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WOW…”I Do Brunch” Weekend

Yeah, that title pretty much sums up the weekend. It was such a wonderful trip to Baltimore, MD for the 5th Annual “I Do Brunch”. I put my ‘big girl pants’ by attending this conference alone on top of flying solo too! It was well worth it! I ‘knew’ some ladies going on, so I wasn’t completely alone, but I didn’t have any friend from my comfort zone to hang with. I had to get out of my comfort zone and really get to met some other people and boy, am I glad I did. I met some of the most amazing women!

It was held at the BWI Marriott and the hotel was amazing! The staff was super friendly & accommodating and the rooms were amazing! It was interesting to have the whole room to myself, that’s for sure.

As you know, I’m a big believer in “signs” and 2013 has been an amazing year for me so far. So, when I looked at my room number, I knew I was supposed to be here.

Now, onto the rest of the room….

This is “Gram Bear”, who made his first trip with me. The story behind this little guy is he belonged to my husband’s grandmother, who passed away last year. Since she’s watching over us, we decided she’d travel with us to wherever we went as well!

I had a full day of events on Saturday and was amazed at what I walked into. We started off at our “Red Carpet”, that was awaiting us to strut our stuff!

I had nothing to compare it too, but even the ladies who have attended before were in awe too as we walked into pure magic….

These floral designs were created by Janet Flowers Wedding & Event Designs

I was swooning over this one & instantly thought of my friends over at Harrington Flowers, LLC to re-create it for me! (and that’s my new friend, Chanda making an appearance in the corner!)

There were some more amazing from flowers from another fabulous florist, but I didn’t get their card & can’t find their info! 🙁

It was a Hollywood Glamour theme & each table had an Academy Award motion picture name & the history behind that picture. This was my table!

The room was just so inviting & just breathtaking!

Each table also had an envelope with a question for the “Town Meeting” discussion of the event. Our question posed, “With the internet making it easy for people to plan weddings, who is considered an ‘expert’ planner and what goes into being an expert.”

There are many people who consider themselves “wedding planners” because they planned their friends or family events before, but what they don’t understand, there’s so much more involved than that. It’s not all glamourous & easy, as some of the movies/tv shows have portrayed it. It’s hard work & trust me when I say, a lot goes into becoming a planner. It’s a career that is not for the faint hearted or shy.

I’ve been in the industry for 6 years and when I first started, I made sure that I learned what I was doing before even calling myself a planner or a business owner. A couple needs to be confident in the person they are hiring to make sure their event goes smoothly. It’s one of the most important day’s in a couples life & our reputation is at stake.

The food for thought that I received from the questions & discussions was invaluable. It will help me continue to strive to be a better & more educated planner. Any client of mine will never have to think that they are getting a “random chick”! There’s a lot to learn, but there is also some fun with attending these conferences!

During the Brunch, there were presents for different things…. One was for being the first 25 Early Birds to register….and boy, was I surprised when MY name was called for this gorgeous tote bag!!

It’s a hand-painted, personalized tote from Just Me Totes! Each one was different and each adjective represented how Setena “felt” about us. Let me tell you, she didn’t know who any of us were and didn’t get any information about us from the I Do Brunch team. She is very in tune with her inner self and got each of our adjectives correct (it was eery really, but awesome too!).

I also won a magazine subscription to Wedding Planner Magazine, which I kindly gave to one of the many new friends I made, since I already receive it. I was hoping for one of the trips they were giving away, but I couldn’t get too greedy! 🙂

After the brunch, we got to hang out for a little while before getting a “Back of House” Tour with the Executive Chef & Director of Banquets. We got an inside look at how the food service works, how everything comes together, how it’s all stored & where the prep locations are. Also, why it’s so important for a planner & the banquet staff to be on the same page when it relates to the timeline. Any change in the timeline will effect the food service.

Later that night we enjoyed a “Spirited” Pajama Party, where we got to wear our pj’s or comfy clothes, hang out, get your nails done, enjoy some sweets, mingle, play games all while enjoying some very dangerous “spirits” from Sugar Rim Bar. We also learned how to create a perfect nightcap & the basics of setting up a bar from Corey, the Owner of Sugar Rim Bar.

These were my cute pj’s & socks…

Let the games begin…we all remembered that Twister game board being A LOT bigger when we were kids!! There were a lot of laughs and some great photos that I’m sure will make their way to the virtual world, but I’ll leave those to the professional who took them! 😉

I tried the Red Velvet Cupcake from Ooh La La Cupcakery…OMG, it was PURE heaven in a wrapper!!

Than, to top of the evening we got ANOTHER bag of goodies!!! I was VERY excited to see this in my swag bag….

….because, I was eyeing this glass earlier to purchase when I stopped at the vendor table of Ten 23 Designs! Check them out, they are so incredibly talented with their creations!

I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun I had, what I learned and the amazing connections I made by attending this. I plan on making I Do Brunch a yearly trip, to learn & to re-connect with now, my friends. I’m still reeling from it and just got to relive it by telling you.

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