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Blog Posts (39)
- HOW TO HANDLE THE WEDDING BOOM
Like most wedding professionals, we as a company are experiencing a BOOM! Twice the amount of weddings, quadruple the amount of work, and somehow less time all around. With more people getting married and the demand being through the roof, I thought it would be a good time as ever to go through some helpful tips on how to navigate the wedding boom while planning your wedding. Book Your Vendors Early If you are planning a wedding, you are going to want to book your vendors a HECK of a lot earlier now. Vendors are booking further out and wedding dates are filling up, so in order to secure your preferred vendors, you will want to lock them down ASAP. Give yourself at least 16-18 months for the venue, 12-14 months for a caterer, and at least 9-12 months for your supplemental vendors like florists and photographers. Be Mindful Of Long Response Times This is the most weddings our industry has ever seen. It is likely that vendors and wedding professionals are struggling to keep up with the demand. Be aware that response times will not be as swift as before. We are usually out in the field away from our desks during the week now, since more weddings are occurring during weekdays. Wedding pros are also experiencing an influx of emails and messages. Be mindful that their response times may be delayed. If having a vendor respond with a 48 hour time frame is important to you, be sure to ask the vendor ahead of time, what their typical turnaround time is for responding. Also find out what their dedicated office hours are, so that you are in the know of when they will be available for calls and texts. It is better to be prepared and know what to expect from them, than get frustrated later when it has been a week and you've heard nothing. Bonus tip: Be nice to us please. We are exhausted. We are drained. And we are trying. At the end of the day, we are service workers, who live to serve you on your wedding day, just donʻt be serving us attitude, because that's no fun for anyone! Be Ready To Pay A Premium Unfortunately, the wedding industry was not immune to inflation and we too have to keep up with the supply and demand. From flower shortages, an increase in cost of living, and having to outsource more help to keep up, most wedding professionals have raised their prices. If you received a quote back in 2019, know that the prices you were told are most likely not the current prices for their services. In an article by CNBC, wedding costs have gone up by 30% in 2022. That's a significant increase to make you rethink inviting all 250+ guests. Know that these prices are not a reflection of a vendor being greedy or trying to rip you off. This is a reflection of wedding professionals just trying to stay a float and pay their people a liveable wage. Shameless Plug: If the idea of spending more than what you budgeted for makes your hair stick up, then maybe you should flirt with the idea to elope. We wrote a whole blog on the pros and cons of doing so. We've also written a blog on budgeting to help figure out a budget and stick to it. Donʻt Let The Wedding Boom Scare You My last tip, and maybe the most important, is donʻt let the wedding boom scare you. Yeah, there are a ton of people getting married, and maybe that has meant that youʻve had to adjust a few plans, but donʻt let that throw you off your game. Plan the wedding you want. It is extremely common to make haste decisions out of the fear that the vendor you want might book out or that you need to pick a venue that you donʻt really love because it's the only one that has your wedding date. Come back to center and remember what this day is about – It is about the love you have for each other. Everything else is secondary. I canʻt speak for what 2023 has in store (though it is also starting to pick up), but if the planning process is too stressful, explore the idea of giving yourself more time and waiting out this wedding wave till next year. We hope you found this blog helpful. If you are interested in booking our services, please fill out the contact form here. Featured Photographers: Jaycob Sierra Moments by LM Cody Ketchum
- SUSTAINABLE WEDDING IDEAS
My love of ʻāina (earth, land, etc.) from a young age has always pushed me towards sustainability and the importance of living more green. It’s a continuous and lifelong journey that’s always evolving. When I first got engaged I started researching weddings and one of my immediate thoughts was, WOW… the wedding industry wastes a lot of shit. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ways to have a more eco-friendly and sustainable wedding! Attire Thrift your wedding attire, buy it second hand, wear a family member’s piece and have it altered. Your attire doesn’t necessarily have to be new. You can save a ton of money buying second hand and give a previously used piece a new life. Invites There are several ways to go about invites, I’m totally a believer in wasting less paper. For my wedding we opted to do Save the Dates as a paper invite to give everyone something tangible (specifically for the older generation), while we collected email addresses and built our wedding website. Going completely digital is the best option for those who want a sustainable event. However, for those who prefer paper invites, you can opt for seeded (yes, there’s actually seeds throughout the paper so you can plant it after), recycled, or compostable paper invites! These are fun options that are environmentally friendly. You can even buy plantable paper and print your own invites if you want to get creative. Favors Favors are a weird topic for some people. It’s a tradition, so you think you need it, but of course I always say forget traditions. Truthfully, not everyone does favors successfully. Oftentimes when we are cleaning up events, we’re stuck with tons of little jars of candy, small trinkets, etc. Instead of pouring tons of time, love and money into making favors, you can make a donation in your guests name to a charity or cause that is important to you both. Maybe give a small plant or succulent, or even native seeds they can plant at home. If you must do favors, pick something that everyone will WANT to take with them, or an item you won’t mind having a surplus of if no one takes it. Food This is a big area of waste! We’ve seen on several occasions where couples want to give their guests a plethora of food options, but in the end, a lot of food ends up going to waste either because their guests are picky eaters or because they just ordered way too much food. It’s heartbreaking to see how much ʻono (delicious) food ends up being packed up to go home with the couple or tossed out because no one wanted to eat it. Have a plan and talk to your caterer about what you want to do with the excess food. Do you want it packed up to go with you, your guests, donate the food somewhere; find out what your options might be to avoid throwing out food at the end of the night. Also, try to source a caterer who uses locally grown food. This is the most sustainable approach when it comes to this topic! Photography: Jeanne Marie Food: TM Custom Catering who uses local farms and growers Decor This was one of my top concerns as I scanned pinterest, “what the heck am I supposed to do with all this decor at the end of my wedding”. I had no space in my small apartment to house all of the decor and I didn’t know what to do with it all. Well now there are companies out there like WedCyle Hawaiʻi, who have a solution. You can rent beautiful, curated, and recycled decor items or collections to style your day! They’ve made it easy to shop for all sorts of decor you might want to add to your event. The pricing is reasonable and the items are all thrifted, recycled, or upcycled, so you know it’s a more sustainable option than buying brand new to use for just a few hours on your wedding day. Flowers Flowers, while beautiful, are the silent killer to a budget and also the environment. Cut flowers create a ton of waste and quite frankly for how much money you are spending, it is absurd how many blooms get tossed at the end of the night. Our favorite sustainable option for flowers is actually renting faux arrangements. There are a few companies out there now that rent out different collections of flowers that look pretty darn real. The centerpieces often come with the vases and they include pieces for the arch, bouquets, garlands, boutonieers etc. They even scent the flowers. All you just need to do is pack it all up to ship back once your event is over. Another substitute for fresh flowers is dried, paper, or wood flowers. There are sellers on etsy who hand make these flowers/ bouquets and you get to keep this piece once the wedding is over. I actually went the paper flower route, because I wasn’t sure if I was going to have to keep postponing my wedding or have a reception later on and didn’t want to have to buy flowers twice. I loved the way the flowers looked and they’re still being loved and used till this day. If you’re set on having real flowers, try to reuse pieces throughout the day. Your arch piece can be used for your head table after the ceremony is done, the bouquets your wedding party holds can be used for centerpieces throughout the reception, etc. And at the end of the day, consider donating your flowers to a nursing home, or another place for your flowers to continue to be loved and appreciated even after your special day. Photography: Kenzie Kate Photo Experience Consider renting dishware, plates, cups, etc. instead of using single use plastics. You could even buy special cups, mugs, or glasses for your guests to use and keep even after the wedding. Compostable plates, cups, and utensils is another option for a more rustic or tropical feel. Another tempting thing to do is release balloons, lanterns, confetti, or even sparklers for an exit or after you are pronounced, but skip these environmental no-nos and borrow a bubble machine (maybe from your friends' kids) or use biodegradable confetti (but always check to make sure that confetti is ok with your venue). These are more eco-friendly and fun options to cut down on unnecessary waste. I know this can be overwhelming and a lot to take in, but every little choice you make helps. What’s most important is doing what you can and not worrying about being perfect. Being sustainable and eco-friendly is a lifelong journey and you’re not always going to be able to do everything right or perfectly. Don’t stress about it! Know that every small decision makes a difference and even calling attention and sharing this information with others will help in the long run. I hope this list helps you make at least one eco-friendly decision about your wedding day and gets you thinking about more ways to be sustainable in your everyday life, too! Featured Photographers & Vendors: Attire: Megan Moura Photography, Dresses rented from Ka Lolehele Hawaiʻi Favors: The Singlers Photography & Jon Cu Photography Decor: Wedcycle Hawaiʻi Experience: Cody Ketchum Photography & E+E Photo
- MY FAVORITE SOFTWARE AS A WEDDING PLANNER
As a weddings and events planner, having bomb software is the secret sauce to being able to run your business efficiently. When I first started TGA, I was manually doing, pretty much, everything and it took up so much of my time. In an effort to streamline my process, I went through deep dives to source out the best software and apps that worked for me and made my life a little bit easier. Here are my favorite software applications as a wedding planner. HONEYBOOK I have talked about her before and I will talk about her again, but Honeybook is really great. I used to send all of my contracts and proposals manually. Like, I manually went in to update all the data. It used to take me about 30 minutes just to draft up a proposal and then another 30 minutes to send the contract out. That was an hour of my life for every new project. It was also impossible to keep track of where I was at in projects and see what phase clients were on. When I made the switch to Honeybook, I was able to send proposals and contracts out in under 10 minutes and keep track of the booking process. Honeybook also has a bunch of features built into it like - sending out emails directly to clients from the portal, accepting and receiving payments within the app (which is beyond helpful for accounting), and a calendar that makes sure you never double book! I love how professional my proposals look to prospecting clients and since making the switch we have increased our booking rate by 30%. I love it and I think you might as well. We are so grateful to Honeybook for offering our readers a huge discount. You can start using honeybook for $1/month for 6 months when you use our referral link. There are tons of classes that explain how to use Honeybook and an amazing team that assists you with transferring all your current clients into the portal, so that you don’t have to. Trust me! Check it out and claim your discount! TIMELINE GENIUS Timeline Genius is newer to the software family, but has seriously CHANGED MY LIFE. I used to dread making timelines and I know I am not the only planner who feels this way. Constant changes, so many moving pieces, and one last minute edit and you have to resend to all the vendors again. Ask any of my staff, they will tell you how frustrated I would get drafting out timelines and it is a big part of my job, so I was very happy to find Timeline Genius. Heather, from the Union Podcast - who we’ve done a few episodes with - was actually the one who put me on game. Anything that gives me back my time (and sanity) is worth investing in. This software helps build out your timelines by using the genius feature that takes your past timelines, previous and built in templates, and industry standard schedules to create the timeline you need in a fast and efficient manner. Gone are the days of building timelines from scratch, because the more timelines you make, the smarter the software gets at predicting future builds. I know that this software works, because it keeps a log of how long you have worked on each timeline and my