Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Not all Gitz and Glam & Stain Remover Tips

I get asked all of the time, about what it is like to be a Wedding Planner & Decorator.  They think my job must be so glamorous (thanks to the movies.) and all fun and rewarding.

Yes, there is that part that you get to use your imagination and turn something plain into a brides dream. Yes, you get to make someones day and get lots and lots of comments of praise and thanks!
It is a lot of fun, and for me highly rewarding!

However, that part of it is actually only a small part of what happens to create someones special day. The rest is a lot of sweat (some blood) and occasional tears:) on my end.



So in case you ever wanted to know what it is like to be a Bridal Planner and Event Planner, I thought I'd give you a real peek into what it is really like.
Also, if your a mom some of these tips might help you with your kids clothes or to get stains out of things!

I'll skip the part about meeting with the bridal party and the planning and go straight into what all goes into making someones day unique and special.

A quick FYI - Because I own my own decoration company, my perspective may be a bit different than someone who only organizes an event and just makes the phone calls to all the event places to make something happen.  I am also a mobile company, I bring everything with me to the different event centers or churches.  So in a way I am a bit more involved than most event planners!


PREP WORK
For me about 5 days leading into an event/wedding is when the prepping begins.  First things first, I hitch up the truck and large trailer together and I drive over to where I keep all the beautiful items, backdrops, linens, centerpieces, flowers, tree's, gazebo's etc... stored.
Sometimes I bring others, especially if the equipment I need is over 100 pounds.  But generally I enjoy the workout so it's just me and my pink leather work gloves.  It takes me about an hour to two hours to get everything loaded.
I am picky, I like everything to be loaded a specific way, and generally only the items I will need for each specific event so it takes a while for me to get this done correctly.


CRAFTS AND PROJECTS
Then there are the crafts, it may be making signs, painting things, putting centerpieces together.   Just depends from event from event.  This also includes putting the floral arrangements together.
This can take 2 - 5 hours...


LINENS
Last prep work are getting all the linens pressed/steamed and ready for use.
I am highly picky and hate wrinkles.  I iron/steam individually every single chair cover, table linen that we use.  If you can imagine what 20-30 tables consist of, not to mention how many chairs....
I also usually do this myself.  I could pay crew to do it, and I do occasionally.  But I am picky, I like things to look a certain way, and if I do it, then it's more money in my pocket.
Besides, it gives me 12-14 hours to catch up on TV series, or watch movies while I am getting this all done.

Candy Buffet Table Design- before candy added
EVENT DAY
I am organized, my team and I usually can do an entire transformation in about 4-6 hours depending on what we are doing.  We set everything up early in the morning same day as the wedding or event. (Other than in rare occasions.)
Each person on the team generally ends up walking (yes I have Fitbit checked it) about 6-10 miles just doing the set up.
Also a lot of those miles walked, we are carrying heavy items!


-I mentioned blood & sweat & tears-
- Accidents happen, fingers get cut or sliced setting things up.. Not often but blood does happen.
- All that carrying and lifting and walking lots of sweat! (and calories burned:)
- As for the tears, well sometimes things go wrong, very wrong.  I handle stress very very well, in fact so well I almost never stress because I have backup plans, or the ability to come up with a new idea on the fly.  However, occasionally their are just those days where nothing goes correctly and wears me down or something breaks...  I have taken a minute to walk away, take a deep breath, wipe a tear before going back in to regroup with the team on how we should solve the problem and move on.

DURING THE EVENT
This is the time the event or bridal party arrive and sometimes I get to watch their faces as they walk into the room, and I love watching that amazed, you made my day look they get!  They get to have fun and enjoy the day and atmosphere.
This is my time to relax (a little) I generally can get off my feet for a few hours.  Unless its an event that I need to be their the whole time... in which I look forward to crawling into bed that night even more:)
This is also the time, I finally get to go get something to eat for the day!  Generally I get so busy I end up skipping breakfast and sometimes lunch unless I get so hungry I order it in for me and the crew while we work.

AFTER THE EVENT
When an event is over, my team and I go in and take down everything and get it all packed back up in the trailer in about 1 hour or less.
We drag our already tired bodies and sore muscles back over to do it all in reverse but faster.
Generally another 1-2 miles are walked doing this, all of which are carrying 10-100 pounds with each step we take.
Yup, quite the workout and it makes for some very late nights and some very sore muscles the next day!



If you think it is over now you'd be wrong

Now the really NOT so fun part starts.  Remember all those linens?  Well they have to be washed and quick before stains set in!  I generally try to get them all done within 24 hours!

STAIN REMOVER TIPS
Grease can be usually removed with a stain remover spray, but you'll want to wash quickly.
Getting pen out, Hairspray or just straight Rubbing Alcohol.  (Test a part of the fabric first)
Set in stains, I use -
Fels-Naptha - Rub some in with water, rub the fabric and stain together then wash.
FYI - Fels-Naptha will even get in drenched in set chocolate fondue and other stains.
But it will take a little elbow work.
I use it and it has worked for me getting things bright white again every time.  However,
you do have to immediately start on it, leaving it even overnight and you risk the stain setting in.


Dry cleaning is too expensive these days.  So they are all washed and dried by me. (again I am picky)
First, I have to inspect each linen and even though they are all a stain resistant material, I still have to spray certain ones with stain remover spray, just to be safe.

Chocolate Fondue- Punch - Jelly's & Fruit Creams - Grease - Sticky Candies  are my least favorite, but I have ways to get them all out!

FYI - Fels-Naptha will actually even help get out drenched in and set chocolate fondue!  I know, it will take a little elbow work, but I can get it out of my whites every time.  However, you do have to immediately start on it, leaving it even overnight and you risk the stain setting in for good!

STAIN REMOVER TIPS
Goo Gone is my new best friend for gum or wax stains!
Fresh gum, just put a little Goo Gone on and then take your fingernail and the gum comes right up.
Set in gum, or gum washed in the washer and dried.  Apply Goo Gone let it sit for a minute or two.  Then
take a white towel or rag and start blotting it, or rubbing it out.  Eventually it will come out.
Always test the fabric first.
For wax, or other gummy products it's also just as easy to remove them with Goo Gone.

However, my absolute least favorite is gum and pen!  Yes, some people (I always hope they are kids) are so lacking in manners that they actually think it is okay to stick their gum into table linens! Other parents never watch their kids, and let them color all over other peoples property!

Then they are washed, dried and folded or hung if another event is coming up.
Imagine folding up 100-200+ individual chair covers.
Or 100-200+ chair sashes - which have to be folded and ironed flat.
Yup, it can take me a day alone just to get the washing done, and the folding and getting everything put away another day or two.



So, that is the not so glamorous part of being an Event Planner!  Sure the parts that are fun, and making a bride and her families day are why I do it.  Thankfully those parts outweigh all the hard work.

Oh, and in case your wondering.  Although the room set up pictures are from a few different events.
All these (Issue & washing) pictures are what I dealt with at 1 event, not several events just ONE... In fact it was one I did last week, which while scrubbing out these stains gave me the idea for this post, haha.



PRODUCTS MENTIONED ABOVE
FYI, I am NOT getting paid to promote these products, I am just showing them to you because they have and do work miracles for me and I have tested them out time and time again and they seem to always come through for me!

All can be purchased at a local store.  These are the exact ones I use.

Fels-Naptha is a stain pre-treater that looks like a bar of soap.  It will last you forever and mine only cost about $1.

Goo Gone removes gum, crayon, wax, stickers and tape although you may find other uses.  It has a citrus scent which is nice and a little bit goes a long way!  Prices may vary depending on the size but mind cost me about $5 for the bottle.

As for a stain pre-treater spray, their are lots out on the market.  I have found that they pretty much all do the same thing.  So I buy whichever is the cheapest brand at the time.  Although it may be interesting to do a comparison sometime:)

As for detergent, I always use TIDE.  For me it works the best, and in college while working on my Interior Design degree, I actually did have to do a project and compare this brand with others to remove various stains, and Tide won almost every time.  Which is why I have stuck with Tide with Bleach for all my linens & satin washing needs!

Wondering what one of the most popular wedding theme trends was this year?
PEACOCK WEDDINGS
Basically taking Peacock Feathers and their colors and tying them into everything from
the decoration, to the bride's dress.
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Okay, now you probably know more than you ever cared to know about being a wedding planner!
However, even if you don't plan on becoming one.  This will give you a little insight into what to expect if you decide to help someone else decorate for their wedding.

Or if you have a friend/family member who is getting married and THINKS they will save money on set up costs by doing it themselves (in other words having you do it.)
Now you know if you want to tell them, no way or agree to do it!
Oh and if you are going to be a bride and you're thinking of having your family do it all.  Just FYI its generally surprisingly cheaper and your family will like you more to pay someone else to do it!

For the rest of you, hopefully some of these stain tricks will help you out in the future!


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