Would you love to have a truly memorable meal for your Wedding, Party or Event ? Source ingredients from your locale including your spirits and craft beers. I recently interviewed Chef Paul Lindemuth from The Art of Food about what he considers to be current & sustainable event cuisine. Here is our conversation:
Chef Paul, what do you consider current food trends and what are people asking for ?
There are three things that I see as being current in the food world. In the event world and the educational field as well. The Number One thing that I see people tapping into is trying to be aware of eating both seasonally and locally especially during the summer & fall. I’ve watched the proliferation of awareness of Farmers’ Markets here in the Chicago area & people are really jumping into that. Knowing where their food comes from is a big deal. Eating food that is in season such as tomatoes and corn in the summer when we know it’s coming from local sources instead of from a grocer when it may be coming from somewhere halfway around the world and being substandard in quality.
Number Two: People are much more interested in expanding their horizons and eating food they’re not familiar with. I’ve even seen that with my more traditional clients. They are thinking more broadly and want new foods presented to them.
Number Three: People are trying to eat more healthily and eating foods that are sustainable, organic and are good not only for themselves but for the farmer & for the producer as well.
The subject I am writing about today close to my heart. I feel it is for everyone: bridal clients, special event clients, makeup artists and pro hair stylists.
I belong to a special group of professional makeup artists and have connected with many of them through social media. Last August one of these talented people wrote an entry that concerns all of us greatly.
Here is the post: “Today is Wednesday.. and she needs a makeup artist for her wedding for THIS Saturday..for herself (bride) and 5 bridesmaids… and she thinks she is in a position to negotiate her prices and my time… When I asked why is she just now booking a makeup artist.. She said she figured she didn’t have to book so far ahead and it’s only makeup.”
It’s only Makeup ?!!! Infuriating ! So many things to say about this. 1.) Many women have never had contact with a pro makeup artist before… They have no idea what goes into the process itself. My artist friends and I put our whole souls into a face. Some of us were painters and graphic artists to begin with.
2.) Years of study, classes, seminars and practice go into our careers. What we do is a calling and our integrity demands the Best work and beyond. We pay considerable attention to trends and use the top products available so no matter what media we work in the client looks excellent in person & on camera.
3.) I have spoken to other Event professionals such as Planners, Photographers & Floral Designers about this. They told me that clients do not attempt to bargain with them. They accept their prices at face value. What is it about makeup artists that inspires this flea market client behavior ? We cannot bargain with people…it devalues us and our art.
I want you to know that I have had MANY generous and wonderful clients over the last 25 years who have never questioned my prices and greatly valued my work.
Which brings us to the next issue: VALUE. My prices are moderate, well below others of my calibre in Chicago. The same goes for my other really talented artist colleagues. Last year I had a client who was an important member of a bridal party. I worked with her to achieve the exact look she wanted (One hour & 15 minutes) and frankly she seemed thrilled. I thought she looked like a movie star and told her so. Yet she gave me a 3 out of 5 stars for Value when reviewing my work on a major wedding website. I was shocked.
I planned this blog months ago but this issue came up today again when another artist in an online group posted about a last minute request (SAME DAY) for 2 girls and yet the client wanted a deal because there were 2 people. WHAAAT ? !!! This is a perfect example of not respecting value and art. Here’s my last Statement: We LOVE what we do !
Here are some examples of our work and Thank You for reading !
Hair & Makeup by Ginger Damato
Tara Lipinski Hair & Makeup by Ginger Damato
Makeup By Nicole Ventura
Makeup By Nicole Ventura
Makeup by Wendy Kimmel/visagejoli.net Hair by Renee Tolnai Amelse Photography
Makeup By Wendy Kimmel/visagejoli.net Photo by Jennography
Makeup by Wendy Kimmel/visagejoli.net Hair by Ginger Damato Photo by Caitlin Hazelton
Bride’s Makeup by Wendy Kimmel visagejoli.net Bride’s Hair by Jennifer Benigno Ujiiye
Gentlemen this blog is for You ! It will help you get through the wedding planning process and the wedding in grand style. And Ladies it will take some stress off of you by giving your beloved advice & great ideas about how to help you. I’m not going to give you this help directly. I’m going to give you the links to my Four favorite Groom websites. There’s even a site for your best man. From engagement ring buying guides to stripper free bachelor parties to choosing the venue and much, much more. A couple of the websites are UK based but most of the issues are universal anyway !
Here are the four sites…there are more online if you feel the need to look further. the plunge.com, the bestman.com, staggered & themanregistry.com
I think you’ll find these sites really eye opening and fun to read. Enjoy and please let me know what you think in the comment section !
REDS… I’ve always loved them . They were all over the Fall 2015 runways but they scare some women. Many women I have spoken to say they will never wear red. You know what ? Reds can be soft & muted or mixed with rose. Try using a pencil with a gloss or just a red gloss by itself. There are some gorgeous ones out there like MAC Ruby Woo. Or try one of the really trendy mattes and blot it down if full strength is too intense for you. With mascara and a bit of liner (or not) red lips can light up your look !
Now that your very special day has taken place what are you going to do with your gorgeous wedding gown ? Recently I surveyed several of my lovely brides on this subject. Two of them took their gowns to bridal gown preservationists and paid $500 to $600. All the others said their gowns were in their closets or at their parents in the original hanging bag from the bridal shop. So I decided to do a bit of research and here is what I found: There are several less expensive alternatives that I found online. For instance at Bed, Bath & Beyond there are two levels of Gown Preservation kits. There are also some from David’s Bridal and other online sources. If you are thinking of saving your gown for your daughter or niece or possibly altering it later for a cocktail dress, invest in a preservation kit. I think you’ll be really happy with your decision in the long run !
Most engaged couples are on a budget these days. I have suggestions for you to help you save on wedding costs that may not have occured to you.
1. Prioritize. Sit down with your fiance and choose the items that are most important to you both.These are the things that you will spend more of your budget on.
2. Venue. Remember that a Friday or Sunday ceremony will save you money. Caterers and venue owners, florists and photographers may give you a substancial break for a non Saturday wedding. If you have a friend who volunteers their backyard or garden for your ceremony & reception take them up on the offer. Also many vendors reduce their prices for off season weddings.
3. Guest list. I know that there are pressures to invite all your cousins and 25 of your parents’ friends, but if YOU are paying for your wedding then YOU can decide on the number of guests. After you figure out cuisine costs then it may be easier to know how many you are able to invite.
4. Cuisine. There are so many ways to save on food costs. Sit down dinners with wait service can be very expensive. If you are having a morning or afternoon ceremony have a brunch, luncheon or dessert reception. A well done and elegant buffet will also greatly reduce costs.
5 Beware of The Bar ! Hard liquor and a full bar is very expensive. If you feel that you would like your guests to have cocktails limit full bar service to an hour or two. The switch to wine & beer or simply eliminate cocktails altogether.
6. Invitations and save the date cards. There are fantastic options to costly invitations from a pro. For instance, The Paper Source has gorgeous DIY invitations and inexpensive workshops to help you.They have locations all over the country.
7 The Gown ( Your Most Personal Statement) There are so many wonderful options here for saving money without sacrifice. BHLDN has wonderful gowns and accessories (and sales). Etsy has every style imaginable, including vintage. Try bridal resale shops such as Glamour Closet (4 U.S. LOCATIONS) and I Do Designer Consignment in Chicago. There are fantastic bridal consignment shops all over the country. Of course if you love and have access to your Mom’s or Grandmother’s gown a talented seamstress can make it your own !
8 Memories in Print I have one really great idea for wedding photo savings: Contact a College that specializes in Arts and Media. Investigate hiring a graduate student with a portfolio and interview 2 or 3. They will work hard for you & give you a terrific deal.
9 Flowers If you are fortunate enough to know someone who can take you to a wholesale floral market take advantage of the opportunity ! Of course you will ( hopefully with help ) be doing your own arrangements, but it can save Hundreds of dollars. Perhaps more ! Even if you buy retail and do the flowers yourself, there will be a sizable savings.
10 The Soundtrack of Your Wedding Of course a DJ will be far less expensive than a band. Give a DJ a very clear picture of what your musical tastes are and interview at least three. Also going back to the school idea, find a great band through a top level music school and a soloist to sing or play for the ceremony.
There are many engagements between now & Christmas ! So let’s get busy.
1) Shop for your Makeup & Hair team. Get recommendations from friends who have similiar tastes. Try to go with quality as opposed to price and if possible try out a few & take photos at the trials. Also, these people will be spending several hours with you & your bridesmaids & Moms. Make sure they are friendly & likable.
2) Florists. Again, Check out the wedding websites. Usually if a vendor has lots of good reviews they will be winners ! Go to your meeting with a firm idea of what you want and beforehand check out what flowers will be in season on your wedding day.
3) Hire your Photographer & Videographer Ask other married friends for recommendations and look at their albums & videos. Also ask your makeup artist for photographer references. They are particular & have a good eye.
Ask to see entire weddings from these 2 vendors. You want to be positive that your vision is the same as theirs.
Acquire references from them & call these brides.
I feel a small studio is a much better way to go because you are dealing directly with the people who will be shooting & filming your wedding.
Also find out how long it will take to get proofs & that you see them before they go online.
Next.. in a couple of days I promise; Your DRESS, entertainment, caterers & more.