spent time has gone down a ton since using the app. Timeline Genius also has a collaboration feature where you can add in your clients to be a part of the timeline building process if you choose. I know we sometimes have hands on couples who want to be a part of every aspect, so this feature allows them to make their own edits. Speaking of edits, if you have to shift the time back by 30 minutes, no problem. You can make mass edits to the timeline by clicking one button My favorite feature is the assign option, where you can assign each timeline item to the specific vendors who it is in reference to. How many of us vendors have received a timeline that has so much information on it, but only about 10% actually pertains to you? With this feature, you can select who can see what and create tailored timelines that are specific to them. Best part – when it is time to send out the timeline, the software has the ability to mass send directly to the vendors the timeline, details, and floor plans. I love Timeline Genius and I think you will too. They have a free week trial, so you can try before you buy! ALL SEATED Did you know that when I started out I used to make floor plans by DRAWING THEM OUT - like with a fricken piece of paper and pen. No wonder I used to charge peanuts! Now, I use All Seated. All Seated is an event floor plan designer that builds floor plans to scale, so that you can actually see how everything will fit in the space. You can view things in 2D or 3D if that particular venue is set up in the app that way. I will say the one downfall is that not all venues have their floor plans uploaded to All Seated, which means you can’t always get an exact scale of the space. However, you are able to make your own diagram using their custom feature. Within the software, they have hundreds of different rental items with exact measurements to choose from. You are essentially just dragging and dropping in the items you want into the floor plan. Technically, you can pay for this application, but there is a free feature where you can build up to 5 floor plans at a time. Usually that is more than enough for me, so I don’t actually pay for this one. If you are doing a higher volume, then I would still suggest investing in this app. There are other features built into, like their own timeline builder, but for me, I found the floor plan the most helpful! Check out this floor plan that we built out using the software! QUICKBOOKS I am sure everyone has heard of Quickbooks, but it really is an awesome software for all your accounting and payment needs. I used to take all my payments through Venmo, which made it really difficult to organize during tax season, since I also took personal payments there. It just wasn’t as professional and actually made things harder as our volume increased. I like that Quickbooks sends out invoicing that looks legit and deposits the funds right into our bank account. There are also other features like mileage tracking that is super helpful for accounting purposes. Since switching over, it has painted a clearer picture of where we are at financially and I like knowing where we are at. SQUARESPACE I know I will get some mixed reviews on this, but I really do like Squarespace. As someone who is a little technology illiterate and has hired a team of people to help bridge that gap, Squarespace makes sense to me. I built my first website on Squarespace and it was fairly easy for what I needed it to do. I wasn’t an online store, I didn’t have a mass influx of people flooding the site; I just wanted a place to house my work, my prices, and who the heck I was. As I started to grow, I got into the bells and whistles of the app and sure, there are other website builders out there that give you more abilities for plug ins and customizations, but for the less than tech savvy people like me, Squarespace creates professional websites that are easy to navigate and (in my opinion) has less bugs. You can try out Squarespace for free using their 2 week trial. Play around and check out their easy to use templates. Everyone needs a website, whether you are a micro business just starting out or a full blown company. I know this blog might have seemed like an infomercial, but I am so passionate about finding things that help your business grow. Yes, some of these are investments and cost money, but in the long run, you will thank yourself. One thing I found helpful is using the trial periods that are offer. If you are a skeptic (like myself) and want to see if you like something before adding it to your monthly expenses, take advantage of the free trial. I hope you found this blog helpful. Let us know in the comments if there is an app that you love that we have to check out!
