Dan and Marcy really know how make their friends and family feel loved. This groups affection for each other really warmed the cavernous layout in the gorgeous barrel room at Robert Hall Winery. With a mix of 80’s pop throwbacks, a lot of latin flavor and some all-time wedding favorites, The Kramer Team kept the dance floor packed and made sure Dan and Marcy’s awesome requests were played at all the right times.
With an intent to give this couple a party atmosphere to match the guests personality, yet still maintain elegance, we lit the room with some of our newest décor lighting features. We decided on a ceiling pattern wash (to give a soft, warm light overhead), a dance floor wash with a leaf pattern to accent the floral textures, an H2O light to designate the dance floor and a fantastic illumination of all the surrounding barrels that really make Robert Hall an amazing place to have your special day.
It was awesome working with Brenda at A Heart to Heart Wedding Consultants. They kept everything running smoothly and on time so we could focus on music and the lightingAmong the other decor was panacea event floral design‘s fabulous additions by way of perfectly chosen flowers. You should check out their posting about the event here for the juicy details.
We’re lucky to say that we’ve had the immense pleasure to work with central coast wedding coordinator, Mark Padgett Event Design a few times now. Mark is one of the most accomplished wedding professionals on the Central Coast. He has a spectacular amount of artistic genius that really brings new meaning to the often mis-used term “fabulous event”. His experience in the arts really shows in his work and his attention to detail leaves no stone unturned and keeps the event flowing perfectly.We’ve decided to interview him to learn a little about how he works his magic and really learned a lot of valuable info. We’re happy to share with you!
What is Event Design?
An event designer, essentially starts working with the bride, groom and their families from the beginning and creates the entire experience for the brideand groom and their guests, all the elements: the site, the cuisine, linens and fabrics, the flowers, lighting, entertainment, photographers and the atmosphere or feel for the wedding day. It’s similar to an interior designer that you hire for your home. Somebody who, based upon your desires, taste and budget, creates a design for you then finds the vendors that can bring the design to life.
Are you a coordinator as well?
Yes, I’m both. I think the combination is the best way to go. That way all the elements are brought together with the total vision in mind.
Are you a one-man show or do you have a team?
It depends on the service but I do have a team. It can vary greatly from event to event, but I always have an assistant with me, helping me be in 20 places at the same time. If the event has many elements like props, furniture, chandeliers then I have a larger crew. Aside from my crew I really do consider all of the vendors as the team. A designer or coordinator is only as good as the people he/she works with. Certainly the caterer is HUGE, they not only supply awesome food and drink but all the labor to set up, serve and clean up. They are a very crucial aspect. Of course every vendor is important to the overall success of the event, but if you don’t have good food, drink and service, you are in trouble!
Do you usually get to choose the vendors?
Almost always. It depends on when they come to me. The venue is often times chosen; often a photographer may already be on board as well. But, if you think it through, an event designer should be the first vendor on board. Starting from the top, a couple should convey their desires to me and let my design and experience manage all other aspects. Starting from the site, then to photographer, then caterer and so on. Most of my clients are with me for about a year.
When do you choose your DJs?
We usually start looking at DJs about half way through the process depending onthe date of the wedding. If it’s going to be a popular date you touch base with all the vendors as soon as possible.
If a bride has already chosen other vendors before you will you still work with them?
Yes, of course. It’s a bit more challenging as I really like to get to know the vendor as a person and as a company. Local vendors are always preferred for many reasons. I know how they work, I know their pricing structure and they know the area: They have most likely worked the site before, know the layout, where the sun sets and what flowers will hold up on a August day in Paso Robles! They also have a higher level of responsibility within the community and you cannot go “greener” than hiring someone local. I am only as good as my vendors, so I feel it’s imperative to work with them before the event as much as possible. At the end of the day, it’s all about your vendors.
What does your service include?
Well….. the skies the limit… really. Anything and everything needed to create a beautiful, fun and flowing celebration.
What sets you apart from your competition?
