Wedding Planning is not for the Faint of Heart

I never thought that I would actually talk about wedding planning in this blog, I really didn’t.

Weddings are something that I will never plan, never, never, never, never. I am a corporate guy and love corporate events. So let me be clear on the wedding thing… never, never, never, never, never.

This does not mean that I do not have TONS of respect for wedding planners, I truly do and some of my best friends are on that side of the event planning aisle. I have nothing but admiration for someone that can handle  all of the issues that pop up that seem crazy to corporate planners.

From being screamed at by overzealous Mom’s and pampering diva brides to counseling cold-feet grooms and grabbing smelling salts for fainting dads they handle a ton of “personal“, all on top of the typical event planning issues that crop up like A/V malfunctions, screwed up BEOs and late limos.

Weddings seem to involve too much emotion, a simple screw up can cost someone the most important day of their lives. That is a lot of pressure. I like my pressure on a professional level, not a personal level. I would rather deal with the stress of having the secret service at my event or dealing with diva speakers, it is a business relationship, not a personal one. That’s it! Weddings are too personal.

I get a ton of requests for wedding planning services every year, a ton. Since I will never leave anyone who contacts me high and dry, I always try and pair them with the wedding planner that I think will do the best job. It is important to me to pass along quality information.

If you are planning a wedding here in Chicago, my friend Kevin Sullivan is your man. He has a way with the Brides and Brides Moms that is simply amazing. The wedding chapel could be a blazing ruin and he would say “Listen, Dear, you wanted your wedding night to be hot” and everyone would be splitting their pants with laughter; He is that genuine and that funny without trying. He is also that good, he is one of the best, if not the best here in Chicago.

For destination weddings, I never really had someone that I could turn to, someone that I could recommend without hesitation. This was a place where I was lacking, but I am not anymore. A dear friend of mine is embarking on the change of a lifetime, she is starting her own destination wedding company. That friend does have a name, it is Teresa Nelson.

Now, Teresa is not some “I planned my sorority’s annual wine and cheese party so I am qualified to run your 10 million dollar event” event planner. She is a seasoned incentive travel expert with YEARS of experience. We both sit on the board of Site’s Chicago Chapter (Society of Incentive Travel Executives). She was also the meeting and event professional that used to plan for WOMMA, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. She knows her shit, she is just directing her shit in a different direction.

This is why I know that she will be a SMASHING success. I must say that I am actually kind of jealous. It is a wonderful thing for someone to finally take that leap and do something that they really love and want to do. That is the essence of happiness.

So, I wish her nothing but luck and Godspeed, she is a friend so she always knows that she can call me up for anything she might need, including bail money.

Here is a press release that she sent out:

To Destination Wedd? …. or How to Destination Wedd?  …. That IS the Question!

At a total loss as to how to start planning your fantasy destination wedding?  Join the crowd… you are not alone.  But, help IS on the way!

Imagine That! Destination Weddings is changing how people go about finding their perfect spot for their destination wedding.  With over 25 years experience planning weddings and events, they have started something completely new for the bride and groom-to-be.  They are picking destination hot spots and planning fam (familiarization) trips for those interested in planning a destination wedding.

Experience shows that Imagine That!’s brides and grooms face similar challenges as their own professional planners when considering a destination wedding.  What destination works best for them?  What vendors should they select?  What hotels do they consider?  And for the novice… how do they pick and choose without knowing a destination well enough, do they have to use an all-inclusive to get the best deal, what do and don’t they have to pay for their guests?

These savvy businesswomen have come up with a solution to everyone’s problem — go to the destination you are interested in by joining one of Imagine That!’s deeply discounted fam trips.  For approximately $500 participants spend 3-4 days experiencing the destination first hand, meeting the vendors they need in order to make their wedding a smashing success, and getting the answers from Imagine That! Destination Weddings professionals.

And what do they get for $500?

  • Hotel accommodations for 3 nights*
  • Ground transfers
  • Most meals
  • Tours of hotels
  • Tours of locations for the wedding ceremony
  • Tours of reception options
  • Tours of rehearsal dinner options
  • Excursions
  • Trade show with vendors
  • One-on-one time with Imagine That! Planning Staff
  • and much more!!!
  • *airfare not included

Here are the destinations currently on Imagine That!’s agenda of upcoming fams:

  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • St. Thomas, USVI
  • Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Who is Imagine That! Destination Weddings?

Imagine That! Destination Weddings is full service destination company specializing in events and weddings worldwide.  With over 25 years experience, we are able to offer a full line of options and services.  We take the worry out of the planning.  By maintaining staff in various destinations you are guaranteed that local personnel will handle the initial ground work for your wedding and act as support to our U.S. based team.  Our U.S. experts remain accessible and focused on providing personal service and an increased level of comfort to you throughout your planning process.

Want more info on Imagine That! Destination Weddings?…. visit  our website or email or if you are a phone person – give them a call at 773.209.1770

What are people saying about Imagine That!?  Just ask some of our satisfied clients…

Imagine That! made our wedding dreams become a reality.  No one should plan a wedding without their help.  They took the stress away from us and we were able to enjoy the entire journey.
— Nicole and Hanif Sidi, Windsor Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

From the very beginning Imagine That! Destination Weddings creativity and meticulous attention to detail “wowed” us.  Teresa and her staff are pure perfection.
— Jennifer and Bill Linder, Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

You worked complete magic for our wedding and we couldn’t have done this without you.  You made the entire process so easy for us and always went  above and beyond.  Thank you for everything.
— Elizabeth and Dave Kenneth, Private Villa, St. John US Virgin Island

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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