Other Pages (6)
- The Gay Agenda Co | Hawaii Wedding Sustainable, Kanaka, Gay
HAWAI'I WEDDING COORDINATOR QUEER, KANAKA, & SUSTAINABLY OWNED LGBTQ+ WEDDING PLANNER WE ARE QUEER Breaking traditions and societal norms, while innovating and paving the path for creative events. NATIVE HAWAIIAN WEDDING PLANNER WE ARE KANAKA Planning with a collaborative mindset and working alongside clients to achieve their event dreams. ʻAʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia. No task is too big when done together by all. SUSTAINABLE WEDDING PLANNER WE ARE SUSTAINABLE Creating less waste in the wedding and event industry and being good stewards of ‘Āina. Check out our rental company WedCycle Hawaiʻi WHAT WE OFFER WEDDING & EVENT PLANNING WEDDING DESIGN & COORDINATION QUEER WEDDING EDUCTION & TRAINING EXPLORE SERVICES CREATING SPACE FOR THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY IN THE WEDDING & EVENT INDUSTRY through thoughtful and inclusive event planning. HOW IT WORKS GET IN TOUCH 1 CONSULTATION Inquire with our team and we will schedule a consultation to discuss your upcoming wedding or event! GET A CONSULTATION BOOK 2 RESERVE YOUR PHASE Our team will help you be informed as you select which phase will fulfill your needs & desires. EXPLORE PHASES WE PLAN 3 YOUR UNIQUE EVENT We collaborate with you to bring your dream wedding or event to life! We help make it genuine to you! WE EXECUTE 4 ENJOY A STRESS FREE DAY Our team will help you be informed as you select which collection will fulfill your needs & desires. OUR FOUNDER ZABRINA The Gay Agenda Collective, LLC (also known as TGA) is a Kanaka, queer-owned and operated wedding planning business in Hawaiʻi. KĀNAKA WĀHINE MĀHŪ WEDDING COORDINATOR OUR FAVORITE QUESTION: IF IT WAS JUST THE TWO OF YOU WITH NO OTHER OPINIONS WHAT WOULD YOU REALLY WANT? TGA specializes in creating space for the LGBTQ+ community in the wedding and event industry through thoughtful planning , so that they feel included, represented, and celebrated. TGA specializes in helping couples who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, or those who plan to break old wedding traditions and create new traditions for their special day. SPECIALIZING IN HELPING COUPLES WHO WANT TO BREAK OLD TRADITIONS & MAKE THEIR OWN! OUR TEAM THE GAY AGENDA QUEERWEDDING COORDINATOR As one of the few LGBTQ-owned wedding planning businesses in Hawaiʻi, TGA is the only business that currently offers a unique network of pre-vetted, queer-affirming vendors. We are a full service planning company that overs full coordination to day of coordination SUSTAINABLE WEDDING COORDINATOR SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS TO US. It's important to us to create less waste in the wedding and event industry and be good stewards of ‘Āina. CHECK OUT OUR SISTER COMPANY WEDCYCLE HAWAI'I to rent cute decor & protect the planet CHECK OUT WEDCYCLE HAWAII 'BUBBLES' CHAMPAGNE WALL AVAILABLE FOR RENT AT WEDCYCLE HAWAII TGA MERCH SHOP NOW HOW TO HANDLE THE WEDDING BOOM Like most wedding professionals, we as a company are experiencing a BOOM! Twice the amount of weddings, quadruple the amount of work, and... SUSTAINABLE WEDDING IDEAS My love of ʻāina (earth, land, etc.) from a young age has always pushed me towards sustainability and the importance of living more... READ THE BLOG CLIENT LOVE NOTES Clara's Review via Yelp Where do I begin with such an amazing team!? The most selfless, understanding, and brilliant event planner! There were many factors that played into our day being as perfect as it was. And TGAC was a significant pillar to this. From jotting ideas, to pre-planning, sifting our must-haves, to the day of our wedding and all of the above... Zabrina & her team were attentive, provided and communicated with vendors, created timelines for us, included visual reception layout options and so much more! When it comes to planning your wedding, there are so many random small things that come up; especially on the day of. Zabrina, Ipo & the whole team at TGAC genuinely and naturally know how to make sure any event you book with them is the most smooth, stress-free day. So grateful for them and we continue to refer and support this awesome local company! READ MORE ON YELP FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @THEGAYAGENDA.CO
- Queer Ally Training for Wedding & Event Vendors | Gay Agenda
