Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm off to enjoy the good life....

February 8, 2010

Dear Friends,

It is said that “Retirement is wonderful if you have two essentials - much to live on and much to live for.I believe that I now have both. And so it is my great joy to let you know that I am retiring from the wedding and event-planning world at the end of this week.

Many of you have been my second family and you have supported me in my career and in my personal life over the last several decades. I am privileged to have worked with you through the years – and very proud of the successes that we achieved together. You’ve laughed with me, cried with me, and helped create such wonderful memories that are now part of my life treasures.

My career has been both challenging and rewarding. I am happy that I can look back and honestly say I did my best, gave my all, and I was well rewarded in kind and in friendship.

I'm looking forward to having the time and the freedom to spend time with my wonderful husband, finally get my book published and in the bookstores, relocate to South Florida, enjoy time traveling, yachting and (someday) spending time spoiling my future grandchildren! As I enjoy those days to come, I will reflect fondly from time to time on “the good old days”. Then, I will order another drink, one with an umbrella in it.

Thanks again for everything, I shall miss you.

With love,


PS. My new email address is: if you would like to keep in touch. As soon as we’ve closed on our new house, I’ll send you our new address in The Sunshine State!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Caveat emptor: Tips when hiring a wedding or event planner

photo by Veer

"Experience: That most brutal of teachers.
But you learn, by God do you learn." - C.S. Lewis

When you are considering hiring a wedding or event planner, especially in today's economy when every penny counts more than ever, you should be especially wise when making that important hiring decision. Anyone can "hang up a shingle", create a fancy website, print business cards and call themselves a planner.... but without education, industry knowledge, a good reputation, and most importantly verifiable EXPERIENCE, they may not be able to fulfill your expectations. And sadly, you will pay the price.

In all Weddings and Events, there are no 'do overs'. You get one chance to get it right, and the team you have in your corner can truly make or break your special day. You wouldn't hire a Doctor or a Lawyer without checking their credentials and you should shop the same way when hiring a wedding or event planner.

So, when considering hiring that planner, here are some tips from Good Taste Events:

  • Look for photos of their actual work (not stock photography) on their website. If they have experience, they will share it with you. If they seem reluctant to provide photographs, make a note of it. No actual event photos = red flag.
  • In addition to actual photos, verify their work. 99% of satisfied clients are more than happy to provide a reference to their wedding and event planner. They will tell you candidly what went right, what went wrong, and if they would hire this planner again. Ask to see their photos as well! No references = red flag.
  • Ask about any certifications your planner has and when they received such education. Are they affiliated with any national associations? You can call and check on their membership status. Absolutely no certification or associations? Yep. Red flag.
  • Inquire about their strengths and weaknesses. How will they handle unforeseen circumstances that may occur during your special day? Get some examples of situations they have dealt with in the past. An honest, experienced planner should definitely have some stories to share! Nothing ever gone wrong (ha!) = red flag.
  • What is their reputation in the industry? Have they been published in magazines or books, interviewed by other industry professionals, taught classes or given speeches or lectures? Again, this is information that is easily verifiable and can tell you much about their true experience. No one has ever heard of them? = red flag.
  • Avoid hiring a planner simply for their "cheery" personality. While it's imperative that your planner have characteristics that you value and a personality you will enjoy working with, it is also just as important that they have the experience that will make your event planning a joy. Many professionals have worked in various aspects of the hospitality industry for years before opening their own business. Does a new college graduate have the years of experience you are looking for? That's your call.
Whatever you decide, protect your choice by taking the time to check out who you may hire. Your event will definitely be an experience. Make it a good one.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grazie! A beautiful recommendation from our Tuscan love birds!

"Ti amo dal profondo del mio cuore con tutta la mia anima."
I love thee with the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach.

Italy. Love. Romance. How fortunate were we to be selected to work with this beautiful couple when they planned their amazing July 2009 Tuscan wedding. A private villa outside of Pienza was the venue for this amazing wedding. It doesn't get much better than this.
Thank you, Colleen and Gunter. You're the best.
* * * * * *

And here is their amazing letter they sent to Good Taste upon their return.


Dear Good Taste Gals,

We did it! We had the wedding of our dreams and much of the credit falls squarely on your sturdy yet refined shoulders. We came to you with a glimmer of an idea, the thought of a wedding abroad. At the time, we did not intend to hire wedding planners. All we thought we needed was someone to help kick start the process. We had a set of parameters but no specific destination in mind. You scoured the globe and presented to us thirteen different destinations, each one unique in its allure. By the time we completed this part of the process and had decided on a wedding in the rolling hills of Tuscany, we were hooked; your professionalism, attention to detail, and reassuring communication style won us over. We left every meeting thinking that our dream wedding was possible. We simply had to hire Good Taste Events to plan our wedding.

Given these economic times and the exchange rate, we thought a destination wedding may be out of the question. Or, if we did do a destination wedding, our plans would have to be dramatically scaled back. However, early in the process Jody said a very nice wedding was doable for our modest budget. And to be honest, we had our doubts. But Jody kept her word and we had a wedding that topped our expectations and stayed on budget, thanks to her hardnosed negotiations and creative alternatives.

Planning a destination wedding is not easy and it should be noted that we are both often referred to as Type-A personalities. Going into this process, we had no idea how we, as detail oriented people, would be able to work with a wedding planner. Would we have to just give up control and be happy with whatever we got? Would we micromanage our planner into a nervous breakdown? Neither turned out to be the case - you handled us very well. :) Every meeting was like a good therapy session and we always left feeling stress free and excited about some new aspect of our wedding. You not only ensured that appropriate tasks were being completed on time, but you also took our event to another level by brainstorming with us to build on our theme and create an event that was memorable, personalized, and visually stunning.

A key aspect to hosting an event abroad is having good contacts. Jody was able to use her professional network and create these relationships. The situation turned out ideally for us. We worked directly with Jody, whom we have supreme confidence in, and in turn, Jody worked with her contact abroad to make it a reality. By the time the process got underway, it was remarkable the level of detail we were discussing for a wedding thousands of miles away.

Even though, at some level, this was always a business relationship, it never felt that way. We honestly felt that you cared about our wedding as much as we did and that means a lot to us. Our wedding was simply spectacular. It was a loving, intimate set of ceremonies in a beautiful far off land. We feel blessed to have such a lovely event mark our union and we can't thank you enough for making it possible.


Colleen and Gunter

Jody's Note: Special thanks to Carlos and Monica for photos and assistance with planning.

Thanks again!

"It ain't the heat. It's the humility." - Yogi Berra

We are truly humbled by the confidence and support our amazing clients have given us again this year. Without you, we would not exist. Thank you again for allowing us to share our passion for creating and managing the most beautiful and memorable events imaginable.

With love and sincere appreciation,