Paper Me Wonderful

Purely Wondrous Inspiration

AWC Planners Workshop Speaker Spotlight: Michelle Gainey {Lemiga Events}

Tom Peters of Fast Company said, "A brand is a promise of the value received." Michelle Gainey, Lead Designer of Lemiga Events, has built her brand believing that statement. I had the privilege of meeting Michelle just before she opened StudioWed and remember thinking, this young lady is really going to change the Atlanta wedding industry. Michelle has successfully built her own brand and had a hand in taking the StudioWed brand to another level. For those of you unfamiliar with StudioWed, it is an exclusive collection of Atlanta's wedding vendors representing the finest wedding professionals that service the Atlanta area. This is a hip and revolutionary concept in local and destination weddings in Atlanta: a stylish and sophisticated planning studio where the area's best vendors come to you. Meet with a photographer over coffee in the morning and enjoy a glass of wine as you chat with a florist in the afternoon. Best of all, there's no cost to you to use StudioWed's services, so you can feel free to spend an entire day -- or as many as you need -- planning your big day. Michelle has built a great balance between the two businesses and an awesome staff to help her maintain them. As Lead Designer and Planner of Lemiga Events, Michelle is a girly girl. She loves shoes, dresses, makeup and everything about being a woman! Michelle loves a challenge. She's always looking to do things differently than how they’ve always been done. Lemiga Events is a premier event design boutique specializing in stylish and glamorous affairs for a discerning clientele. They are passionate about creating unique and exceptional moments that will be remembered for a lifetime. Their love for design and intricate details is what defines our signature event style. Enchanting venues, sumptuous fabrics, stunning florals and captivating stationery are some of the elements that make our events spectacular. I love working with Michelle. She is the epitome of a wedding planner. Her glamorous style and attention to detail ensures that each and every client feels appreciated, her service is valued, and the wedding is amazing! What I love most is that Michelle, like me, is a mom! She is married and has two adorable daughters. I know that she is setting an example of how to be successful in every aspect of life. Kudos Mrs. Gainey!

Michelle has a passion for educating and inspiring fellow associates in the wedding and event industry. You can hear her share her knowledge in an intimate setting and speak with her personally at the Atlanta Planner's Workshop at StudioWed happening February 18-19, 2012. For more information and to register, please visithttp://awcworkshop.eventbrite.com//.

Green with Envy

Sometimes we allow fear of consequences to keep us from speaking truths regarding situations we deal with daily. Everyone tip toes around certain subjects and it appears "taboo" for one to call others, including ourselves, to the carpet about certain issues. Anyone who knows me, recognizes almost immediately that there is not anything that I'm afraid to say. Are there times we should keep our mouths closed and mind our own business? Of course! However, today, I'm saying enough is enough.

 

I've been in the wedding industry for over ten years and have never witnessed the things we are being exposed to today. As Marvin Gaye said best, "What's Going On?" I consider getting married one of the most sacred times in a couple's life that should be reverenced with honor and celebrated in grand fashion at the same time. It should be a time when a couple can share the things they love most about each other in a ceremony and celebration. A good friend and fabulous wedding planner, Brian Green, of F&G Weddings says, "A wedding is the first opportunity a couple hosts a party together as husband and wife." If this is true, why is there so much chaos in the wedding industry?

 

Some days I feel as though our industry could be traded in for the TV slot of The Young and The Restless or All My Children. Planners are fighting caterers. Caterers are fighting designers. Designers are fighting venues. Who has the best interest of our clients, the bride and groom, in mind? Every industry has competition. That's the way the world goes around, but competition is only as competitive as you see it. Sean Low, Founder and President of The Business of Being Creative, LLC, said once, "keep your blinders on and focus on what you need to be doing for YOUR client." Well, that brings up a different subject that I won't address today. {Do you really know who YOUR client is?} I have witnessed so much bickering back and forth between vendors that I'm sure clients have had second thoughts about who they hired. Vendors are undercutting each other to get the business and the sad part is they think that no one knows. {WE KNOW, BOO!} Vendors are going around town pretending to have interest in business relationships and instead are seeking information and sharing negative information about one another. Are you serious? If we spent less time trying to figure out how she opened a new studio or how he booked the client you met with and more time serving our clients, the Atlanta wedding industry would be everything everyone THINKS we are. I love when vendors from other states call and want to come visit. From Facebook and Twitter, they see how much we network and party and celebrate each other, but what they don't see is how we use one other, back bite and gossip.