VIRTUAL ALLYSHIP + INCLUSIVITY TRAINING for businesses in the wedding & event industry Ready to learn how to truly be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community as a wedding & event vendor? WE're here to help! JOIN OUR WAITLIST Earn your gay Agenda ALLY inclusivity TRAINING BADGE Creating space for LGBTQ+ couples in the wedding and event industry has been the mission for The Gay Agenda Collective. TGA wants all businesses in the wedding and event industry to create better habits and practices that celebrate queer couples, instead of tokenizing or misrepresenting them. Before we can implement these business practices, we must first delve into what it truly means to be an Ally and how your identity awareness can influence the space necessary for inclusion. MEET YOUR INSTRUCTORS ZABRINA IPOLANI Your instructors, Zabrina and Ipolani Zablan-Duvauchelle will take you through three sessions that give you the past, present, and future for Allyship and Inclusion within the wedding and event industry. During their own wedding planning process they experienced how non-inclusive the wedding & event industry can really be. From that moment on they've made it their mission to help educate & create space for the LGBTQ+ Community. GET ON OUR WAITLIST WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM THIS COURSE BETTER HABITS & PRACTICES TO CELEBRATE YOUR QUEER COUPLES HOW NOT TO TOKENIZE & MISREPRESENT YOUR QUEER COUPLES mindset shift for what it truly means TO be an ally BE THE FIRST TO ACCESS THE COURSE THE COURSE AGENDA PART 1: Intro to Inclusion & Allyship We will discuss basic terms and what allyship does and does not look like. PART 2: Inclusion & Identity Training We will dive into how your identity can influence your awareness of self and others and how that awareness helps you become a better ally. PART 3: Ways To Implement Allyship & Inclusion We love to leave you with some tangible ways you can implement positive changes into your business. THE FINAL Quiz for Completion At the end of the course, upon completion of a short quiz, we will provide you with a badge that you can use on your website to show potential clients that you took our course and took the first step to becoming an ally! This training course is more than just a simple way to call yourself an ally. This is about changing and deconstructing the way we view weddings and creating systems within our businesses that are inclusive of all couples! 1:1 QUEER WEDDING INCLUSIVITY CONSULTING for vendors in the wedding & event industry Have you ever wondered if your forms and business practices are actually inclusive? Well, we welcome you to Consulting with The Gay Agenda Collective (TGA)! We are here to help wedding professionals who are ready to elevate their business and incorporate REAL and authentic allyship! No more wondering, “do my business practices actually align with my goals of being inclusive to all?” By scheduling a session with us, you have taken the first step to creating a space where ALL couples feel included, represented, and celebrated TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR BIZ HOW TO GET STARTED? GIVE US THE TEA ON YOUR BUSINESS Fill out our inquiry form below and let us know about your business! Give us the details such as: Business Info How large is your team Areas you feel like could use review (forms, website, social accounts, etc.) Any additional info youʻd like us to be aware of SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION Once we receive your request, we will give you a call to go over your inquiry form and schedule a call with you to go over your business goals! MATERIAL REVIEW Finally, you send us the materials and we will get back with you with our edits and helpful suggestions to elevate your business to the next level of allyship! GET STARTED JOIN OUR WAITLIST! Fill out our inquiry form below and let’s get started on your new business journey First Name Last Name Email Phone How many people on your team? What Areas of your business would you like us to review? Forms/Documents Website Social Media Channels Other (Please add this to the additional info section) How did you hear about us? Any additional information you would like to share? Submit Thanks for submitting!
- The Gay Agenda Weddings | Our Couples | Hawaii LGBTQ
QUEER HAWAI'I WEDDING COORDINATOR OUR COUPLES THE DESERT CHIC COUPLE KANDRIE & CLARA PHOTOS BY Jaycob Sierra THE ROMANTIC COUPLE STEVEN & STEPHEN PHOTOS BY JON CU THE TROPICAL COUPLE DAVID & KARLY PHOTOS BY KAY SALERA THE THEME COUPLE tati & george PHOTOS BY CODY KETCHUM SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION EXPLORE OUR SERVICES