How do you even begin to put one of these things together? I asked myself about 6 months ago when Bryan Bratt of bryanbrattproductions.com contacted me with this unique idea of a wedding video awards show kind of contest to be held in Las Vegas. Of course I jumped at the idea of being creative and bringing something to the wedding capital of the world that hasn't been done here before. So to answer my initial question on how to put a wedding video awards show together ? Like any other event or special occasion in the mind of a creative... Simply take your time and imagine all the components that go into the pretty picture you are painting for your event and bring it to life!
Ok here is the breakdown. Unlike most events and special occasions that start off with a projected budget and over all spending structure this project did not. I first consulted one of my favorite wedding associates for advice in putting one of these things together as I know she holds galas for N.A.C.E and other well known wedding industry groups. Her advice to me was to get as many popular vendors interested in this event as possible, pick a great location and shout it from the rooftops (not her words exactly but it's how I understood her). So I set out to do just that.
I already had a couple stellar venues in mind that would add the right little something to this shindig but I didn't have a perfect proposal that would enable them to host such a whimsical idea. I did however recall a really cute little showroom in a dicey area of Las Vegas almost secretly hidden in a popular dive bar/ hotel. I was around for the construction of the venue and I knew the operations manager rather well. I could almost picture the entire formal awards show taking place right there on that stage... So I had to book it. After one call it was all said and done and I could start promoting our awards show at our new venue.
Now that the foundation was laid it was time to build a strong team. Like every good party or celebration you are no where without jamming music (DJ Smash), Great photography (Sky Simone Photography),Tasty food ( Delightfully Natia's treats), Flawless make up (Beauty in Vegas), Unique entertainment ( David Shareef & Myself and Sergio Daae) and excellent coordination ( Creative I ). Once I gained the support of these amazing wedding vendors and friends I was confident that I could get people excited about coming to party with us in formal attire. So everything seemed great so far in the planning process other than one small little thing. When a planner plans they should understand the passion behind why the event is taking place. For some strange reason I missed that but realized in planning month 2 that it would be extremely beneficial for me to dig a little deeper into the wide world of wedding films and cinematography. I took time and watched a few wedding videos from a friends page. I googled a few and even looked on Wedding Wire Blogs and seen some good footage. In my research I rediscovered my passion for weddings in the first place. I fell in love with the love conveyed in these films and I knew other people would too if we shined a little light on it.
Ok so I had the venue, the team and the passion all in place and ready to rock.. By now I have posted and networked about the up coming awards show many people were now asking me how they can be involved instead of me bugging everyone on my friends list and industry contacts probably more than once. A show of this caliber also calls for a well known MC that people would look forward to seeing. This portion of designing the show was quite a bit of a challenge as I am not from here(Las Vegas) nor do I go out often enough to know who the local celebrities are... for this I needed to call a life line. Luckily I have a wonderful and well connected friend on the judges panel that was a huge help and I am forever in her debt. Tala Marie a beautiful actress and model was the end result in a long and tedious search., Needless to say we couldn't have been happier to have her.
Promotions, promotions and my learning to be a good P.R was key and a whole lot tougher than I would have imagined. I must have sent over 2,000 emails to both wedding videographers, media persons, newspapers, wedding professionals and engaged couples from a few mailing lists all with in 2 months time, On top of my normal event planning business and domestic duties this was no picnic. I was awake early morning and late night truly dedicated to making this show something to talk about. I can with out a shadow of a doubt tell you that I put my all into this one and I believe it showed.
Showtime!!! I started writing this blog prior to the awards show taking place. I have to tell you I was so nervous about this one. I had just finished the last draft of the timeline at 1am that morning. I only found out the top 10 finalist 1-2 days before the show as well the tenth being that very night before! People were calling me about not coming and others were complaining about this and that! However, like every event there is a stress point I like to call it. You can either fall victim to the pressure and cave or you can ( and should) rise above the noise and deliver another beautifully put together signature celebration created by you (in this case me). So I didn't fret... I got all my stuff done, delegated the vendors, set-up the venue, set everyone at ease and got dressed in my best, put on this smile we all know and love and let the party begin.