 

What about the newbies coming into the industry? Why are we so afraid to share a few minutes of our time to help them learn? I didn't say you had to be a mentor or give away all of your trade secrets (if there is a such thing!), but a cup of coffee to help Suzie decide if she really wants to be a planner wouldn't kill you. If they are calling seeking advice, that means you must be doing something right. We shouldn't be threatened by or intimated by new people joining the Atlanta market. I personally would love to have a network of stationers that met and shared creative ideas from time to time. If I'm busy or on vacation, I would love to have someone I could trust to refer my clients to for a one time job, etc. However, that's almost unheard of here in Atlanta.

 

We've all been a part of a negative conversation, whether we choose to admit it or not. We are all human and sometimes we just need to vent, but when it turns into a serious plot to put people out of business, we need to check ourselves. The word of God says in James 3:16 "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." Stop being envious of another planner for booking seventy weddings a year. You don't know what they have to do to maintain that schedule or what level of service they are providing. Designers, start charging what you're worth and not $500 below your competitor just to book the business. Stationers, please develop your own style and stop copying other designers. All inspiration has to come from somewhere, but this is a creative business. Be inspired to create your own designs.

 

I don't believe that Rodney King knew how life changing his statement was years ago, "Can't we all just get along?" Unfortunately, it seems to be impossible, but I am a firm believer that if we all spent our time servicing our clients to the best of our ability instead of worrying about what other vendors are doing, we would create the best wedding industry in America. We have the talent. Stop hating and get to work.

 

"To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self" ~ Joan Didion

Some Secrets Should Be Shared!

On February 12, we had the awesome pleasure of attending a Secret Supper hosted by Black Tie Barbecue. This full service catering company is a fresh approach to Atlanta's culinary scene. The evening, held at Millennium Gate, began with cocktails and musical entertainment as we gave ourselves a bit of a history lesson inside of the hidden treasure that is Millennium Gate. We were then invited to the dinner table, where we enjoyed masterpiece after masterpiece. From their signature Black Tie salad to a delectable spinach and shrimp pasta to a decadent chocolate cake that provided the greatest moment of indulgence, we enjoyed an evening full of culinary delight. In addition, we met some wonderful people, engaged in great conversation, and were privileged to receive top notch customer service from the Black Tie catering staff.

Although the location of this event remained a secret until shortly before it was to commence, it is no secret that Black Tie has definitely made its presence known!

The amazing Black Tie Signature Salad!

Delicious butler passed hors d'oeuvres.

LaToyin, of Black Tie, putting the final touches on her table designs.

Allison, of Black Tie, loves to bake and it definitely tasted like love!

Always great to see our friend, Mike Jones, on sax! The entertainment was incredible!

Thanks so much to Leah and Mark for the awesome photographs.

Our Gift To You

Every year, we are blessed with wonderful clients to serve and while we seek to show them our gratitude through excellent service; we feel compelled to do something special to truly show our appreciation for their patronage. This comes in the form of our annual Holiday Soiree. Our Client Appreciation Soiree offers our clients the opportunity to relax and enjoy an evening filled with food, dancing, and mingling. The soiree also presents our staff with the chance to meet some clients for the first time and personally thank our clients and vendors for making our year the best ever.
This year's soiree was held at the Emily Amy Gallery located in the BrickWorks Complex. Two of our clients, Heavenly Divine Catering and Catered Cakes, helped to provide decadent desserts for the evening. Julius Grimes of KreativTouch Photography was present to ensure that the soiree would remain a memory even after the night ended. I Do Linens provided fabulous linens for the evening and Floral Couture created beautiful floral arrangements to add the right amount of sparkle. We certainly enjoyed mingling with our clients and other industry professionals.
Our soiree helps us look forward to the next year where we can continue to do what we love- providing our clients with purely wondrous inspiration.
One of our favorite couples married in October 2009, Clyde and Angela Corbin.

