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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

If you are debating over hiring a wedding planner or a wedding service, you picked the right blog to read today!
Yvonne's Invitations & Favors introduces you to one of our favorite vendors: Formerly Miss, Inc. Wedding & Event Planning. In this blog, Yvonne asks Maria Lago, Formerly Miss Senior Event Consultant/Owner, some questions about her business and the event planning industry.

Yvonne's Invitations: Maria, first off I'd like to congratulate you on your business and wish you much success with it! In recommending your services, I would like to take this opportunity to have people learn more about the type of services you can offer and provide helpful information about the wedding planning industry, as a whole.

Yvonne's Invitations:
Maria, what kind of services do you offer for someone planning an event?
Formerly Miss: I have several great customizable packages available! Whether a client is in need of full service planning or simply a few hours to guide them in the right direction, Formerly Miss will be able to accommodate anyone looking for a stress-free way to put on any event!

Yvonne's Invitations:
What types of events do you do at Formerly Miss? Is there a particular area you specialize in?
Formerly Miss: I cater to any type of event, whether it’s a Wedding, Bar/Bat mitzvah, Sweet Sixteen, Birthday Party, Bachelor/Bachelorette, Housewarming, Bridal Shower, Baby Shower, you name it! I do specialize in Weddings, I love to see couples get together and embark on their new life together and I am proud to be a part of making their lives easier when details can be overwhelming and organizing can be hectic. Some brides will begin their engagement with nothing but smiles, sadly the reality is, especially in the last weeks leading up to the wedding day, stress takes over and that’s where I come in, to simplify and make all aspects of the planning process a piece of cake. Most brides want to have someone to rely on and have as their “right hand man” sort of speak. It eases their fears and calms them down so they can be their most fabulous on the day of the wedding!

Yvonne's Invitations: Why is it important for someone to book or look into a party planning service?
Formerly Miss:
The number one reason why anyone looks into hiring a planner is simply because it begins to get too hectic. Most people actually don’t want anything to do with the planning process, which personally I can’t understand, since I love what I do! When planning an event, there are so many details that can be overlooked! Event Planners know this and will let their clients in on all the details needed to achieve a flawless event. Another popular reason to look into an event planner is knowing they are always dealing with local vendors. Building relationships with many of these vendors is what an event planner does all day resulting in a huge advantage to the client. If you hire a planner, they most likely will be able to get discounts on many aspects of your event, discounts that an individual alone couldn't get therefore saving them money.

Yvonne's Invitations: Because of the economic climate we are in, what services can you offer someone who has a limited budget?
Formerly Miss: The event industry like any other has taken a visible hit. Wedding costs alone in 2009 have declined 10.2% from the previous year leaving couples and other event hosts with smaller budgets. As the economy is changing, we all must adapt to its decline and work with the budgets that are available. So yes, Formerly Miss will work with anyone who has a smaller budget than desired. I don’t like to offer a fixed price to my clients, because no event is the same. Every event has different needs, so why would a fixed price be suitable for all? This is why when it comes to my packages, I like to always emphasize on the personalization of each.

Yvonne's Invitations: When scouting an event planner, what should people look out for?
Formerly Miss: I like to recommend that people in need of a planner begin looking locally. Local planners will usually have the best relationships with all the local vendors and will get their client the best deals and discounts over other planners who are not familiar with the area. Another suggestion is, Google. Research the planner online, see what’s out there and how they represent themselves. Nowadays there are so many ways to find out all the information you need with only one search. Check out their website, social networking site and blog. Blogging has become a big part of the advertising process, seen here today, and will give you a lot of information on the knowledge and dedication of the planner or vendor you are researching.

Yvonne's Invitations: What was your inspiration behind starting your own event planning business?
Formerly Miss:
Event planning is something I knew I was interested in for years! Ironically, it wasn’t until I graduated college that I was sure I wanted to do it. Being the one out of my friends who was usually scheduling, organizing and planning the logistics of all parties, vacations and such, I knew I couldn’t go wrong with going into business for myself. The thought formed in my head back in 2006, and I finally decided to do something about it. With my corporate background in event planning and my passion for planning I began making Formerly Miss a reality! I’m excited for what’s to come and can’t wait to see Formerly Miss blossom!!!

Yvonne: Maria, I'm sure Formerly Miss will blossom indeed!! We are very happy to partner with you and have you among Yvonne's "Favorite Vendor Community". Thank you for providing great insights on the wedding planning industry and the importance of leaving many of the planning details to the professionals.

Please visit the Formerly Miss, Inc. website for more information about Maria's wedding planning packages: