Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Event Planning 101: Step 1, Date and Venue

Every little girl starts planning their dream wedding as soon as they see their first bride.  Step one of planning any large event, choosing the venue, date, location, and time.  So many factors come into finding just the right place for any event.   
Fort Myers Florida venue, The Forest Country Club.  One of LIPP's favorite places to photograph.
I'm lucky enough to be planning two events this year.  One for Lady In Pink Photography and one for me and my Fiance.  I had no idea before Friday June 13th that I'd be planning two events at once.
Suzie Dugan and Chris Thompson the evening
of his Friday the 13th surprise proposal.
  I'll tell you... planning one event is a challenge, make it two and I'm lucky that I've had so many friends reach out to help me with both events.  

Having photographed events in Florida, New York, California, and Ohio, my mind starts to choose the most exotic locations first.  

Boldt Castle on Heart Island upstate New York.  Photograph taken by Suzie Dugan while working at Photography By Imaginations in 2007.

But when planning a large event, it's always best to start looking at venues close to home first.  

For Lady In Pink Photography's community party on October 4th, luckily Calusa Nature Center was available for the date LIPP wanted to book.  We did also look into Southern Waters too, but they were booked already.  

The Lady In Pink Photography community party is coming together very smoothly.  Invitations and vendor applications are now being proofed for printing, we have the beautiful Jennifer Gilmore as our Emcee, and we have one guest judge from Chicago who specializes in costuming and makeup, Emily Leonard. Along with local aspiring make-up artist Deek Font.  LIPP is still looking for one more judge.

See our Facebook invite for more information and to RSVP too. 

Before choosing your date and time, make sure no other major events YOU or YOUR guests want to attend are happening on the same day.  For October, the event that I would like to attend is ZombiCon.  I love going with friends to see all the unique costumes.  Before even contacting our first venue choice I waited with crossed fingers for ZombiCon to announce their event date.

For Mr. Thompson and my special day, finding a venue is more challenging than expected. Cost, availability, restrictions, or even as simple as working with both our styles.  I go back to all the different places I loved photographing at in the past, the options become overwhelming!  

Here are just a few of the locations Chris and I loved:

Lakes Park in Fort Myers Florida
Coral Castle in Miami Florida
Lake Louisa close to Orlando Florida
Sanibel resorts island off of Fort Myers
The Forest Country Club in Fort Myers (Sad, because they are already booked for our chosen date!)
Cape Coral Yacht Club
The Hut Restaurant in Fort Myers
The Florida Keys ...

The list continues.  Will post more as planning goes along for both events.

Here's one more view of Boldt Castle on Heart Island ....

Thank you Gigi for allowing me to share your blog post, and I quote you, "...A year of planning has come up to this very day. I thought I was prepared and you would figure after planning for a year everything would turn out well right? Well not exactly"...  ~Gigi  Gigi's blogJust published yesterday by a Lady In Pink Photography Fan and past event planner.  Gigi's real life wedding  nightmare reminded me of something important, things do go wrong, when everything is said and done your wedding day is not the most important thing.  I've photographed countless weddings from 2003-present day where one or two small things put the reception on halt for hours.  One thing I've witnessed first hand is family members, friends, and wedding party members help save the day and make sure that no matter what goes stray from the plan the bride and groom are still married.  Love and celebration are powerful.  I hope the upcoming months of sharing my experiences on planning both events with readers can help out others planning one or more events too.

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