You can't leave a soiree without something sweet!

 

Some friends and clients of PWI, Fredrick and Michelle Gainey (Lemiga Events) and Chris Torres (6 of Four Photography).

The lovely Nicola Horton from Perfect Wedding Guide and one of our favorite caterers, Spencer and Allison of Black Tie Barbecue.

It's never a PWI Soiree without J-Love, Joy Pittman of LOFT at Castleberry Hill.

And Mr. Fabulous himself, Brian Green of F and G Weddings, along with the sweetest lady on earth, Sharon Alexander of Sweet Sensations.

Lending A Hand, Helping A Life

Although it's been a little over a week since our first LHHL event, our hearts remained overwhelmed. It was indeed a blessing to have spent the day serving those in need and bringing smiles to the faces of children. Without a doubt, we have been very fortunate this year and it was our goal to give back in a very special way. In teaming with several other event industry professionals, we were able to bring joy to some very deserving families and in turn, their appreciation brought each of us a monumental happiness.
The luncheon was held at The LOFT at Castleberry Hill. The day began with family portraits by the Christmas tree, taken by Tracey Brown Photography and Evie Perez Photography. Lunch was provided by Heavenly Divine Catering and desserts provided by The Baker's Man, Inc. and The Perfect Wedding Cake. The kids engaged in crafts overseen by Elegant Event Sitters and candy bags were provided by Peachy Treats Candy Buffet Catering. Julius Grimes of KreativTouch Photography was present to capture the great moments of this event. There were many volunteers on hand to make this day even more special by serving as little elves. Those persons included Brian Green of F&G Weddings, Michelle Gainey of Lemiga Events, Ashley Baber of Ashley Baber Weddings, Kenya Milligan of Precious Moments by Kenya, Melanie Carter of Lucky and Lovely, Eliana Baucicault of EllyB Events, Annette Thurman of Chaviano Couture, Nicola Horton of Perfect Wedding Guide, Tia Ervin of Milestone Occasions, Tracy Sloan of Tracy Sloan Events, Violaine Diogene of Andre Winfrye Events, Zephanie Curlett of Unique Events and Favors, and Lillian Miller of LT Travel Connection.
(L to R: Nicola, Tish, Eliana, Violaine, Tracy, Kenya, Toni, Tia and Julius in the back)
The day was truly a great success and confirmed for us that the perfect gift is the one that is given.
This season, we encourage you to take the time to lend a hand and help a life.
In the meantime, we'd like to share these awesome photos by Tracey Brown Photography and Evie Perez Photography. All rights reserved.

More to come on this event that touched so many lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Networking is BS!

Networking is BS. How many times have we heard people say that? We’ve heard conference speakers say it, read it in blogs and other news articles, even in some bestselling books. Well, I beg to differ. I would say “Networking: You get out what you put in.” In the Atlanta wedding industry, we must have at least two or three networking events per week. You can network with brides, with other wedding industry professionals or even with other business professionals just about any day of the week. So, you take the time to register for an event, you get properly dressed, business cards in hand and you get there and then what? You see 100 of the same people you see at every event and 50 new faces you are a bit timid to meet. I believe this is why people think networking is BS. If you spend the entire evening socializing with friends and business associates you already work with then you can’t really call that networking. You’re merely socializing with the circle you operate in daily. You’re only going to get out what you put in. So that means, get out there. Introduce yourself. Tell someone new about your business and what services you offer. Opportunities are based on relationships, not transactions. It’s up to you to build relationships with new vendors in order to continue to thrive in this business. Ultimately, I truly believe there is only one relationship that is most important and if you have a personal relationship with Him, opportunities are destined to meet you along this journey.