Well, I’ve been doing this for 14 years here on the Central Coast. I really know my job, the area. the vendors that are the best, how the weather patterns work, where to find anything and everything needed to create the perfect party. And I learn something every single event and I have done over 300. I also think my sense of humor helps keep the planning moving along without drama and stress.
What’s your favorite type of client?
Well, again, it’s a wide range. I’ve done events with budgets from $10,000 to $100,000 and I find that it’s really about finding the priorities within the client. It’s really about making sure their hearts are in the right place. If they are looking to provide a really awesome experience for their wedding day and for the people they love, that’s the perfect client.
What’s your favorite type of venue?
Well, I’ve done events anywhere and everywhere by now, and there’s certain things I look for now, but to be honest with you, a dirt field. A blank slate. Love it. I love taking nothing and turning it into something special. Wineries are very in right now and I love working there as well. They have a lot to offer, but there can be restrictions. Tasting rooms often don’t close ’til 5 or 6 so there may be people tasting wine when the guests arrive, you have to be done by 10pm and there’s no mixed alcohol.
What’s a good question to ask when choosing vendors?
Well, first; trust your gut. There should really be something inside that just clickswith that person. The rest will get done. You should be having a good time when you meet with them and feel like they value you. Make sure you enjoy their personality, the way they communicate with you and how they feel about their job. Always look for the passion. I guess a good question would be; “why are you in this business?”
How do you help manage a couples wedding budgets?
After I gain a decent amount of knowledge about who they are, what is and isn’t important to them on their wedding day and where they place their priorities, then I have an excel spreadsheet that we drop their goal budget amount into and it spreads it out to all the elements of the event. Then, let’s say for the Photographer, we talk about; “how important are these specific images to you?” “How about the album?” “What do what to do with the photos after the wedding?’ Then we take the percentages up or down, leaving more or less to go toward the other vendors. It’s imperative to understand your budget limitations before you start choosing vendors. If you spend too much for the site you may have to scrimp on something you really love.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Dreaming up the design. Laying it out in PowerPoint. I love the first meeting with the bride and groom, their faces when they first see the reception room and the bride walking down the aisle and the fact that I get to throw parties for a living!
What size budget do you work with?
Well my average is probably around 35,000 to 45,000. Of course I have done both smaller and larger events and you would think that having a huge budget is more fun but not always. More money can mean more pressure to make it fabulous, more elements to control, a massive timeline and higher stress. Oh, who am I kidding, I love big budgets!!
Any advice you could give to a newly engaged couple?
My most important piece of advice would be to keep your priorities in place; at the end of the day it’s really about getting married, the rest is just details. (Fabulous details, of course, but really just details). Then, always hire professionals. Don’t have your 17-year-old nephew DJ your event with his iPod, he invariably forgets the right cord and it’s not at all a good idea to have Aunt Kathryn make your wedding cake. It can lean like Pisa or melt in the sun or just plain look and taste dreadful. That’s certainly tough for you but even worse for your aunt! The poor girl will likely feel guilty for years to come. You want professionals that know their trade and how to execute it reliably. Of course the best advice I can give to a newly engaged couple is to call me!http://www.markpadgetteventdesign.com/
What follows will be the first post in a repeating series of educating articles pertaining to the wedding industry. These are articles that have been weeded out of a VAST expanse of wedding publications and choice excerpts from the blogosphere. Hopefully the give some value to you, our loyal reader.This weeks excerpt: Newbie “Wedding Planners” By Lisa Hurley
… Often armed with little experience—other than their own wedding—the newbies drive down fees and taint the value of experienced wedding pros, many in the business say.Newbies are not a recent phenomenon, explains Joyce Scardina Becker, president of San Francisco-based Events of Distinction and founding president of the Wedding Industry Professionals Association. “However, they do come in waves,” she says, “and right now it feels like a tidal wave!”The San Francisco Bay area sees “at least one newbie a week,” says Jenne Hohn, founder of Napa, Calif.-based Jenne Hohn Events. Although the recession has pushed the newly jobless to try to break into weddings (“I’ve heard of corporate planners who said they would never touch weddings now seeking advice on how to plan them,” Hohn says), she thinks the problem started while the economy was still healthy. Many planners and vendors “saw that the wedding planners were doing well and decided to add planning to their repertoire a way to get a piece of the pie.”DAY-OF DILEMMA
One of the most galling trends, Scardina Becker says, is the low-cost, “day of” wedding coordination service many newbies offer.
