at home, I have spent a lot of my time updating my website as well as my social media pages. I have a bride who was scheduled to get married on April 27, 2020 and was ready to cancel. Instead, I advised her and her partner to not cancel but to postpone for a later date and time. I have been in contact with my clients as well as their vendors and venue so that we all could be on the same page. The new wedding date is scheduled for September 5, 2020.

Helping others has always been a goal that I will continue to do until I am not able to do it anymore. My business did remain open during COVID-19 and I did not have any intentions on closing it because brides and grooms-to-be need us even if it is to just answer their questions and offer advice. I look forward to everything opening back up again so that all of us in the wedding industry can continue to do what we do best.

Several weeks ago, we decided to launch a campaign that would encourage frontline workers, make our followers aware of their sacrifices, and encourage others to give during these challenging times.  We call the initiative, “FrontLine Fridays.”

Dwayne Walker from ChicagoLand Popcorn – We wanted some good news, so we decided to make it!  We believe that “If what you are holding does not consistently meet your needs, then a part of what you are holding is a seed…keep sowing and giving!”  Give what you can!

Below are links to our videos.    We have two more that we are currently editing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YmzXpXuEJU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78YbnzEKC8c and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LXQrMmwVgM  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH7jWYSeIX8 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeM0L-rPvzc

Kayla Southard from Moonlight & Lace Weddings and Events – From the beginning and as a wedding planner, I knew that all eyes would be looking to us for answers and most importantly, to gauge how to respond in a time like this. It was then that we realized we would need to set the tone in the most positive way. We have always instilled confidence in our clients on all accounts, so why would anything be different during a world pandemic? Through it all, we have remained calm and collected, so that our positive outlook can be shared across clients and creative partners. More than ever, we knew that a service was needed especially for those couples who decided to forego a wedding planner from the beginning. That’s why we created our Wedding Planning Roadmap (Your Ultimate Guide to the Big Day): 1-on-1 virtual meeting and coaching calls to establish a good plan for couples who are finding themselves having to postpone their original wedding date. These coaching calls are perfect for clients who may have questions regarding their vendor contracts, assistance with vendor referrals especially if their original wedding vendors are booked on their new wedding date, establishing a good contingency plan moving forward, assistance with guest travel plans, etiquette for wedding stationery and/or “Change the Dates”, overall questions about changing their original plans, customization of wedding timelines, and, above all, to instill confidence for a successful wedding weekend.  More than ever, we’re so happy to continue serving couples, especially now that there are questions more than ever.

Cristina Soto – ‘Finally started….! And then, this’  Here’s the thing… I decided to start my own bussines a couple of months before the pandemic. Obviosly I didn’t know this was going to happen, no one knew. Starting a business is a hard journey for most people if not for everyone. But for me, at this moment, this could have been a real step back and I am really working hard so this will not be that bad after all.

I have been on the wedding industry for around 10 years now, mostly as a wedding planner assistant.  So, I already had some experience and some knowledge. It was a very good start. I just had what most pleople have before making the decision to open a business, FEAR to start!

As I stated before, after making the decision… IT happened, the pandemic. Everyone has been affected from this one way or another. But how it affected me and how I am dealing with it? Well, trying to work to pay bills, being a mom of two, starting a bussines and educating to be a successful wedding and event planner all at once is not easy. I have to be very organized and determined. So I decided to take advantage of this hard situation and work with what I could do better at this time.

I decided to invest on my future and use my savings to start my wedding planners course. Not being able to go outside and work full time this seemed to be the best moment to educate and get my certification. I have more time to read everyday and stay on track on the schedule I prepared for myself so I can finish the course before my kids go back to school and I have to switch to help them with their homework and education everyday. Besides I still don’t know if I will have to continue homeschooling for them this next school year. So yes, I have to be prepared because it is exhausting!

I also needed to be up to date with administrative paperwork and government permits so I also have been working on my free time with all this.

As Wedding Planners we also have to work with a workflow with clients and templates to facilitate the process. I still am working with all this documents so they are all easy access and up to date to share with my clients. I am pretty sure this will help me give them a more complete and smooth experience of the stressing planning days for one the most important days of their lives.

Not all days are good and productive. But I am really trying to stay positive and brave. Keeping my mind on my objective so I don’t give up right after starting what can be a very succesfull and joyfully carrier. I am looking for guidance on other wedding planners with more experience and of course there is plenty of good information online. We just need to focus on what is really important and on truthfull sites to make sure we got the right information.

Maisa Giarrizzo – In Pinceladas de Bodas we are performing the following actions:
We have contacted the couples we have reserved on several occasions. Initially to postpone the marriage date, then last week to find out how they are, if they need anything special, if they want to start a conversation online. So we made them available to them.  On the other hand we have made donations of baby and girl clothes to Venezuelan families who are sleeping in tents in front of the consulate waiting to return to their country
Regarding our work, we are putting together the new website, the old one was already obsolete, we have updated the photo drive, changed the formats in all documents, improving everything we can internally.  And finally, attending all the webinars of my interest as well as doing some live on IG.

Mark Riveria from TGIS Catering – We have donated individually packed meals to nurses and doctor’s lunch and dinner to numerous hospitals throughout Southern California.  We have also updated our menu for meal prep, family meals and client pick up.

SharyArmstead, CWV – For a while I was paralyzed, I didn’t know which way to turn. I’m a makeup artist, how am I going to do makeup in a pandemic?

After much thought and preparation I decided not to worry about how I was going to do a makeover and started focusing on preparing my business for reopening.  I’ve taken course on sanitation and reached out to customers and client’s to let them know that I’m talking action to make their return safe. I’ve taken course and tutorials on new makeup trends, and purchased face shields for myself and staff. I’m a seamstress, so I’ve also been constructing mask of different styles for personal need for men, women, and children ages 2 and up. I’ve also added officiant to my skills and abilities to welcome new stream of revenue.  Being proactive has made me less anxious and I’m actually looking forward to servicing clients when we are allowed to go back to business practices.

Jodell Larkin of Starry Night Events, LLC – Here is my response as to how I’m keeping a positive influence with my clients, vendors and wedding community. Sorry I’m a bit late in responding, but I have been busy making masks for my local Chamber of Commerce.

The Covid-19 pandemic has actually given me time to slow down and readjust several aspects of my business. As a wedding planner, I am now attending multiple webinars, Zoom meetings, etc. on specifics subjects that will help me with the way I do my job. During these meetings, I virtually meet with other vendors from all over the country and within my local area. This has given me the opportunity to build a closer relationship with more vendors, especially closer to home. I now know them by their face, instead of just their name.

I learned that my business contract was a bit out of date. So I updated my contract to reflect language referring to Covid-19, postponing weddings, and cancellation fees, among a few other details. I also started a new process of touching base with my clients once a week to check in, basically to see if they had questions or wanted to update me on anything.

Of course, I am meeting with all my clients virtually, using either Zoom, FaceTime, or SKYPE, their choice. Once our state opens up, I will meet with my local clients face to face, if they would like. But I will clean my studio thoroughly, wiping all surfaces, social distancing, along with wearing my mask. I plan to follow whatever rules the Governor of my state requires, so I am not liable for any missteps.

I am also a seamstress, so have been busy altering bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses and mother-of-the bride dresses. That has not really slowed down in the pandemic environment.

It is my plan to be very understanding during the pandemic and work diligently with my clients. They are special both to me personally and in my heart.

If we didn’t get to post your comment in these blogs or on our Facebook page please post them in social media and tag us @ABCAssoc #ABCWow!



Posted on by Veronica Foster
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