The Juggle Is Real – My Top Tips for Mompreneurs Everywhere

Five Tips for Juggling It All and Thriving

You’ve heard the word: Mompreneur. For women who run businesses and manage families, this one’s for you. And for those of you who work for someone else and are moms, this one’s for you too. Stay at home moms? Every bit of it still rings true. 

I’ve been a mompreneur since I started my business back in 2009. I was pregnant with our first child (what a time to start a new business, right?) but felt compelled that the time was right to work for myself and off I went to start the darn thing. Three (sometimes four via fostering) kids later, I am only marginally closer to escaping mom-guilt and the crazy constant juggle but I have learned a thing or two along the way.

Here are my top 5 tips for Mompreneurs everywhere:

  • Get rid of “work-life balance” from your vocabulary. It’s usually not a true balance. You’ll have it for a brief time, and then it’s gone for awhile. But stop sweating it, you’ll figure it out and rebalance sometime soon, before it all starts over again. Some weeks will be work-heavy and others may be family-heavy. It is what it is.
  • Delegate. This looks different for everyone and I mean it both personally and professionally. I realize not everyone has family around or extra money to spend but here are a few ideas: take turns with a friend keeping each other’s kids once a week; hire a housekeeper to come twice a month for a deep clean; show your children how to do their laundry – even if you still have to fold it, by 7/8 years old they can likely put it in the washer, move to the dryer, and put their clothes into their drawers themselves. 
    • Professionally, realize that you may no longer be the best one for every single job in your company. It may be time to hire a VA, someone to write your blog posts and handle social media, an accountant, or even an intern to run those random errands and answer the phone. What do you do that makes the company money? How can you continue to do just that and let someone else handle the rest? 
  • Wake up early.  This is the only way I will ever work out or shower before taking the kids to school. If it doesn’t happen before the kids wake up, it’s not happening. Even if your gig isn’t exercise, waking up early gives you time to have a quiet moment, grab a cup of coffee and be ready for the house to wake up instead of the abrupt awakening of children asking for breakfast. For me, being woken by people asking for things NOW is the worst way to start my day. Even if you set your alarm early just to take 10 minutes to meditate or stretch, you’ll have a happier start to your day and feel more prepared once the house awakens.
  • Set priorities for each day. I am a fan of the to-do list, but I break it into one-day chunks. I use a basic notebook to keep my to-dos handy, and one page will have bullet points for what needs to get accomplished that day, plus probably a grocery list scribbled on the side. It helps clear my brain at night to write down the following day’s most pressing priorities. I keep track of what those are, and the less important things can take a couple extra days without me stressing much over them. You’ve heard it said before and it is still true: Focus on what matters.
  • Carve out some quiet time for yourself. This might mean a walk (for me, before the kids wake up!), it might mean a facial or massage once a month, it could be hiding in the sauna at the gym (done it), or it may be a 5-10 minute meditation at your desk. Whatever your quiet time looks like, don’t underestimate how important it is for your sanity. You’ll be a better mom and wife after getting some time to yourself, and even us adults need a break just to daydream, read a book, or run a couple errands alone (hello, Target by yourself, amiright?). When I run low on this area, I crave alone time and get a little frantic about it. I’m convinced that even extroverts who love having people around need a second to be with themselves, and for me it’s a proven way to make me a better wife/mom/business gal/human being.

What tips do you have to add to the list? I love talking #momlife with other women and the second I feel like I’m the only one struggling with something, it turns out we’re all in the same boat. This conversation has been had since before working moms were a thing, and our generation is finding all new ways to thrive as more and more women start businesses and work outside the home. 

Drop me a line to let me know what helps you with the juggle and any other tips or struggles you deal with!

P.S. – Five alternatives to a sparkler send-off, and How to obtain a Florida marriage license

Why You Want More Than “Day-of” Coordination

“Can I hire you for only day-of coordination?”

It’s one of our frequently asked questions and while we get asked quite a lot, the answer is always no. When I started working in the world of weddings more than a decade ago, most brides either hired a full service planner, or they didn’t hire one at all. Over the years the market has changed and brides became savvier. Information is now at their fingertips via Pinterest, blogs, The Knot, and other sites and apps. While we love full-service planning, we find that the average couple wants help from a professional but doesn’t plan to hire a full-service planner.

We’ve always offered Month-Of Coordination as a service for clients who are organized and comfortable planning a wedding on their own, but want us to step in about a month from the big day to wrap things up and coordinate all those big plans. It’s the bottom tier of our service levels yet we still get asked whether we can “just do day-of”. Let me tell you why we can’t.

Think of all the work that goes into planning a wedding, the various vendors running the show, your preferences and priorities for your wedding day. So much thought and effort (and money!) goes into this one important day. Now consider some of the potential little details that really matter on your big day:

  • Grandma is in a wheelchair and needs a space in the front row seating.
  • You’re surprising your fiance with a special gift and need the photographer available at the right moment.
  • You are planning on a sparkler exit but no one remembered to order sparklers!
  • Guest seating is very specific and you’ve planned on place cards that need to be picked up at the stationer and organized correctly.
  • A friend with Celiacs needs a safe meal served and the caterer needs to know exactly who that is, and in which seat at dinner.

These are just examples but as you can see, each wedding is unique and we celebrate the little things that matter to you! Most importantly, we want to make your wedding day go as close to your plan as we possibly can and we need more than a few days to prepare for that. Some of the things we do in our coordination packages that can’t be done in a real “day-of” service:

  • Confirming every one of your vendors.
  • Confirming the time hair and makeup starts and ends, and checking that it works with your photography schedule.
  • Ordering things like sparklers and bubble wands and bringing them to the event to make your life easier.
  • Confirming that the quantity of rental items is ordered correctly based on your final headcount, and then fixing the problem pronto if it’s not correct. Even if this means driving across town the morning of the wedding to make things right.
  • Walking through the venue with you the month before the wedding to be sure we’re on the same page and the logistics and seating plan make sense.
  • Talking to the florist to be sure they arrive after tablecloths are on to make set up most efficient and seamless.
  • Communicating dietary notes to your catering team to stay safe and help dinner run smoothly.

And the list goes on! 

Here’s a quick video by our lead planner, Kristi, explaining a little more about our month-of coordination package and why it’s not “just day-of”. We welcome inquiries to help with coordinating your event, and we hope you understand why our job is never just “day of”! xo

Where Are You Going on Your Honeymoon?

Photo by The Knot

What’s your ultimate honeymoon destination? As wedding planners, we get to hear of so many ideas for honeymoons – from road trips to international travel, to sit in the sand all-inclusive beach resorts. Croatia seems to be the honeymoon destination for a number of our couples in the last year and we hear nothing but amazing things! It’s definitely been added to our own travel bucket lists.

While it can be hard to decide where to go on a honeymoon, and what budget permits, keep in mind the activities once you arrive and that they’ll accommodate each of your goals for the trip. If one of you prefers lounging on the beach and the other wants some adventure, look for a locale that offers both. Do you have a travel bucket list? Honeymoons are a great time to cross a new location off your list! Just be sure to save room in your wedding budget if necessary to take that trip! Also, don’t wait to order passports. If you don’t already have them, I advise couples to start working on that process during the wedding planning in case international travel becomes an option.

Photo by Lonely Planet

Harper’s Bazaar has great ideas for international honeymoon destinations, including adventurous places like Zambia, Cambodia and Thailand. Add those all to my list! Iceland, Mexico, and St. Lucia all come highly recommended from our own couples, and if you’re in Florida, the Bahamas is only a quick flight away. So easy to plan and there’s beautiful weather year round.  One more idea based on personal experience is a road trip up (or down) the Pacific Coast Highway in California. We’ve done this trip a couple times because we love it so much – start in San Francisco, then head south through Monterrey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Big Sur, Cambria, and end the trip in Los Angeles. 

10 years ago, my husband and I boarded a plane the morning after our wedding for Rome. We spent seven days exploring the city and practicing a little Italian as we fumbled our way through eateries and cafes, got stuck at a train station, and had dinner in the tiniest little restaurant that we still think was actually an Italian grandmother’s home. I love travel and am always eager to hear about must-go places in the world! My travel bucket list is always growing and I’d love to hear about your choice for honeymoon destinations. Drop a line in the comments and let me know where you went or would love to go!

Perfect Combination: How to Pull Off a Multicultural Wedding of Your Dreams

Getting married to the love of your life is one of the most exciting milestones you will ever experience. It’s your chance as a couple to create a beautiful fairy tale based on your common preferences. But what if you’re from two different cultures? How do you pull off a multicultural wedding that pays homage to both your backgrounds? Hiring one of the best wedding planners you can find on your destination location with a lot of experience will definitely help, as she will be there to guide you in the planning step by step. Consulting friends, family members, and other couples who have done the same thing is also highly recommended.

Here are some tips on how you can have a wedding that equally represents you and your soulmate.

  1. Lay it on the table

The best way to strategize is to talk and discuss it. Knowing the ins and outs of each cultural background will be helpful in setting a concrete wedding plan. Get tips and suggestions from relatives and friends that had the same kind of celebration. Identify the traditions that you want to be included in the ceremony and reception.


Pro tip: Include your wedding planner in the meeting to get another person’s perspective on the subject. She can give inputs that you and your betrothed might have overlooked.


2. Keep it balanced

Keeping the celebration balanced as to what rituals and customs you want to include in the will keep the affair simple. This is also to not overwhelm you, your partner, and the guests. Going over-the-top may come across as tacky and less elegant. 


Pro tip: Infuse traditions not just at the wedding ceremony but also in the decorations. The easiest way is to take inspiration from your country of origin when it comes to wedding cakes, floral arrangements, music and even artwork design elements.


3. Separate celebrations

If you have a budget to spare, the best way to include both cultures in the affair is to have separate celebrations. This can be a bit costly but in terms of unforgettable experience, this definitely wins it. Bring the party to yours and your hubby’s hometown, immersing each other with your respective backgrounds.


Pro tip: Hire a destination wedding planner to assist you on your out of town/country ceremony. Best hire a local who knows the wedding traditions as well as the best suppliers and deals.


4. Notify your guests

Get your guests involved by letting them know the type of ceremony they will be attending. Brief them of the basic rules (if there are any) like dress code, gift preferences, and proper decorum.


Pro tip: Add a short description of the ceremony on your invitation as a heads up to your guests. Familiarize them with the rituals by outlining them in the wedding program.


5. Make it uniquely your own.

Don’t feel too restricted about your choices. It’s the day you make happy memories – it’s supposed to be fun, enjoyable, and utterly romantic. Don’t think about the dos and don’ts too much. If you want to infuse activities and rituals outside your tradition, do it. It’s your wedding, your rules, at the end of the day.


Pro tip: Get inspired by looking at how other couples have made their weddings unique and special while fusing their own different backgrounds. Ask your partner if he or she has a preferred activity outside tradition that he or she wants to include. Find a way to add it to the program.


6. Find a neutral ground.

If you and your partner can’t decide which cultural background to highlight, why not veer away from both and find a common ground where everyone will enjoy? A destination wedding would be ideal for this kind of arrangement. Get creative by infusing the local rituals and traditions from the destination of your choice to make your union unique and special. For cases like this, it’s best to notify your respective family and friends beforehand so everyone will be in the loop on what will happen.


Pro tip: The first step is finding your destination. Top of mind choice is Greece, as the country hosts numerous weddings all year round. Greece has a lot of options when it comes to venues and suppliers, so the planning will be a breeze. The country also has romantic local wedding traditions that you can include in the ceremony.

This post is brought to you by Maria from Make Happy Memories, an International blog and event planning agency specializing in destination weddings in Greece. Thank you, Maria, for these helpful tips! 

Enchanted Garden Wedding | Britney + CJ | Luxmore Grande Estate, Winter Springs

Enchanted Garden Wedding | Britney + CJ | Luxmore Grande Estate, Winter Springs

Britney and CJ’s wedding was such a dream to plan. This couple was fun and easy-going and if I could plan every wedding with Britney’s mom, Carmena, I would! Right from the start the theme was “enchanted garden” and they never wavered from that vision. The details were so gorgeous with lush, white flowers, wisteria hanging from branch arches over the whole aisle and off the table centerpieces. Have I mentioned our centerpieces were TREES? 5 feet tall, hanging over guests’ heads while they dined. A neutral color scheme balanced out the large, lush arrangments and made an impact against the natural green setting of the Luxmore Grande Estate’s back lawn during ceremony. Also, I am a big fan of going all out on reception decor but keeping it in just a couple more neutral colors. The white, ivory and greenery paired well with touches of silver and gold in our chargers, place settings and gold acrylic table numbers. Luxe to the max, refined and elegant. This wedding was all of that and more! 

From Mother of the Bride, Carmena:As a severely picky Mother-of-the-bride and one who pays close attention to detail; I was looking for a bridal planner with similar characteristics. We only have one chance to get this right and Brittany, my daughter’s bridal planner from Tickled Pink was a dream come true! After many interviews with other planners, I knew she was the one right on the spot. My daughter’s wedding was beyond ours expectations and went off so perfectly. Everyone says to expect something to go wrong, but we were blessed with perfection! Brittany just gets it! She got our vision and brought it to life!! I absolutely adore her talent, patience and her pleasant work ethic. If you are looking for similar characteristics in a bridal planner for your special day, she is the one!”

And in case you missed it, Britney and CJ’s wedding was quickly picked up by Souther Noir Weddings, in a beautiful feature on their blog! 

Garden wedding Orlando Luxmore Grande Estate

Photography |  The Rivers Photo

Event Venue | Luxmore Grande Estate

Planner | Tickled Pink Weddings and Events

Wedding Gown | Hayley Paige from Calvet Couture Bridal

Makeup Artist | Desiree Murray

DJ and Photobooth | Moor Productions LLC

Caterer | Big City Catering

Bridesmaid Dresses | Bella Bridesmaids

Floral Designer | Fiora Designs

Wedding Day Details | Do Tell Designs and Treasury Rentals

Rental Furniture | RW Style 

Groomsman Attire | The Black Tux

Hedge Walls | A Chair Affair, Inc.