“I’m not sure how the term ‘day of’ coordination originated, but it is a term that needs to be eradicated from the vocabulary of the wedding industry,” she says. “No wedding planner of sound mind, experience and education would simply show up on the day of a wedding, wave their arms in the air like a symphony conductor and expect everything to flow flawlessly.” Instead, she says, a professional wedding planner would spend from 30 to 45 hours a month out from the wedding date, making sure all plans are in place. Note: Hohn shares her thoughts in “The Myth of ‘Day Of’ Wedding Planning”; click here to read more.REPUTATION AT RISK
Along with driving down fees, some newbies are compromising the reputation of wedding planning by their ignorance or—or disdain for—professionalism, some veteran planners say.
Colette Lopez, head of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based La Fête, said she was “floored” a few years ago when her client posted photos of the wedding Lopez created on the Web site of the new “planner,” claiming they were her work. “I see a lot of blogs that are showing just table designs and set-up shots instead of actual events,” Lopez adds.Tara Wilson, founder of Tara Wilson Events in Fort Worth, Texas, has been pestered in recent months by callers pretending to be prospective brides. She knows why they ask detailed questions about her pricing and services: “It’s very frustrating to have newbies calling and pretending to be brides to pick my brain,” she says. “I would much prefer a start-up planner ask to take me to lunch and discuss her questions rather than try to sneak answers past me. I would be happy to share my insights about this challenging and unique business with the right person, but honesty is the best way to go about it.”Besides knowing little about the wedding business, many newbies know little about business period. For a presentation at The Special Event 2008, Scardina Becker polled wedding planners and learned that 45 percent did not carry business insurance, and 13 percent had no license. “This was a motivating factor for me to help start the Wedding Industry Professionals Association,” she says; WIPA members are required to have a business license and insurance.WEDDING-DAY WOESYet the shortcomings of the newbie planner show up in time. “I hear all the time from my vendors all over,” Lopez says, “that the florist, photographer, band emcee or head captain ends up taking over the event to keep it on track with planners that are not experienced.”Janice P. Blackmon, with more than 25 years in wedding planning, was called on recently to bail out a newbie herself. The head of Janice Blackmon Events in Atlanta—a market “saturated” with wedding planners, she says—tells the story of a newbie planner so ill-equipped to handle a wedding “that on several occasions she even asked the client what they should be working on next,” Blackmon says. The worried bride checked with her venue for a recommendation on a planner, and Blackmon’s name came up. “I was able to come in with two weeks until the wedding, pull everything together, and create and produce the flawless wedding that the bride had been dreaming of,” she says.Blackmon hopes for the day to return when clients “understand that to have the event they desire, it takes quality vendors and professionals to work together to achieve that goal.” But with the bumper crop of inept newbies, “I fear we will continue down the road as we are today,” she says, “with having to spend extra time explaining why we charge what we charge for our services and why we can’t just give away our time and expertise.”Hohn, however, is more optimistic. “Ethical planners have held a constant fee structure as a way to maintain the integrity of the industry,” she says. “These planners have found ways to reword their assistance structure and more clearly define what it is that they do. Not only that, they are educating brides along the way. This type of education is what will save the industry from the ‘attack of the newbies.'”
It’s time to roll out the red carpet and get glamourized! Come to our fabulous event and enjoy fashions from local businesses such as:AmbianceDivineFarm SupplyI CandiJaydeKelly’s CasualsPan JewelersPillow Talk of Paso RoblesVine Street ApparelUpscale ResaleHair and make-up by Twist Studio SpaIndulge yourself in hors d’oeuvres and sweets by CateringUnlimited.com while the floral design from panacea event floral design, flashing lights from Mike Larson Photographers and raging tunes from us, Kramer Entertainment DJ’s & Lighting. We promise to keep the fashion flowing. And don’t forget to partake in the silent auction where all proceeds will benefit a Paso Robles native, Cheyenne Willis who is battling a rare disorder called Dystonia. Other sponsors include The Broad Street Event Group, Classic Wines of California, Packaging Plus, Taylor Rentals, Wine Away, Wine Wipes and Carina Corral of KSBY6 as the MC.This sensational event will take place on Friday, April 30th from 6-10pm.For tickets and more info, please click here!
In a fit of swashbuckling awesomeness, Mark Padgett Event Design once again wowed the crowd with a superb evening of fundraising for the Hospice Partners of the Central Coast. Sponsors and guests of this fantastic non-profit organization were treated to a marvelous setting inside the giant ballroom at the Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo. No detail was spared. We lit the walls a deep shade of blue, filled the “sky” with stars, painted a dancefloor in soft light and let the live-action pirate brigade (The RumRunners) steal everyones attention and leave only smiles behind. The appropriately rustic centerpieces adorned with gorgeous tropical flowers by panacea event floral design really brought life to the table settings. Sophie at Mike Larson Photography caught all the splendor in some amazing shots. She really knows how to capture the ambience, even in the lowest of light. Also, a Thank You to Bill at BGA for the usage of the moon image.
This Saturday at Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo, Hospice Partners will hold it’s annual fundraiser that has a flavor like none other. The decor will be the dream-child of the fabulous event designer Mark Padgett and will surely have a delicious flavor for every sense. We’re lucky to have a hand in lighting the event and look forward to helping raise some money for an awesome non-profit partnership. Click here for tickets to this one-of-a-kind event.Hospice Partners of the Central Coast is a non-profit, State licensed, Medicare and Medi-Cal certified hospice that provides a comprehensive and progressive hospice program, including hands-on hospice care. In addition to all the Medicare required services listed on the services page, Hospice Partners also provides many additional hospice related services such as community education, music therapy and pet therapy to hospice patients, and extended one-on-one bereavement counseling. More info on Hospice…
We are so proud of our team for coming together in the design and construction of our booth at the Central Coast Bride show this past Sunday. Our Broad Street Event Group corner really looked great and the brides agreed. It was fantastic to meet so many awesome couples and have a chance to answer their questions while having almost all of our lighting options available to see in person. Julie at CoverUps provided the beautiful draping that so elegantly allowed our booth to really glow. A big thanks to Corinne at panacea event floral design for the beautiful orchids that adorned our lovely corner, Gayle at Epic Weddings for providing our brides with awesome cocktails appetizers and of course Mike Larson Photography and his trusty camera.
Thanks to Avila Lighthouse Suites and the Broad Street Event Group, Kramer Entertainment team member Melissa had a birthday party that rules ALL birthday parties! In true PLATINUM PARTY fashion, Panacea Event Floral Design adorned the gorgeous Banquet Facility with fabulous hydrangea centerpieces and swanky lounge furniture and accents while Catering Unlimitedbrought their culinary excellence in the form of a real-time pasta bar with all the fixin’s. Of course, the Kramer Entertainment Lighting team really made the place glow with architectural uplighting, one of a kind pin-spotting for the centerpieces and food tables and a luminous bevy of light-up truss pillars, H2O lights to give the dancefloor a unique wash, a gentle laser star effect and a glowing cocktail bar. Most all of which can be dialed on-the-fly to any color desired. Good thing the phenomenal team fromMike Larson Photography was there to document everyones decorative efforts. Regardless of the Bubble-tinis best efforts, the party sure was a memorable one.
This past Valentines Day, Eagle Castle Winery let us storm the castle with love in the form of some awesome decor lighting. On this beautiful February evening we helped add a little visual flavor to the delicious and romantic event Roxan and the Eagle Castle team offered to a lucky group of Central Coast Sweethearts. You could see the castle glow from a mile away. The photos below are a great example of how you can really showcase beautiful architecture with Kramer Entertainment’s Decor Lighting. Take a look at these Before and After photos: