Shadows and Sunshine cover

What does a wedding planner do?

Shadows and Sunshine cover

Last week my story, Shadows and Sunshine (Volume 6 of the San Francisco Wedding Planner series 1) launched. It is currently available for Kindle on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. Later this month the whole series will be available as a single Kindle or paperback book.

Have you ever wondered what wedding planners actually do? Here’s an overview:

Initial Consultation

  • Discussion about what type of event the client wants (wedding only, rehearsal dinner and wedding, wedding and gift opening, etc.)
  • Clarification of expectations (Defining what the client is doing and what the wedding planner is expected to provide)
  • Presentation of available packages and pricing (e.g. Full Service Planning vs. Day of Coordination)
  • Walking client through signing the contract and paying a deposit

Full Service Planning

Before the wedding:

  • Set a budget for the wedding
  • Research and obtain venue(s)
  • Share information about current trends for weddings and events
  • Create and review photographer/videographer contract(s)
  • Create and review florist contract
  • Create and review catering contract
  • Review and select menu(s)
  • Prepare  and/or deliver wedding invitations
  • Give advice on attire, flowers, cake and other details
  • Design table, lighting, and other visual details
  • Coordinate vendor arrivals and deliveries
  • Prepare a detailed timeline of the wedding day for all those involved
  • Remind bride, groom, and other participants of obligations, appointments, etc.

On the wedding day:

  • Act as liaison between the bride and groom and everyone else involved
  • Distribute flowers
  • Make sure everyone is where they need to be at the right time
  • Arrange for efficient seating of guests
  • Deal with any emergencies which arise (including wedding crashers)
  • Ensure music is cued
  • Facilitate a smooth transition from the wedding venue to the reception venue
  • Oversee reception details
  • Ensure the bride and groom’s personal property is taken care of after the reception
  • Oversee the return of rentals and borrowed items
  • Arrange for wedding gifts to be delivered to the appropriate location
  • Ensure venues are left clean so that clients receive deposits back
  • Other details as required

Note: If a client chooses to hire a wedding planner only for wedding day coordination, your job will be to ensure the “before the wedding” details are in place and then provide the services listed under “on the wedding day.”

Interested in becoming a wedding planner?  Check out the following resources:

Wedding Planner’s Handbook: A step-by-step guide to becoming a wedding planner.

Certified Wedding Specialist Course

Certified Wedding Planner Course

Wedding and Event Planning

Note: This post was added to the StoryDam Blog Hop. If you’d like to participate, add your post using the link in the far right column.


My Writing Process – Blog Tour

Blog hop for writers

Thanks to Bruce Atchison http://bruceatchison.blogspot.ca/ for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.

What am I working on?

I have several projects on the go right now:

  • The San Francisco Wedding Planner Series with Helping Hands Press. For this project I’m working with 5 other authors on a light romance. Several of the volumes in this series have been released already. My volume will be releasing in July on Amazon. I recently posted about Life Lessons, which is the backstory for Heather Donovan, the main character in the series.
  • Olga’s Discoverya full-length historical fiction novel. I’m working at having the whole novel written by the end of August this year.

    Twenty-two-year-old Olga Tymchuk, a newly graduated teacher, eagerly anticipates marrying her fiancee, Viktor, in July 1959. However, before they marry, Olga is committed to teaching for a year in Gillmore, Alberta as a requirement for the bursary she received in university. Viktor and Olga are separated when Viktor accepts a challenging job as a scientific researcher for the National Research Council in Ontario.

    Olga is enjoying a challenging first year of teaching when Viktor is injured in a chemical accident. He seems to be recovering well, but then Olga receives a telegram that will change her life forever. Olga is drawn into a search for the truth, which forces her to deal with uncooperative hospital officials, death threats, and a sudden disappearance.