Needless to say it turned out very well. I would have liked to see a few more faces.... I had so many RSVP's !!! Ugh.. it's fine the venue decided to book a motor cycle convention that same day (I'm still shaking my fist a little bit... LOL) so I imagine a lot of people either kept driving or couldn't find parking. Let me touch on that a second as this is a fail of the planner... I did ask the venue director about the parking situation a few times prior to the event and the reply was always it will be fine. Also it was news to me about the other event taking place the same day but I can't tell a venue how to run their establishment nor do I know the circumstances in which caused them to make such a decision. End result it was not 100% fine but I will let it slide as the rest of the evening was a success. The venue staff was very accommodating. I can tell all my team worked very hard to make all this possible. My assistant Lauren Gunn is a rising star coordinator and helped more than I could have ever dreamed. The DJ (DJ Smash) was incredible and all the vendors were commendable. My performance along with that of Sergio Daae was very entertaining and of course the wedding videos were all very heart warming. Dr. David Shareef was on fire and hilarious. I must say all of my judges did an amazing job with presentations as if we all rehearsed it. This was the inaugural event and people are very much so looking forward to the next contest. I was applauded for all my efforts and Bryan Bratt touched the audience with his amazing speech and passion for the industry. After the show we all rubbed elbows and took pictures with the winners and guests over by our custom step and repeat. Those historical photos will be coming soon, I can't wait! Below are a few I found from attendees on Facebook.
A few niche's and glitches occurred the day of the awards show. Such as we had no trophies! They did not arrive on time... I sent Bryan to get one that we could give to the grand prize winner (Taken by M Place Productions) but that morning we had nothing. Another salt added to the mix was that my red carpet sent to me from my good friend and mentor Kumba also did not arrive on time. My foam trophies I spent 2 days painting did not stand up on their own and my 3rd assistant was in an accident. Oh did I mention there was a motor cycle convention booked the same day as a wedding video awards show! Yes, yikes is the best way to describe that day. In fact I am still recovering and only now got back to finishing this blog. The top 3 winners have not received their trophies even... Yep they are right here in my office. The press is waiting to run a final story on the event and I need to get an article and pictures over their way pronto (not entirely my fault I have no professional photos from the event yet... I will blog about photography turn around in another blog coming soon). But, like I have mentioned before in this blog and many others, A good and professional planner is not going to let anyone know that the crap is soon hitting the fan! We just simply use our brains and fix whatever the situation before anyone notices a ripple at all. Even my show host was running off of the first draft of the event timeline. A couple things were out of place but not too many people could tell the difference if you just raise to the occasion and run the show properly.
I have been organizing events, churches, groups, teams, and of course dental treatment for many years. I can't say there has been a situation at a party, event or wedding I haven't seen, owned and overcome. I am not bragging one bit only stating a true fact about my coordination and design company and work ethic. Whenever planning your special occasion whatever it is ... I know it means a lot to you. People pour their entire passion into a vision that I help bring to life. Like any bride dreaming of her wedding day, she wants it to be perfect in her eyes. I realize perfection is a hard goal to achieve but that is the sole foundation of my coordination business. If your event isn't coming together the way you desire than it is less than perfect and that can not be. Bryan Bratt came to me with a vision and willingness to see it through. I thank him for the opportunity and experience. I am confident that the team I put together for this show did an incredible job... and I have everyone in the Las Vegas wedding industry looking forward to next year. I am however better equipped with a different planning structure now where I plan to delegate some of the organizational and promotional duties to other qualified candidates. I have to say some of the industry members responded negatively to the after math claiming to have never heard of the event or contest. I will take this to my grave everyone... I can honestly say everyone in Las Vegas was emailed or called at least once. I have the carpal tunnel to prove it... LOL
All and all planning this awards show was awesome. I am glad to have been apart of some Vegas history if I did nothing else at least I can say I brought my A game and I think people know who I am now because of just that. If I may offer my readers some advice... whether you are a potential bride or client reading this or a wedding industry professional or maybe just someone who googled awards shows and this blog captivated you (I'm smiling typing that). There is no idea too crazy even if it is the first of its kind. Do not be discouraged by any negativity you get when you are trying to do something you feel is important enough to bring to light. This advice can be applied in many different circumstances... Of course since it's my thing I apply it to my weddings and events. I feel like there is nothing I can't do with the proper motivation (I have a strong faith in GOD prayer helps me more than anything) and a great team ( because you can not do it all alone) every event or conquest will always turn out perfectly.