  • Twitter Tips & Tricks for Writers – I’m looking for beta readers for my first draft of this book. If you’re interested, send me an e-mail at sun dot beam3 at Yahoo dot com.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My light romance provides an enjoyable story that makes you stop and think. Because I’m tackling the project with 5 other writers and we’re using a single plot, there are a lot of interesting twists and turns in the plot. I’ve been told my stories are intense. Olga’s Discovery is set in Canada and gives a glimpse into rural Alberta farm life as well as Ukrainian culture. Twitter Tips & Tricks for Writers is divided into three sections, for writers who are beginners, intermediate, and advanced on Twitter.

Why do I write what I do?

  • I enjoy stories.
  • Stories are powerful – Ted Dekker says, “Story is the shortest distance between a human being and the truth.”
  • I am called to write

How does your writing process work?

Every project I work on starts with an idea. The idea can come to me through something I see, hear, or experience. Sometimes the idea comes in the form of a picture, or a character, or a lesson I’ve learned. Once I have an idea that keeps trying to get my attention, I brainstorm where I want to go with the idea. For fiction this usually includes the starting point, the main characters, some high points in the story, and where I want to end up. Then I’ll sketch out a plot summary in very general terms.  For non-fiction, I’ll jot down a basic outline of what I want to include in my book. Once this is done, I do some preliminary research and start writing. Sometimes I have to revise my plan as I write.

In terms of getting the writing done, I make sure I get up at 5:10 on weekday mornings so that I can spend time reading my Bible and praying, catching up briefly on my e-mail, and then writing for a half hour before my family gets up for the day. I also schedule specific days and hours for writing.

Next Monday (June 30) check out the following authors and their blog posts about writing process:

Marianne JonesMarianne Jones

Marianne was named International Poet Laureate by Utmost Christian Writers. She is the author of “Here, on the Ground”, a collection of poetry, “The Land of Mogan”, a Christian fantasy-allegory for young readers, “Great-Grandma’s Gifts”, a picture book, and the soon-to-be-released, “The Serenity Stone Murder”. To read her blog, see https://www.mariannejones.ca.

 

 

Sharon HooverSharon Hoover

Sharon R Hoover writes devotional and inspirational works for all who are exploring and growing in the journey of faith. Her passions for education and global issues led her from being a high school teacher to a middle east analyst and then to serving in the church. Through writing and speaking, she encourages women as they seek God in life, in play, in family, and in work. Sharon’s first book, Soul Motive to Pray, is a personal retreat workbook to encourage deeper conversations with the Lord. She enjoys connecting with local and global outreach partners as Director of Missions in her local church. Connect with Sharon through her blog and twitter. New discipleship site, Soul Motive, will be available soon!

 

Stephanie NickelSteph Beth Nickel

Steph Beth Nickel co-authored former Paralympian Deborah L. Willows’ memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances. Steph is eclectically-interested and you can read more on her website and her blog.

 


Shadows and Sunshine cover

Cover Reveal – Shadows and Sunshine: SFWP Volume 6

Shadows and Sunshine coverI’m excited to announce my next novella will be released early in July. Here’s a sneak preview:

 

Heather and her crew are determined to pull off the wedding of the year for their high profile client. The stakes have never been higher—this single event could make or break the business. The venue is set, decorations are ordered, and the menu is one-of-a kind. Two days before the event, one thing after another goes wrong. Mario knew he should have made back-up plans, but he didn’t. Bryan thought his past was behind him, but it reappears at the worst possible moment. Heather is forced to deal with personal issues while responding to the challenges of running a business. Does the wedding planner team have the resources and creativity to bounce back and pull off the perfect event?

This is the last volume in Series I. The other five volumes are currently available on Amazon.

Stay tuned for the official release!


Guest Post – Jen Cudmore with Tips for Balancing Rhythm and Pace

Jen CudmoreToday I’m privileged to host Jen Cudmore, one of my fellow authors for the San Francisco Wedding Planner Series. Here’s what she has to say about rhythm and pace in writing:

How does a writer keep a crime novel exciting and full of suspense? How are sweet stories told in a way that inspires the reader?

It’s not just the words the author chooses; it’s the positioning of each one in a place that best portrays the attitude of that particular scene.

When it comes to writing a novel, rhythm and pace are a big factor in creating a compelling story. Rhythm and pace are controlled by the length of each word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter. There are a few techniques which help the story move faster or slower, depending on your intent.

Here’s a simple formula to follow:

Short sentences, paragraphs and chapters = faster pace.

If you’re writing a scene with a lot of action or energy, use shorter sentences and paragraphs. When your character is being chased by the bad guy, you want the reader to feel the sense of urgency. One or two word sentences raise intensity, as does a paragraph with only one or two sentences. But be careful; too much can annoy the reader. I once read a book by a famous author with multiple one sentence paragraphs on each page, and it made the story harder to read.

Long sentences, paragraphs, and chapters = slower pace.

Readers sometimes find long paragraphs and chapters daunting. Long blocks of wording give a feeling that extra effort is required to read that particular section. However, there are times when the author needs to insert these fuller sections to calm the pace of the story after a high energy section.

The trick is balance.

Too much action and the reader will become exhausted. Not enough action and the reader will get bored. Keep it varied. You don’t want the reader to pause because they got lost, or to skip a section because it was too tedious. Each sentence, paragraph, and chapter must flow smoothly into the next.

You don’t want every page to look the same. On my first manuscript I worked hard to keep the chapters all the same length. Then I realized it was not only okay to vary the length, it’s actually beneficial. So give your manuscript a quick skim and see how you did at varying your structure.

Jen’s Bio: I grew up on the Columbia River Gorge in a tiny cabin built by my father. My family attended a little Baptist church where my mother played piano and my father led the music program. I left the Gorge area to attend Northwest University, where I graduated with the first group of students to earn a Bachelor’s of Psychology. Newly married with a baby on the way, I decided to put off graduate school to devote my time to learning how to be a better wife and mother. After my husband received a job offer, we relocated to Alaska, where we currently reside with our two children (as well as two boxers and two cats).

During the day I work for a large orthopedic clinic. I serve in both the AWANA program and bus ministry at my church. I’m a member of the Christian Writers Guild as well as the local Alaska Writers Guild, where I’m currently serving a fifth year on the conference committee.

Willow Ridge-website-summary


My Current Works in Progress

Blog Hop for Writers

This is the sixth and final week in the blog hop I’m hosting for writers. Our topic this week is current work(s) in progress. If you’d like to share your current WIP with us, write a post and then come back and link in by clicking on the graphic above. If you’re a reader, click on the graphic and check out what authors are working on. We hope you’ll follow our blogs so that when our books are published, you’ll be among the first to know 🙂

My last post was about the San Francisco Wedding Planner Series I’m working on along with five other authors. You can find more information here: San Francisco Wedding Planner.

In this blog hop, I’ve written about Anna, (Olga’s mother) one of my favorite characters from Olga’s Discovery, which is a full-length historical fiction novel I’m in the middle of writing.  Here’s the synopsis:

Twenty-two-year-old Olga Tymchuk, a newly graduated teacher, eagerly anticipates marrying her fiancee, Viktor, in July 1959. However, before they marry, Olga is committed to teaching for a year in Glendale, Alberta as a requirement for the bursary she received in university. Viktor and Olga are separated when Viktor accepts a challenging job as a scientific researcher for the National Research Council in Ontario.

Olga is enjoying a challenging first year of teaching when Viktor is injured in a chemical accident. He seems to be recovering well, but then Olga receives a telegram that will change her life forever. Olga is drawn into a search for the truth, which forces her to deal with uncooperative hospital officials, death threats, and a sudden disappearance.

I’m also putting together a Twitter manual for writers. There are many different ways to share information now and I’m researching several options to share this information and make it practical.

Cover for Cecile's Christmas MiracleMy other project will be a fiction series about Cecile and Colin, characters from my novella, Cecile’s Christmas Miracle. Cecile has decided spending Christmas in the desert doesn’t have to be depressing and Colin is on his way to join Cecile. However, they haven’t seen each other for over a year. Will the attraction between them endure? There is also the threat of the clinic being closed, and the village being resettled. What part should expatriates play in solving political issues?

If you have questions about any of my works in progress, please ask me in the comments below. Thanks 🙂


Update on the San Francisco Wedding Planner Series

Cover for Wedding Planner Series

The San Francisco Wedding Planner series, a light romance published by Helping Hands Press, is one of my current works in progress. There are six of us participating in this project. Volume one introduced the series with each of the participating authors writing one of the chapters in the volume. Can you guess which chapter I wrote?

The San Francisco Wedding Planner cover for volume two: A Change in TimeJen Cudmore wrote volume two: A Change in Time. When Heather goes out on her first date with orthopedic surgeon Bryan Tate, her hopes of a nice evening are quickly dashed. Raul’s makeover is a little over-the-top, her flashy mother’s jealousy makes Bryan uncomfortable, Mario’s flirtatious interference only adds pressure, and Skye’s family problems require extra help. With Bryan recovering from a broken engagement and Heather’s busy work schedule, she’s certain there just isn’t a chance for romance between them. But life is always changing. Do they have enough in common to at least be friends?

Wedding Planner 3This week Patti J. Smith released volume three: An Affair to Remember. Donovan’s Wedding Service takes on the impossible. Failure to meet the outlandish demands could result in dire consequences. Drama is the name of the game as Heather faces her biggest challenge while her relationship with Bryan reaches new heights and a close friendship verges on collapse.

I am working on a prequel to the series which will tell the back story of Heather Donovan. (Other authors will be writing about other characters.) I will also be writing volume 7 of the series.

You can purchase your copy of volume 1 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. Volumes 2 and 3 are currently available on Amazon.


Announcing – The San Francisco Wedding Planner: The Initial Consultation

The Wedding Planner 1The first story in The San Francisco Wedding Planner series was released today. For more details about the characters involved, check out my introductory post for the series.

In this origin story, each of the six authors wrote a chapter. Can you figure out which author wrote which chapter? If you think you know, leave a comment below!

The story is currently available on Amazon:

The San Francisco Wedding Planner: The Initial Consultation will soon be available on Kobo and Barnes & Noble. Download your copy today!

If you enjoy the story, the authors would appreciate you leaving a review on Amazon, Kobo and/or Barnes & Noble.


New Project: The San Francisco Wedding Planner with HHP

Cover for Wedding Planner Series
Welcome to Donovan’s Wedding Service!
Helping Hands Press asked me to join five other authors to do an e-book series. You’ll experience a little fun and light romance as Heather Donovan struggles to keep all her clients, and business associates, happy. She’s so busy helping others plan the most magical wedding, she doesn’t have time for a romance of her own. But is she truly happy being alone?
Other Main Characters:
Gloria Donovan – Heather’s mother who spends half her time chasing men of all ages and the other half trying to find a man to catch her busy daughter’s eye.
Raul Tate – The administrative assistant whose Metro ways sometimes cause trouble for those at the office – and for his brother.
Bryan Tate MD – Raul’s brother, a tall/dark/handsome orthopedic surgeon, who recently moved back to town to be closer to his family.
Indigo D. Crane – The eccentric photographer Heather prefers to deal with who is still waiting to be discovered as a true artist.
Mario –Playboy extraordinaire, Mario is a chef by day and often caters weddings for Heather’s clients.
Skye Jansen – Heather’s best friend since high school and biggest cheerleader- when she’s not busy with her children or trying to save the planet from PCBs, MSG, and all things chemical or artificial.

Wedding Planner cover on iPadThis project is a bit different than others I’ve  done. First, after we signed the contract, we were given an introduction to the plot and the characters involved in the story. Second, all six authors are sharing one interconnected plot. Each author plays off the action presented by the previous writer. Third, the series will be done in three parts.

Part one: We each write one volume, a short story of about 10,000 words.

Part two: We each pick a character to focus on and tell some of their backstory.

Part three: We write another volume to wind down the plot and end the series.

Volume 1: The Initial Consultation will be released February 2014!